251

Michael Blake: Elevated

David Adler By

Sign in to view read count
Michael Blake: Elevated 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

Year Released: 2002 | Record Label: Knitting Factory | Style: Modern Jazz


Shop

More Articles

Read June CD/LP/Track Review June
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 19, 2017
Read The Final Concert CD/LP/Track Review The Final Concert
by John Sharpe
Published: February 19, 2017
Read Desire & Freedom CD/LP/Track Review Desire & Freedom
by Glenn Astarita
Published: February 19, 2017
Read On Hollywood Boulevard CD/LP/Track Review On Hollywood Boulevard
by Budd Kopman
Published: February 19, 2017
Read The Motorman's Son CD/LP/Track Review The Motorman's Son
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 18, 2017
Read "Away With You" CD/LP/Track Review Away With You
by Troy Dostert
Published: October 18, 2016
Read "My Iris" CD/LP/Track Review My Iris
by Fiona Ord-Shrimpton
Published: February 18, 2017
Read "The Caustic Ballads" CD/LP/Track Review The Caustic Ballads
by Glenn Astarita
Published: April 27, 2016
Read "Layers" CD/LP/Track Review Layers
by Mark Sullivan
Published: November 1, 2016
Read "The Candy Men" CD/LP/Track Review The Candy Men
by Edward Blanco
Published: August 28, 2016
Read "Oratorios and Songs" CD/LP/Track Review Oratorios and Songs
by John Eyles
Published: October 18, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

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!