Johnathan Blake, one of the most in-demand drummers of his
generation, has done stellar work as a member of the Tom Harrell Quintet, the
Mingus Big Band, the Kenny Barron Trio, the Ravi Coltrane Quartet and many others.
Having brought his fire and agility to two Criss Cross sessions
by trumpeter Alex Sipiagin, Blake now offers his first Criss Cross
album as a leader, Gone, But Not Forgotten.
The lineup is sparse but tremendously explosive -- how could it not be, with
evolving tenor saxophone masters Chris Potter and
Mark Turner paired alongside Ben Street on bass?
As the title suggests, Gone, But Not Forgotten
takes inspiration from greats in the jazz world who are no longer with us.
That can be a somber subject, but Blake and his quartet convey a sense of the
unbridled joy and invention that marks jazz improvisation at his highest levels.
Such is the lesson taught by the departed players Blake has chosen to honor:
Charles Fambrough, Trudy Pitts, Sid Simmons, Cedar Walton, Jim Hall,
Mulgrew Miller, Paul Motian, Frank Foster, Frank Wess and Eddie Harris.
In addition to their deep and engaging music, Blake offers two originals:
one for Ana Grace, the daughter of saxophone great Jimmy Greene;
and another for bassist Dwayne Burno, taken much too early
at age 43.
(click image for a larger picture)
Barcode 8 712474 136827
Cryin' Blues (Eddie Harris) 5:43
Firm Roots (Cedar Walton) 8:06
Maracas Beach (James 'Sid' Simmons) 4:35
All Across The City (Jim Hall) 7:55
Broski (Charles Fambrough) 8:00
Born Yesterday (Johnathan Blake) 6:57
Circle Dance (Paul Motian) 6:05
New Wheels (Mulgrew Miller) 5:16
Anysha (Trudy Pitts) 5:15
The Shadower (Johnathan Blake) 3:40
Two For The Blues (Neal Hefti) 6:37
Total Time: 68:13
February 20, 2014
Astoria, NY, USA