Hello dear listeners!
Happy Holidays! We wish you all the best for the new year, and hope you can join us in getting it started right with a great trio of Jazz adventurers!
Made in China got its name because the band was in fact made in China. Originally organized by a friend to tour China as a Quartet that included upright bass, the band found itself with visas in hand but no bass player. They were unsure how people would respond to a bass-less band but removing the core frequencies they had come to rely on gave them a wonderful challenge, it allowed for more space to exist and the trio adjusted to the setting without dropping a beat.
The result of this collaboration was captured on the 2016 album “Transmissions”. The recording can best be described as a ‘drive thru’ session. Even though the band hadn’t played in several years since their tour of China, they picked up where they left off, devising a program of mostly original music and several covers. Blake’s tunes include the head-slamming title track, a tribute to the great Ornette Coleman and a free-jazz Calypso inspired by the previous mentioned icon. Blaser’s compositions are a stark contrast, offering up both a bluesy tribute to a good friend and a melodic tongue twister called Mouse. The trio charms the listener by performing both of the cover songs, including a tender rendition of Louis Moholo’s You Ain’t Gonna Know Me ‘Cos You Think You Know Me and the rarely heard Jamaican ska tune You Don’t Know with an abiding reverence that captures every bit of the stubbornness that their titles suggest.
Please join us as they bring their musical genius to the Parlor for an outstanding afternoon of inspiration.
Sunday 8 January, Made in China
Doors at 2:30 PM, concert begins at 3:00 PM sharp.
Please join our mailing list for more information. RSVPs are required.
Montreal-born, Vancouver-raised tenor and soprano saxophonist/composer Michael Blake has established himself as a leading voice in contemporary music. For the last 30 years he has made his home in New York City, where he consistently creates music that bristles with originality and vision. He has released 15 recordings as a leader or co-leader and performed on countless sessions with other musicians, has scored music for TV and film, and performed in halls, clubs and festivals worldwide. Most recently he has also lent his talents to projects led by musicians such as Henry Butler/Steven Bernstein Hot 9, Michael Bates, Erik Friedlander and Ben Allison.
In 2014 he was commissioned by the Vancouver organization Barking Sphinx to compose a suite commemorating the 100th Anniversary of Canada’s 1914 Kamagata Maru Tragedy, a socio-political tragedy that eventually resulted in the deaths of 19 East Indian would-be immigrants who were on that ill-fated freighter. The premiere of Komagata Maru Blues took place at The Vancouver International Jazz Festival. In early 2015 he received a funding from The Canada Council for the Arts to record his work for Songlines Records. The ensuing album ‘Fulfillment’ was released in early 2016 to great critical acclaim. Along with ‘Fulfillment’ Blake’s steadfast output his year continues with the release of Red Hook Soul (Ropeadope) and Transmissions (For Tune) by Made in China, a collaborative trio with Swiss trombonist Samuel Blaser and American drummer Michael Sarin. In 2013 Michael received Chamber Music America’s New Jazz Works Grant for which he wrote the music for Tiddy Boom (Sunnyside), a hard swinging homage to tenor titans Coleman Hawkins and Lester Young that continues a legacy of rave reviews and ‘Best of the Year’ lists for Blake.
His tenure with John Lurie and the Lounge Lizards lasted from 1990-2000 and includes numerous record dates, TV appearances, a live concert film from Berlin, and film soundtracks such as the Grammy nominated score for Get Shorty. During this period he was also a Composer in Residence in the Jazz Composers Collective, a nonprofit, musician-run organization dedicated to presenting original works. Another important group he co-lead was the instrumental band Slow Poke. With a cunning and young rhythm section urging him on, his Copenhagen based group Blake Tartare gave Blake a huge creative boost. The band toured extensively and recorded 3 albums for Stunt Records including The World Awakes, an ambitious tribute to saxophonist Lucky Thompson. Michael has recorded and toured with other projects including the NYC power band Hellbent, a Canadian based group called The Variety Hour, his Tiddy Boom Quartet, and the Michael Blake Trio.
Michael is a respected teacher and has conducted workshops and classes in the US, Canada, Mexico, Demark, Italy, Brazil and Thailand. He was on faculty at the Fondazione Siena Jazz (2009-2013) and substitute teaches at New York University and The New School.
