103

Blake Wilner: The Reprieve

Chris May By

Sign in to view read count
Blake Wilner: The Reprieve An Australian based in London since '00, Blake Wilner is currently touring the UK in support of this, his latest and third album. And if you like either post-Wes Montgomery straight-ahead jazz or fx-spiced funk and rock grooves—or both—then you should check him out, for he cuts it convincingly and infectiously in both those worlds.

The straight-ahead tracks, which make up about half of the album, are swinging and understated, and Wilner is particularly enjoyable in the difficult, exposed upper register of the guitar, in a style employing fluent single note runs and a confident use of space and silence.

But it is the other, more sonically experimental tracks which are the most arresting. "Redemption Song" (one of only two covers on the set), "The Reprieve" (nice traces of King Crimson), and "Scip" (dedicated to John Scofield) rock out with restrained ferocity and imaginative use of fx, and Wilner paints atmospheric and original sound pictures. Tom Waits's "Take Me Home" closes the album: it's 3 am and Waits is a little wasted, as you should be, and Wilner evokes the vibe precisely and prettily.

Allen, Hayhurst and Smedegaard give good, solid accompaniment—and Allen is given a generous amount of solo time, some of which he uses memorably ("The Reprieve" especially) and some of which he doesn't (he's in front for over five of the seven minutes of "Redemption Song" and it's hard to remember much about it afterwards).

But it's Wilner who makes the big impression. It would be good to hear him with more fully developed arrangements around him and a bigger budget behind him: The Reprieve was recorded in just one day and is essentially an efficient but basic archive record of what went down in real time during those short few hours. Wilner doesn't need massive injections of post-prod enhancement, but he does deserve a bigger canvas on which to create. Meanwhile, he's a name to watch and listen out for.


Track Listing: New York Trilogy; Women; Redemption Song; Adams '47; The Reprieve; Beaulieu; Scip; Take Me Home.

Personnel: Blake Wilner - guitar; Simon Allen - saxophone; Oli Hayhurst - bass; Jacob Smedegaard - drums.

Title: The Reprieve | Year Released: 2004 | Record Label: Ant Jazz


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 "re: dawn (from far)" CD/LP/Track Review re: dawn (from far)
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: September 8, 2016
Read "Lovers" CD/LP/Track Review Lovers
by Mark Sullivan
Published: September 23, 2016
Read "The Hidden Notes - Spirit Of Adventure" CD/LP/Track Review The Hidden Notes - Spirit Of Adventure
by Budd Kopman
Published: February 18, 2017
Read "Michael Shrieve's Spellbinder" CD/LP/Track Review Michael Shrieve's Spellbinder
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 15, 2016
Read "Janus" CD/LP/Track Review Janus
by Budd Kopman
Published: November 1, 2016
Read "Viriditas" CD/LP/Track Review Viriditas
by Troy Dostert
Published: April 14, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

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