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Jazz Articles about Michael Blake

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Album Review

Michael Blake: Combobulate

Read "Combobulate" reviewed by Chris May


The instrumentation alone promises something out of the ordinary. Saxophone, two tubas, trumpet, trombone, drums. Then there are the musicians, luminaries of downtown New York jazz. Michael Blake, Bob Stewart, Marcus Rojas, Steven Bernstein, Clark Gayton, Allan Mednard. And within seconds of the needle descending on track one, side one, Combobulate starts delivering on the promise. The album is one of four marking the return of audiophile-vinyl label Newvelle after a two-year hiatus. The approximate meaning of its ...

3

Radio & Podcasts

20 Years of One Man’s Jazz

Read "20 Years of One Man’s Jazz" reviewed 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 ...

1

Radio & Podcasts

Michael Blake - The Restless Adventures of a World Awakening Artist

Read "Michael Blake - The Restless Adventures of a World Awakening Artist" reviewed 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 ...

19

Album Review

Michael Blake: Fulfillment

Read "Fulfillment" reviewed 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.

17

Album Review

Michael Blake: Tiddy Boom

Read "Tiddy Boom" reviewed 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 ...

2

Album Review

Michael Blake: In the Grand Scheme of Things

Read "In the Grand Scheme of Things" reviewed 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 ...

490

Album Review

Michael Blake / Kresten Osgood: Control This

Read "Control This" reviewed 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 ...


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