440

Seamus Blake: Bellwether

Woodrow Wilkins By

Sign in to view read count
Seamus Blake: Bellwether SSome albums are named for a time, a place, an experience, or even a person. Others have a concept. Saxophonist Seamus Blake takes on concept with Bellwether, a term for leader or trendsetter.

Born in England and raised in Vancouver, Canada, Blake has gained recognition by Down Beat and JazzTimes magazines, and finished first in the 2002 Thelonious Monk Jazz Competition. His associations include Mark Turner, Kurt Rosenwinkel, FLY and Victor Lewis. For Bellwether, Blake is accompanied by guitarist Lage Lund, pianist David Kikoski, bassist Matt Clohesy and drummer Bill Stewart.

"A Beleza Que Vem," one of five Blake compositions, is an easygoing piece that features the leader on soprano saxophone, playing the melody in duet with Lund. Bass and drums are subtle, rim shots and strategically placed splash cymbals subtly accenting Kikoski's solo. Blake stretches out plenty on his solo, the music building in intensity, at one pointy, as if to signal the end, but he plays on.

"Subterfuge," another original, features Blake on tenor. Guitar and sax blend on the lead of a song in 4/4 time but which, because of some creative note placement, often sounds like another time signature. Lund's solo subtly references Pat Metheny, while Stewart gives the entire kit a workout during his solo.

Some of Bellwether's selections are symphonic in mood, but whether symphonic or hard charging, the music is always cohesive and expressive. Each musician shines as an individual, but there's never a moment when the group concept is lost.

Track Listing: Dance Me Home; A Beleza Que Vem; Subterfuge; The Song That Lives Inside; Bellwether; Minor Celebrity; String Quartet in G Minor, Opus 10.

Personnel: Seamus Blake: tenor and soprano saxophones; Lage Lund: guitar; David Kikoski: piano; Matt Clohesy: bass; Bill Stewart: drums.

Title: Bellwether | Year Released: 2010 | Record Label: Criss Cross


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Masters In Bordeaux CD/LP/Track Review Masters In Bordeaux
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: August 19, 2017
Read On Parade In Parede CD/LP/Track Review On Parade In Parede
by John Sharpe
Published: August 19, 2017
Read Good Merlin CD/LP/Track Review Good Merlin
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: August 19, 2017
Read I Believe In You CD/LP/Track Review I Believe In You
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 18, 2017
Read Morning Sun CD/LP/Track Review Morning Sun
by Jack Bowers
Published: August 18, 2017
Read The Conscience CD/LP/Track Review The Conscience
by John Sharpe
Published: August 18, 2017
Read "The Eastcote Studios Session" CD/LP/Track Review The Eastcote Studios Session
by John Eyles
Published: November 30, 2016
Read "Hope" CD/LP/Track Review Hope
by Karl Ackermann
Published: July 21, 2017
Read "What Do I Miss" CD/LP/Track Review What Do I Miss
by Geno Thackara
Published: September 10, 2016
Read "New Spring - Live At The Village Vanguard" CD/LP/Track Review New Spring - Live At The Village Vanguard
by Budd Kopman
Published: November 8, 2016
Read "The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture" CD/LP/Track Review The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture
by Troy Dostert
Published: April 13, 2017
Read "We Drift Meridian" CD/LP/Track Review We Drift Meridian
by Roger Farbey
Published: September 15, 2016

Sponsor: JANA PROJECT | LEARN MORE  

Support our sponsor

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.