120

Alex Blake: Now Is The Time

Mark Corroto By

Sign in to view read count
Randy Weston’s secret is revealed on this live date from New York’s Knitting Factory. But anyone who has seen the tall pianist knows his rhythm secret is Alex Blake. The Panamanian-born, New York-raised bassist started out with Mongo Santamaria and toured with Sun Ra and Dizzy Gillespie. For the past decade he has been touring and recording with Randy Weston, one of the best live acts in jazz today.

This recording is Blake’s first domestic release as a leader. But leading is not a central element of this date. His sidemen are featured prominently, as the enthusiastic audience encourages the revelry. The disc opens with a Victor Jones’ drum solo and some slick piano work by John Hicks (another secret superstar of jazz). The groove is prominent throughout, as Blake plays to the crowd. His solo take on the Beatles “With A Little Help From My Friends” is a cross between Stanley Clarke and Jaco Pastorious, except he accomplishes the bass thunder and feathery sound on his acoustic setup. Percussionist Neil Clark leads us through “The Chief” with a solo opening then solos by Hick, Blake and Pharoah Sanders. If I have one complaint, it is that Sanders’ soloing is just too short. He barely has time to open up with his patented wail when he steps away from the microphone. After all this is Blake’s date. Note to wish list: record this band again, make it a two-CD (maybe three) affair and stretch out the solos.


Track Listing: On The Spot; The Chief; With A Little Help; Now Is The Time (intro); Now Is The Time; Mystery Of Love.

Personnel: Alex Blake

Title: Now Is The Time | Year Released: 2000 | Record Label: Bubble Core


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Whispers on the Wind CD/LP/Track Review Whispers on the Wind
by Jack Bowers
Published: October 23, 2017
Read Shropshire Lads: Songs to the Poems of AE Housman CD/LP/Track Review Shropshire Lads: Songs to the Poems of AE Housman
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: October 23, 2017
Read Heptagon CD/LP/Track Review Heptagon
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 23, 2017
Read ON Tour CD/LP/Track Review ON Tour
by John Kelman
Published: October 22, 2017
Read On a Distant Shore CD/LP/Track Review On a Distant Shore
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: October 22, 2017
Read Friends & Heroes: Guitar Duets CD/LP/Track Review Friends & Heroes: Guitar Duets
by Roger Farbey
Published: October 22, 2017
Read "Sunshine! Quartet" CD/LP/Track Review Sunshine! Quartet
by Glenn Astarita
Published: June 13, 2017
Read "Hush Point III" CD/LP/Track Review Hush Point III
by Budd Kopman
Published: January 8, 2017
Read "E.S.T. Symphony" CD/LP/Track Review E.S.T. Symphony
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 22, 2017
Read "Aquarelle" CD/LP/Track Review Aquarelle
by Geannine Reid
Published: April 7, 2017
Read "The Behemoth" CD/LP/Track Review The Behemoth
by Karl Ackermann
Published: April 9, 2017
Read "Lionsong" CD/LP/Track Review Lionsong
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 21, 2016

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY IT!  

Support our sponsor

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

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