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by Maurice Hogue
This show marks the 20th anniversary of One Man's Jazz which began its radio journey on May 1, 1999 at CKUW 95.9 FM in Winnipeg, eventually shifting to extraterrestrial Taint Radio in 2012. Rather than just play something from my favourite recording list for each of those twenty years (that was too easy), I decided to head for the playlists and just pluck out one track from all the tunes played in each year, starting with 1999's Peter Epstein and ...read more
by Ludovico Granvassu
An enduring presence for the last 30 years, saxophonist, composer and bandleader Michael Blake has built his reputation playing jazz and creative music in New York City. The visionary composer and arranger has built a discography that impresses for depth and range, from his hard-hitting projects Hellbent and Blake Tartare, to the soul and R&B tinged Red Hook Soul, to tribute projects dedicated to the repertoire of Lucky Thompson and Herbie Nichols and to his musical travelogues. This ...read more
by Glenn Astarita
Saxophonist Michael Blake's previous concept album Kingdom of Champra (Intuition, 1997) is based on his experiences living with his family in Vietnam. On Fulfillment, the artist centers his focus on India, namely an incident that occurred when a Japanese freighter, transporting hundreds of East Indian immigrants was denied entry into the port of Vancouver, Canada in 1914. Another source of interest is that Blake's great grand uncle H.H. Stevens was instrumental in engaging the Canadian Parliament to take action.read more
by Glenn Astarita
Tenor saxophonist Michael Blake has played a prominent factor within the backbone of New York's progressive jazz scene, having performed with big bands, small ensembles and on Tiddy Boom, re-aligning with New York Jazz Collective comrades, pianist Frank Kimbrough and bassist Ben Allison. In-demand session drummer Rudy Royston complements a group that proffers sympathetic support to Blake's line of attack, outlined by classic jazz outings by yesteryear's masters. Essentially, he revisits his origins and pays homage to Coleman Hawkins and ...read more
by Mark F. Turner
The beginning of an unusual release, Road to Lusaka" is the first track from Canadian-born, New York-based saxophonist Michael Blake's In the Grand Scheme of Things. While maybe not as widely known in some circles, Blake is a masterful practitioner of the art form who is at ease working in or outside of the mainstream with a discography that includes a number of recordings and credits with the Lounge Lizards, the Jazz Composers Collective and others. Sumptuous ...read more
by Troy Collins
Interstellar Space (Impulse!, 1965), John Coltrane's raucous tenor sax duo album with drummer Rashied Ali, is widely considered the pinnacle achievement of such instrumental pairings. Its blistering intensity continues to haunt similar efforts, yet there are a few intrepid souls who have opted for a more subtle, dynamic approach--one which favors conversational interplay over kinetic fury.
New York-based saxophonist Michael Blake and Danish drummer Kresten Osgood are two such explorers. Longstanding collaborators, they served as sidemen to organist ...read more
by Sean Patrick Fitzell
With each release, saxophonist Michael Blake pushes himself in a different direction through composition, instrumentation and/or stylistic approach. On Amor de Cosmos, the native Canadian convened an all-Canuck sextet to perform compositions inspired by family memories and the local history of British Columbia, where he spent time as a child. In a departure for Blake, the group includes younger musicians with whom he had little prior experience: Brad Turner (trumpet), Sal Ferreras (marimba and percussion), Chris Gestrin (keyboards and electronics), ...read more