251

Michael Blake: Elevated

David Adler By

Sign in to view read count
Michael Blake opts for a simple quartet aesthetic on this aptly named release. The lineup is a Jazz Composers Collective who’s who: Ben Allison on bass, Frank Kimbrough on piano, Mike Mazor on drums. Some of the tunes will be familiar to those who’ve heard Blake at the Collective’s New York concert series over the last couple of years.

There’s an Eastern tinge to some tracks — particularly "In the Arms of Ali," "Surfing Sahara," and "Addis Ababa." Kimbrough plays a particularly strong solo on Abdullah Ibrahim’s "Calypso Minor" (the only non-Blake tune), and meshes with Blake’s soprano tightly on the bright, free-bop-ish "Merle the Pearl." Both "Elevated" and "Anthem for No Country" begin with major-key rubato passages and evolve into loose grooves; the former recalls John Coltrane’s "Dear Lord" to some extent. "Lucky Charms," which Blake wrote in honor of saxophonist Lucky Thompson, is a dark-hued ballad, performed in classic jazz style. The disc ends with Blake doing some two-horn riffing on "New Blues, Old News," based on a laid-back three-bar vamp. (He also does the double-horn bit on parts of "Calypso Minor.")

A melodic and relatively sober statement, Elevated privileges the lyrical side of Blake, one of the Collective’s rougher, more avant-leaning constituents.

Track Listing: 1. In the Arms of Ali 2. Surfing Sahara 3. Elevated 4. Addis Ababa 5. Merle the Pearl 6. Calypso Minor 7. Lucky Charms 8. Anthem for No Country 9. New Blues, Old News

Personnel: Michael Blake, tenor and soprano saxophones; Frank Kimbrough, piano; Ben Allison, bass; Mike Mazor, drums

Title: Elevated | Year Released: 2002 | Record Label: Knitting Factory


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Another North CD/LP/Track Review Another North
by Roger Farbey
Published: October 19, 2017
Read Gledalec CD/LP/Track Review Gledalec
by John Sharpe
Published: October 19, 2017
Read Flux Reflux CD/LP/Track Review Flux Reflux
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 19, 2017
Read Christmas With Champian CD/LP/Track Review Christmas With Champian
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: October 19, 2017
Read Harmony of Difference CD/LP/Track Review Harmony of Difference
by Phil Barnes
Published: October 18, 2017
Read No Answer CD/LP/Track Review No Answer
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 18, 2017
Read "Metal Na Madeira" CD/LP/Track Review Metal Na Madeira
by Jim Trageser
Published: January 6, 2017
Read "Jungle: Live At Okuden" CD/LP/Track Review Jungle: Live At Okuden
by John Sharpe
Published: November 17, 2016
Read "Onward" CD/LP/Track Review Onward
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: May 2, 2017
Read "Music From An Imaginary Land" CD/LP/Track Review Music From An Imaginary Land
by Karl Ackermann
Published: June 14, 2017
Read "Hybrido - From Rio To Wayne Shorter" CD/LP/Track Review Hybrido - From Rio To Wayne Shorter
by Roger Farbey
Published: April 12, 2017
Read "Borrowed Time" CD/LP/Track Review Borrowed Time
by Troy Dostert
Published: August 15, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

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