237

Michael Blake: Blake Tartare

Sean Patrick Fitzell By

Sign in to view read count
Michael Blake: Blake Tartare Saxophonist/composer Michael Blake has led an array of unique projects. His latest CD, Blake Tartare, finds him fronting a quartet with young Danish improvisers Soren Kjaergaard on Fender Rhodes and piano, Jonas Westergaard on bass, and Kresten Osgood on drums. The small group pushes Blake’s horn to the forefront, while the sparse arrangements have a fluidity that is loose without being sloppy.

The short and quiet “Flipper” opens the set, its spacious melody and gentle rhythm section accompaniment foreshadowing what follows. A somber repetitive keyboard riff sets up “Lemmy Caution,” which features Blake’s emotive playing over a medium tempo—the kind of tune he can dig into and explore. His yearning tenor saxophone solo is punctuated by guest guitarist Teddy Kumpel’s stabbing licks and Osgood’s flourishes. Similarly, “Messy Business” starts off unhurried and contemplative, until the psychedelic keyboards signal a break into a feel-good funky groove for Blake’s soprano solo and Kumpel’s turn, which then devolves to the opening introspection.

A repeating saxophone line and quasi-Latin groove build the quick ditty “Cuban Sandwich,” and provide a platform for Kjaergaard’s fleet piano work. A rhythmic base is also the key to “Feast.” This time, the bass and drums lock into a tenacious West African shuffle—a favorite of Blake’s—acting as the springboard for a growling tenor solo and a twangy guitar run. The beautiful Sun Ra tune “Languidity” is a vehicle for Blake’s soulful side and lyrical solo lines. An ambitious cover of Mingus’ “Meditation” allows Westergaard to display his bowed bass technique to achieve the tune’s spooky vibe. Two Blake originals testing quieter dynamics and atmospheric, textured support of the mournful melodies conclude the CD.

Blake Tartare organically covers a range of stylistic territory, unfolding narratively through the course of the CD. It is another convincing musical statement, well supported by Blake’s finely chosen cast.

Visit Michael Blake on the web.

Year Released: 2004 | Record Label: Independent Records | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read Road to Forever CD/LP/Track Review Road to Forever
by Jack Bowers
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Avenida Graham CD/LP/Track Review Avenida Graham
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 27, 2017
Read TAI Fest #1 (Vol.1&2) CD/LP/Track Review TAI Fest #1 (Vol.1&2)
by Nicola Negri
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Goat Man & The House of the Dead CD/LP/Track Review Goat Man & The House of the Dead
by Dave Wayne
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Backlog CD/LP/Track Review Backlog
by James Nadal
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Acceptance CD/LP/Track Review Acceptance
by Tyran Grillo
Published: February 26, 2017
Read "The Volume Surrounding the Task" CD/LP/Track Review The Volume Surrounding the Task
by John Eyles
Published: July 6, 2016
Read "Sky Begins" CD/LP/Track Review Sky Begins
by Dave Wayne
Published: July 11, 2016
Read "I Have Known Mountains" CD/LP/Track Review I Have Known Mountains
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 25, 2016
Read "Under the Influence" CD/LP/Track Review Under the Influence
by Doug Collette
Published: July 2, 2016
Read "Inhuman Wilderness" CD/LP/Track Review Inhuman Wilderness
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: May 6, 2016
Read "Live at the JazzRoom" CD/LP/Track Review Live at the JazzRoom
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 17, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: Jazz Near You | GET IT  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!