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ALBUM REVIEW

Michael Bates: Northern Spy

Read "Northern Spy" reviewed by Mark Corroto

Did you ever get a bit envious listening to a recording and thinking the band is having way too much fun making music? I'm not saying Northern Spy stirs up jealousy, but damn the trio of bassist Michael Bates, saxophonist Michael Blake and drummer Jeremy “Bean" Clemons are up to some serious jollification here.This, Bate's ninth release as a leader, diverts from the complex post-bop sounds of his Outside Sources band and Acrobat, his take on Dmitri Shostakovich. ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Michael Bates: Acrobat: Music For, And By, Dimitri Shostakovich

Read "Acrobat: Music For, And By, Dimitri Shostakovich" reviewed by Raul d'Gama Rose

To set the record straight: America has not taken a step closer to being more tolerant of any kind of musical rebel. It does not tolerate the one that conforms (for he or she too is a rebel), nor does it tolerate the one who is the objector. Like in every other aspect of life--other than art--America finds the staid and middle of the road and one most likely to sell the most records most acceptable. Dimitri Shostakovich was anything ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Michael Bates: Live In New York

Read "Live In New York" reviewed by Lyn Horton

Prevalent in the musical ethic of Michael Bates is a masterful balance of instrumental and compositional elements. Live in New York is Bates' group Outside Sources--Russ Johnson (trumpet), Quinsin Nachoff (saxophone and clarinet) and drummer Jeff Davis --documented at a Fall 2008 Cornelia Street Café gig. The initial snap of the snare on the opening “Bloodletting," bolstered by the low resonance of the bass, is immediately engaging. Nachoff's searing buzz that follows quickly transforms into tight melody ...

MEGAPHONE

Michael Bates: Lessons From The Road

Read "Michael Bates: Lessons From The Road" reviewed by AAJ Staff

By Michael Bates

Touring can be both exhausting and exhilarating, especially as a bandleader. The last few months have brought reminders of this as I was planning, booking and finally, actually touring with my quartet in support of my recent CD Clockwise on Dave Douglas' Greenleaf Music label. As part of this tour, Greenleaf asked me to post updates on their blog. One of those posts chronicled a trip from Amsterdam to Lyon that included a botched ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Michael Bates: Clockwise

Read "Clockwise" reviewed by Wilbur MacKenzie

On Sep. 17, 2008, bassist Michael Bates’ band Outside Sources took the stage for two sets at Cornelia Street Café to celebrate the release of Clockwise, proving itself to be a tight unit that reveled in richness, unpredictability, astounding technical ability and near-telepathic interaction. The press material surrounding the CD directly referz to pianoless quartets led by Ornette Coleman and Dave Douglas. The explosiveness of the improvisational explorations and the richness of the harmonies certainly make those comparisons ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Michael Bates: Clockwise

Read "Clockwise" reviewed by Troy Collins

Clockwise is the third offering from Canadian-born bassist Michael Bates' ensemble Outside Sources. Charting impressive compositional growth since his previous album, A Fine Balance (Between the Lines, 2004), this session finds the Brooklyn-based composer leading his quartet through a dynamically varied program. Fueled by youthful verve, he deftly combines adventurous post-bop structures with the advanced compositional strategies of classical chamber music.

Bates' current touring quartet features longstanding partner Canadian saxophonist Quinsin Nachoff and ubiquitous Downtown musicians Russ Johnson ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Michael Bates: A Fine Balance

Read "A Fine Balance" reviewed by Troy Collins

The shadow of Dave Douglas hovers over bassist Michael Bates' debut recording. However, Douglas' influence is understandable, because both are faculty members at the Banff Center of the Arts. Despite the noticeable stylistic overlap, Bates contributes a strong program of originals that stretch beyond academic imitation.

Bates draws influence from a fairly novel place: Douglas' earliest writing from his days as a member of New and Used. The alternating pastoral melodies and angular urban funk of that seminal ...


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