137

Michael Blakes Blake Tartare: More Like Us

Sean Patrick Fitzell By

Sign in to view read count
: More Like Us More Like Us is the second release from saxophonist Michael Blake's Blake Tartare, with three Danish wunderkinds: keyboardist Soren Kjaergaard, bassist Jonas Westergaard and drummer Kresten Osgood. As the title suggests, the group has developed cohesion, easily maneuvering the circuitous compositions on the disc.

The subtle opening of "The Meadows shifts after Blake's pronounced fluttering theme; the rhythm section bolsters him through a freer blowing section until Kjaergaard reels it in—effortlessly gliding through the changes. Similarly, on "Something in the Water, the urgency of Westergaard and Osgood's groove under Blake's bouncy soprano line lithely transitions to a section inspired by Mingus' "Meditation... (covered on their debut recording) for the leader's bass clarinet musings.

The CD is full of firsts for Blake the leader. On "Hush, Maria Laurette Fris' wordless vocals add texture, doubling the piano's austere melody and represent the first vocals on a Blake release. Fris returns for her "To Whom This May Concern with a singsong delivery of the bittersweet lyrics. This is another first: Blake's recordings have featured his tunes, not those of his musicians. The leader wields a clarinet on "Hush, an instrument he uses as a sideman, but not for his own music. The woody tone blends effectively with guest cellist, and fellow Lounge Lizards alumnus, Jane Scarpantoni's foreboding counter line.

Speaking of the Lizards, in another first, Blake interprets one of their tunes—the crowd-pleasing, though never released "Happy Old Yoy. Kjaergaard nails the staggering piano line, its rhythmic feel the foundation for the whispered lines of Blake and another guest Lizard alum, slide trumpeter Steven Bernstein, who soars over the quirky meter. For a final premiere, Blake adds his raw vocals to the reggae-inflected "Johnny Too Bad, the subdued tempo building for a classic R&B tenor solo over the outro.

Blake offers something different to make each new release unique, but he still retains his compositional identity. More Like Us successfully maintains that delicate balance while living up to its name.


Track Listing: Hush; The Meadows; Happy Old Yoy; To Whom This May Concern; Something in the Water; Maria; Africa Used to Be Home; Interlude With Soren; Paddy Pie Face; Johnny Too Bad.

Personnel: Michael Blake: tenor and soprano saxophones, clarinet, bass clarinet, and ghost flute; Soren Kjaergaard: piano, Wurlitzer, and effects; Jonas Westergaard: acoustic bass; Kresten Osgood: drums. Special Guests: Maria Laurette Fris: vocals (1,4,6); Steven Bernstein: slide trumpet (3); Jane Scarpantoni: cello (1); Jeppe Kjellberg: guitar (3); Teddy Kumpel guitar and baritone guitar (5,10).

Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: Stunt Records/Sundance Music | Style: Modern Jazz


Shop

More Articles

Read The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door CD/LP/Track Review The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 25, 2017
Read The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture CD/LP/Track Review The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Coldest Second Yesterday CD/LP/Track Review Coldest Second Yesterday
by John Sharpe
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Chicago II CD/LP/Track Review Chicago II
by Doug Collette
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Follow Your Heart CD/LP/Track Review Follow Your Heart
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Over the Rainbow CD/LP/Track Review Over the Rainbow
by Paul Rauch
Published: February 24, 2017
Read "Atmosphères" CD/LP/Track Review Atmosphères
by Karl Ackermann
Published: September 2, 2016
Read "Dream Delivery" CD/LP/Track Review Dream Delivery
by Dave Wayne
Published: July 28, 2016
Read "Border Crossing" CD/LP/Track Review Border Crossing
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 28, 2016
Read "Sharpener" CD/LP/Track Review Sharpener
by Nick Davies
Published: December 21, 2016
Read "Transparent Water" CD/LP/Track Review Transparent Water
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 20, 2017
Read "Live In The Black Forest" CD/LP/Track Review Live In The Black Forest
by Karl Ackermann
Published: May 9, 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!