Dan Blake – The Digging (2016)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/44,1 kHz | Time – 49:12 minutes | 552 MB | Genre: Jazz
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download – Source: HDTracks | Front Cover | © Sunnyside Communications
Saxophonist Dan Blake is one of those musicians who are always on a quest to expand their musical horizons, to assimilate into his music any and all of his life experiences, musical or not. As both a player and a composer, Blake demonstrates an intensity coupled with a very fertile and searching mind. Aside from his latest album, Blake recently composed “The Dust Moves” for the The Mivos Quartet, which performed, with Blake, at the 2016 Winter Jazzfest.
The Digging finds Blake leading a saxophone trio, with bassist Dmitry Ishenko and drummer Eric Harland (along with Brian Landrus, Josh Sinton, Sam Sadigursky and Mariano Gil who add reeds and flutes on two of the tracks). The first immediate and obvious impression is that the “crutch” of a harmony instrument is not present, and thus any harmony is created by the lines of the sax and the bass. While the texture is thin, the sound most definitely is not and there is much “to dig” into over the course of the album.
The trio itself is very tight; Blake has played with Ishenko for almost fifteen years, and they were both students of soprano saxophonist Steve Lacy. The music is not, however, what would strictly be called “free jazz,” although there is a lot of harmonic and rhythmic flexibility. Listening carefully to the tracks produces a feeling of the familiar being extended. The Digging never settles down into any single style or mode, and the fact Blake’s compositions allow freedom while staying in touch with the traditional familiar should allow many listeners to comfortably stretch. Very fine music making indeed.
01 – The Bite
02 – Incomparable Field
03 – Louvre
04 – Back to Lackritz
05 – When I Saw You Dance
06 – Without Walls
07 – The Lonely Liar
Dan Blake – soprano saxophone, tenor saxophone
Dmitry Ishenko – bass
Eric Harland – drums
Brian Landrus – alto flute on “2”, bass saxophone on “6”
Josh Sinton – bass clarinet on “2”, baritone saxophone on “6”
Sam Sadigursky – clarinet on “2”, bass clarinet on “6”
Mariano Gil – bass flute on “2, 6”