CD Drift [Michael Blake (Sax)] [CD] [1 disc] (CD 1120670),
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Drift [Michael Blake (Sax)] [CD] [1 disc]

  • 1. Drift
    2. Mean as a Swan
    3. Toque
    4. Creep, The
    5. Lady Red
    6. Teo Walks
    7. Duty Free Suite
    8. Dry Socket
    9. Afro Blake
    10. Maria
    11. Residence
  • Additional Info
    Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 3213

  • Credits
    ProducerMichael Blake
    EngineerScott Harding

    Personnel: Michael Blake (soprano & tenor saxophones); Briggan Krauss (alto & baritone saxophones); Pek Allmond (tenor saxophone, trumpet, peck horn); Ron Horton (trumpet, flugelhorn); Steven Bernstein (slide trumpet); Marcus Rojas (tuba); Frank Kimbrough (piano); Tony Scherr (electric guitar); Ben Allison (acoustic bass); Matt Wilson (drums); Mauro Refosco (percussion).
    Recorded at Sorcerer Sound, New York, New York on September 4-5, 1998 & January 6, 1999.
    Personnel: Michael Blake (soprano saxophone, tenor saxophone); Tony Scherr (electric guitar); Briggan Krauss (alto saxophone, baritone saxophone); Peck Allmond (tenor saxophone, trumpet); Ron Horton (trumpet, flugelhorn); Steven Bernstein (slide trumpet); Marcus Rojas (tuba); Frank Kimbrough (piano); Ben Allison (acoustic bass); Matt Wilson (drums); Mauro Refosco (percussion).
    Audio Mixer: Scott Harding.
    Recording information: Sorcerer SOund, New York, NY (09/04/1998-01/06/1999).
    Photographer: Ssirus Pakzad.
    Arranger: Michael Blake .
    Saxophonist Michael Blake makes raw and playful yet elegant music. He has no allegiance to "jazz" per se, although there are pronounced elements of Ellington and Mingus on some of these tracks. Blake's home is clearly the avant-garde, but he freely borrows from rock, Afro-beat, and sounds from the American heartland (the rural scenery on the cover is fitting). Tony Scherr's dry electric guitar is one of the central sonic elements, as is the interplay between Blake and his fellow saxophonists Briggan Krauss and Peck Allmond. Frank Kimbrough plays Rhodes -- a rarity -- on the opening title track, and Marcus Rojas' tuba seems to emulate a turntable on the rambunctious "Teo Walks," a track on which slide trumpeter Steven Bernstein also appears. The core band is graced by several of Blake's fellow composers in residence from the Jazz Composers Collective: Kimbrough, trumpeter Ron Horton, bassist Ben Allison. Matt Wilson is in the drum chair, with Mauro Refosco on percussion. Blake turns in some sumptuously old-school tenor playing on "Lady Red," and Horton solos beautifully on Coleman Hawkins' "Maria," the sole non-original. While Blake's restless genre-hopping gives the record an almost circus-like feel, superb musicianship keeps the effort grounded. ~ David R. Adler

  • Critic Reviews
    CMJ (4/9/01, p.23) - "...The tunes feature soul, funk, Ellington, downtown avant-garde, rock, blues and Afrobeat music all wrapped up in a smart jazz presentation....listeners will be amazed by how danceable this album truly is..."
    Down Beat (8/01, pp.75-6) - 3 stars out of 5 - "...A musical world in which classic jazz and African pop co-exist peacefully..."
    JazzTimes (6/01, p.113) - "...Blake has once again assembled a crack band to bring to life his vividly arranged compositions....demonstrating that the jazz tradition is a palette, not a straight-jacket..."
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