Amor de Cosmos

Michael Blake Sextet

20,9934,49

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Critically acclaimed New York-based saxophonist Michael Blake imaginatively evokes his ancestral Canadian roots in collaboration with Vancouver’s premier creative jazz players.
– Mark Werlin

Michael Blake has been a resident of New York for some 35 years, but he grew up in Vancouver, and on a visit to his hometown in 2005 he organized two gigs and then a recording session with somewhat younger players from the jazz and creative music scene, most of whom he had not played with before. His all-Canadian sextet features classical/new music/Latin percussionist Sal Ferreras and several of Canada’s most forward-looking jazz musicians improvising on Michael’s wide-ranging compositions (there are also two highly expressionistic improv duets between Michael and Chris Gestrin).

“I personally find most jazz ‘under imagined.’ The artists might play great solos but after a few tunes you hear the same rhythms and systems in play. By changing the formulas in my compositions I get inspired to come up with new ideas as a soloist and arranger. But I like rhythm and melody, so after a while I find any ‘method’ too static….I love to improvise without any written music, but again it would become boring after a while. I’d miss playing a good standard, blues, or through-composed piece.”
– Michael Blake


Michael Blake Sextet
Michael Blake – saxophones
Brad Turner – trumpet
Sal Ferarras – marimba, percussion
Chris Gestrin – piano, electronics
André Lachance – acoustic bass
Dylan van der Schyff – drums

Tracklist

Please note that the below previews are loaded as 44.1 kHz / 16 bit.
1.
Ghostlines
04:40
2.
Temporary Constellation
07:15
3.
Amor de Cosmos
09:49
4.
So Long Seymour
10:52
5.
The Wash Away
07:19
6.
Infirmary
04:56
7.
The Hunt
05:33
8.
Paddy Pie Face
06:22

Total time: 00:56:46

Additional information

Label

SKU

SGLSA15672

Qualities

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Channels

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Artists

Composers

Genres

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Music Producer

Tony Reif

Instruments

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Original Recording Format

Release DateMarch 29, 2024

Press reviews

JazzTimes

Michael Blake is one of an all-too-common subset of the jazz community: players who create brilliant music while flying largely under the radar of widespread critical and/or popular acclaim….Like most of Blake’s projects, this one is as good as it is different from his last.

New York Times

…engrossing…the compositions assume a slippery depth, and the ensemble treads nimbly and boldly. Mr. Blake is an endlessly engaging improviser, and an inquisitive one.

Downbeat

It’s his most diverse recording since the omnibus Drift. There is a pair of raw, moody improvised abstractions between Blake and keyboardist Chris Gestrin, while the African-flavored “The Wash Away” – a piece inspired by a griot whose social function he connects to the First Nation natives of Western Canada – dances with an ebullient lyricism. Sections of “Temporary Constellation” and “So Long Seymour” reveal an almost minimalist new music sensibility, with carefully arranged unison lines featuring marimba player Sal Ferreras. Yet despite how varied the pieces are, they hold together beautifully. The ensemble does an excellent job at exploring Blake’s rich harmonies. While the general tone is meditative, the players are never hamstrung by it – Blake and trumpeter Brad Turner are forceful without being distracting. More than any of his work, Amor de Cosmos captures every facet of Blake’s significant talents, letting his improvisations, arrangements and compositions thrive on equal footing.

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