Saxophonist Michael Blake Pays Homage to Pres and Hawk on Tiddy Boom

November 24, 2014 9:20 PM

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Saxophonist Michael (not Mike) Blake is one of those artists who have a sustained appreciation of the tradition and for those who have come before him. In 1984 while still in Canada he had an opportunity to work with jazz stalwarts Cecil Taylor, Kenny Wheeler and Steve Coleman. The Canadian born musician has been a New York resident since 1987. Blake paid his dues backing artist like Chubby Checker and organist "Brother" Jack McDuff among others. In 1990 Blake was catapulted into the eclectic world of multi-disciplined artist John Lurie and joined Lurie's Lounge Lizards, a critically acclaimed group that included Lurie and his brother Evan, guitarists Marc Ribot and Dave Tronzo, bassist Billy Martin and trumpeter Steven Bernstein. The group has maintained a transient presence in the downtown New York music scene for over 20 resurfacing occasionally for special occasions. Blake also became the solo saxophone voice of the group Slow Poke and worked extensively in his own groups and in groups led by the progressive young bassist Ben Allison.

Blake's latest release Tiddy Boom, is a reference to a phrase Blake once heard idol Lester Young call out to a drummer on a film clip. Pres asked the drummer to give him "a little tickity boom, please." Blake proves that good, swinging music played in a style reminiscent of the old masters like Youn...

Also read: Slip Away: The Other Mark Murphy

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