News and Views - (when I have the time)

Unfortunaletly it seems as though time has passed by and I haven't really had time to update this page. So, to remedy this problem I shall be writing some small articles concerning 'what I'm listening to'. I hope that some of these will give people some ideas and inspiration to follow up and of course .... discover some new sounds.

March 2009

Michael Blake - Blake's Tartare (2005)

Michael Blake (saxes/bass clarinet), Soren Kjaergaard (fender rhodes/piano), Jonas Westergaard (bass), Kresten Osgood (drums) + guest - Teddy Kumpel (gtr).

It was difficult to decide what to write about when choosing a Michael Blake CD. I'm listening to several of his CDs at the moment and should say that 'Right before youre very ears' is another that I highly recommend, but that's for you to go and discover. In the meanwhile the sun is out and this old Blake's Tartare CD seems to be appropriate for the present spring weather.

What's so nice about this album is the mix of sounds between very laid back jazz and upfront grooves - if that makes sense. If you know Michael Blake's work you'll understand that he learnt a lot in his Lounge Lizard days and so produces music that has elements of rock, free, jazz and great melodies, just as John Lurie did back then. The CD starts out with the beautiful 'Flipper', a sort of very late night drifting ballad (almost rubato) which sets the scene for the next tune 'Lemmy Caution'. In this track Michael Blake's amazing tenor sound builds up from a ballad feeling, one could almost say 'a slow', into a much more heavy rock riff only to die out and go back to the very gentle tune of the beginning. In fact there are several ballad features here 'A hole is to dig', 'Niel's toy train' and 'Languidity' a Sun Ra tune ... no less! Other tunes here have a more rock feeling to them which to my ears is very European and one can hear the 'nordic' influences' that we're used to hearing from EST, Tord Gustavsen etc.

One can't forget to mention the great playing from all the players, although 'solos' are not the most important thing on this CD but more atmoshpere. Kjaerrgaard and Kumpel seem to set up and provide the colours needed and Osgood and Westergaard the strong rhythmic base - which must be very difficult due to the many tempos and feelings needed to create the music here. Michael Blake of course just floats over the top playng solo colourings or the melodies themselves.

For more info why not check out :

More to come, when I have time ...........Twelves Trio, Porpoise Corpus (UK Jazz Rock), Stephane Chausse (French clarinetist, wow), etc.