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Album Review

Michael Blake: Dance of the Mystic Bliss

Read "Dance of the Mystic Bliss" reviewed by Vincenzo Roggero


Veterano della scena downtown newyorchese,Michael Blake porta al debuttto sulla propria etichetta P&M Records, Chroma Nova, ensemble dalla configurazione particolare con quattro strumenti a corda, due percussionisti brasiliani, il leader ai sassofoni e, per la prima volta su disco, al flauto. Difficile individuare un centro gravitazionale preciso in Dance of the Mystic Bliss, forse un'intrinseca vena melodica presente nelle dieci composizioni tutte a firma Blake, ma sarebbe fare torto alla grande varietà di atmosfere, di tessiture e di groove che ...

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Album Review

Michael Blake: Dance of the Mystic Bliss

Read "Dance of the Mystic Bliss" reviewed by Jerome Wilson


This is saxophonist Michael Blake's new group, Chroma Nova, which contains guitar, violin, cello, bass and two Brazilian percussionists. They play a set of compositions, inspired by Blake's late mother, dancer Merle Blake, which rely on fluid rhythms and textures taken in many different directions. Blake is often the main solo voice here but he also blends in with the other instruments to create all kinds of intriguing sonic fabrics. For example, “Topanga Burns" starts with a stately ...

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Album Review

Michael Bates: Northern Spy

Read "Northern Spy" reviewed by Mark Corroto


Did you ever get a bit envious listening to a recording and thinking the band is having way too much fun making music? I'm not saying Northern Spy stirs up jealousy, but damn the trio of bassist Michael Bates, saxophonist Michael Blake and drummer Jeremy “Bean" Clemons are up to some serious jollification here.This, Bate's ninth release as a leader, diverts from the complex post-bop sounds of his Outside Sources band and Acrobat, his take on Dmitri Shostakovich. ...

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Album Review

Michael Bates: Acrobat: Music For, And By, Dimitri Shostakovich

Read "Acrobat: Music For, And By, Dimitri Shostakovich" reviewed by Raul d'Gama Rose


To set the record straight: America has not taken a step closer to being more tolerant of any kind of musical rebel. It does not tolerate the one that conforms (for he or she too is a rebel), nor does it tolerate the one who is the objector. Like in every other aspect of life--other than art--America finds the staid and middle of the road and one most likely to sell the most records most acceptable. Dimitri Shostakovich was anything ...

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Album Review

Michael Bates: Live In New York

Read "Live In New York" reviewed by Lyn Horton


Prevalent in the musical ethic of Michael Bates is a masterful balance of instrumental and compositional elements. Live in New York is Bates' group Outside Sources--Russ Johnson (trumpet), Quinsin Nachoff (saxophone and clarinet) and drummer Jeff Davis --documented at a Fall 2008 Cornelia Street Café gig. The initial snap of the snare on the opening “Bloodletting," bolstered by the low resonance of the bass, is immediately engaging. Nachoff's searing buzz that follows quickly transforms into tight melody ...

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Album Review

Michael Bates: Clockwise

Read "Clockwise" reviewed by AAJ Italy Staff


Arrivato al terzo CD, e approdato per la prima volta alla corte di Dave Douglas, il contrabbassista Michael Bates dimostra ancora una volta quell’intelligenza musicale che aveva sortito i giudizi positivi espressi in occasione dell’uscita di Outside Sources (2004) e A Fine Balance (2006). Qui il musicista canadese, ma newyorkese d'adozione, è ancora una volta alla guida dei suoi Outside Sources, il quintetto con cui propone una musica ricca di stimoli e caratterizzata da un’originale capacità di incorniciare in un’unica ...

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Megaphone

Michael Bates: Lessons From The Road

Read "Michael Bates: Lessons From The Road" reviewed by AAJ Staff


By Michael Bates

Touring can be both exhausting and exhilarating, especially as a bandleader. The last few months have brought reminders of this as I was planning, booking and finally, actually touring with my quartet in support of my recent CD Clockwise on Dave Douglas' Greenleaf Music label. As part of this tour, Greenleaf asked me to post updates on their blog. One of those posts chronicled a trip from Amsterdam to Lyon that included a botched ...


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