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

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


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Magnetic CD/LP/Track Review Magnetic
by Jack Bowers
Published: July 27, 2017
Read A Rift in Decorum: Live at the Village Vanguard CD/LP/Track Review A Rift in Decorum: Live at the Village Vanguard
by Mark E. Gallo
Published: July 27, 2017
Read Someone Else CD/LP/Track Review Someone Else
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: July 27, 2017
Read Falling Forward CD/LP/Track Review Falling Forward
by James Nadal
Published: July 27, 2017
Read I Know Who I Am CD/LP/Track Review I Know Who I Am
by James Nadal
Published: July 26, 2017
Read "Flowers" CD/LP/Track Review Flowers
by Mark Corroto
Published: September 19, 2016
Read "Solstice" CD/LP/Track Review Solstice
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: October 30, 2016
Read "Jaco Pastorius" CD/LP/Track Review Jaco Pastorius
by Sacha O'Grady
Published: October 17, 2016
Read "Colosseum Live" CD/LP/Track Review Colosseum Live
by Roger Farbey
Published: August 10, 2016
Read "The Swimmer" CD/LP/Track Review The Swimmer
by Phil Barnes
Published: March 4, 2017
Read "50" CD/LP/Track Review 50
by Doug Collette
Published: July 22, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

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