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Daily articles carefully curated by the All About Jazz staff. Read our popular and future articles.

ALBUM REVIEW

Ron Blake: Shayari

Read "Shayari" reviewed by J Hunter

If you've heard bassist Christian McBride's blazing Live at Tonic (RopeaDope, 2006), then you're familiar with the powers of Ron Blake. On some tracks, Blake blasts soul-drenched tenor in the same vein as Junior Walker; on others, he launches solos that approache the same technical and emotional level visited by Wayne Shorter. Blake's overall performance on Tonic is world-class--and it leaves you completely unprepared for the relatively peaceful world of Shayari.

About the only thing Shayari has in common with ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Ron Blake: Shayari

Read "Shayari" reviewed by George Kanzler

There's an attention to sonic detail and aural space on tenor saxophonist Ron Blake's Shayari that would be more expected from the ECM label than from Detroit's Mack Avenue Records. But Mack Avenue, through Blake and his producer/pianist Michael Cain, has given us a CD strong on tone and mood, intimate and introverted without being lightweight or insubstantial. The intimacy flows from the instrumentation: All the tracks are trios save for three duos, and all but one scant-minute track feature ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Ron Blake: Shayari

Read "Shayari" reviewed by Greg Camphire

Following excursions in the worlds of pop, funk and Latin music, saxophonist Ron Blake veers back towards jazz with Shayari, a series of acoustic duets and trios featuring a revolving lineup of A-list sidemen. Mixing up original compositions written or co-written by Blake along with a handful of standards, the album is a varied and well-paced collection of snapshots that capture where the young bandleader's head is currently at.

Blake's natural eclecticism serves him well on Shayari. Each instrumental grouping ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Ron Blake: Sonic Tonic

Read "Sonic Tonic" reviewed by Terrell Kent Holmes

Sax man Ron Blake tapped various sources and influences for Sonic Tonic, most prominent of which involve his Caribbean roots. This album, expertly produced by Me'Shell NdegéOcello, also explores various other genres, and few beats are missed in the execution. The opening “Invocation, a tune in the finest tradition of John Coltrane's most spiritual works, is not as overwhelming or guttural, but certainly no less passionate. It begins with Christian McBride's hypnotic bass line and marches on ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Ron Blake: Sonic Tonic

Read "Sonic Tonic" reviewed by Matt Cibula

Saxophonist Ron Blake has everything he needs to be a rising star on the jazz scene. He seems intelligent, he has chops for days, and his bald head/weird beard thing is an extremely marketable look. Blake is adventurous enough, which he proves by including a remix disc in the CD package. He even has famous friends like Me'shell NdegeOcello to produce his album. There's just one thing he might not have yet--but we'll get to that in a second.

Let's ...

LIVE REVIEW

Ron Blake's MUSIC T'REE Flourishes Across Genres

Read "Ron Blake's MUSIC T'REE Flourishes Across Genres" reviewed by Matt Merewitz

A radio host throws on one of Ron Blake's discs ' perhaps his latest effort for Detroit-based Mack Avenue Records, Lest We Forget. Chances are - you dig. But who was that? Many of you have seen or heard this saxophonist live or on record, but there is no name to go with a sound. Don't write him off. This cat is the choice reedman for such artists as Roy Hargrove, Christian McBride, and Art Farmer.

Blake was the name ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Ron Blake: Lest We Forget

Read "Lest We Forget" reviewed by AAJ Staff

Saxophonist Ron Blake first gained notice as a sideman with Roy Hargrove and later with Christian McBride. Now, with Lest We Forget , Blake demonstrates a refreshing maturity and individuality on both tenor and soprano saxophones. He possesses a huge, warm sound on both horns, with an attractive vibrato and an occational furry edge to his tone. He builds his improvisations thoughtfully, avoiding the displays of speed that so often tempt younger players, although he's all over the horn when ...


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