Among the many artists he has recorded and performed with are Ben Allison, Hamid Drake, Oliver Lake, Nicole Mitchell, Kenny Werner, Greg Osby, Eric Harland, Steve Cardenas, Matt Wilson, Frank Kimbrough, Ted Nash, Steven Bernstein, Ben Perowsky, George Colligan, Grachon Moncour III, Medeski Martin and Wood, Ray Lamontagne, Enrico Rava, Stefano Bollani, Jeff Ballard, Larry Grenadier, Giovanni Guidi, Gianluca Patrella, Thomas Morgan, Gerald Cleaver, Mark Helias, Mario Pavone, Tommaso Cappellato, Bill Ware, Groove Collective, The Gil Evans Orchestra, Kamikaze Ground Crew, Jack McDuff, Kresten Osgood, Jacob Bro, Lonnie Smith, Ben E. King, Chubby Checker, Neil Sedaka, Dione, Natalie Cole, Martha and Rufus Wainwright, Nick Cave and Pinetop Perkins. He has worked with such luminary producers as Teo Macero, Tricky, Prince Paul, Hal Wilner and Sir Coxsone Dodd.
At a time when there are more musicians in the world trying to be heard than ever before, rare gems like Samuel Blaser seem, paradoxically, to rise above it all. With As the Sea, Blaser’s follow-up to his 2011 Hatology debut Boundless and featuring the same multinational, transatlantic quartet – French guitarist Marc Ducret, Swiss bassist Bänz Oester and American drummer Gerald Cleaver – he’s already achieved a rare prominence as one of his generation’s most wildly elegant, relentlessly forward-thinking and undeniably virtuous trombonists.
Since his 2007 debut as a leader, 7th Heaven (Between the Lines), Blaser has grown at an almost incomprehensible rate, from straight-ahead hard bopper in his mid-twenties to innovative free player and ever-searching composer and bandleader in his early thirties, one whose improvisational strength has received praise from sources like Audiophile Audition, citing Blaser’s music as occupying “ambient/free jazz terrain that has a depth of vision and clarity revealing musical maturity beyond Blaser’s nearly three decades of life.”
Born and raised in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland – a lesser-known but no less significant jazz metropolis which was, for a time, home to expatriate Americans Sidney Bechet and Kenny Clarke, as well as Swiss jazz trombonist Raymond Droz – Blaser has also spent considerable time living in New York City and currently resides in Berlin; truly an international musician, then, in clear defiance of boundaries cultural, musical and stylistic. Beginning trombone lessons at the age of 9, he “couldn’t go past third position and had to have a trolley to carry trombone because it was too heavy,” says Blaser. Still, with plenty of music in the Blaser household, where he was the middle of three children – ranging from Swiss folk music to American R&B and jazz – Blaser progressed quickly, entering the local conservatory at 14 and graduating seven years later in 2002 after receiving a number of awards in both the jazz and classical spheres, including the 2000 Benny Golson Prize.
Continuing private studies, Blaser began a number of significant associations, including the heralded Vienna Art Orchestra and European Radio Big Band, leading to a Fulbright scholarship which enabled him to study in the United States at the Purchase College Conservatory of Music, going on to win the J.J. Johnson Prize, as well as both the Public Prize and Jury’s Favorite Player awards at the 2006 Fribourg Jazz Festival.
All of these diverse accomplishments have ultimately – and inevitably – led to Blaser finding a personal nexus where disparate elements like Indian Tihi and Wagnerian opera meet. Blaser’s impressive improvisational Ã©lan is predicated on instrumental mastery that is nothing more than the means to very musical ends. Together with his equally unfettered quartet, Blaser continues to expand the purview of jazz, redefining it in the new millennium as it enters its second century of existence.
Beyond Blaser’s ability to combine knotty compositional form with incendiary improvisational prowess in the context of his own music, his unfettered yet ever-collaborative approach has resulted in a number of significant associations, among them his ongoing work with Swiss percussion legend Pierre Favre; a much-lauded duo with pianist Malcolm Braff; touring in 2012 as a member of FranÃ§ois Houle’s recent 5+1 group, and heard on the French Canadian clarinetist’s Genera (Songlines, 2012); and recording/performing with Berlin-based Canadian saxophonist Peter van Huffel’s HuffLiGNoN group with singer Sophie Tassignon. Blaser has also shared the stage with artists including trombonist David Taylor, bassist Michael Blake, drummer John Hollenbeck and pianist Hal Galper. It’s no surprise that Rene Laanen of USA Trombone Online has called Blaser” one of todayÂ´s finest trombonists.”
2013 will see Blaser touring with two new trios: one that, in addition to Marc Ducret, will also feature Danish drummer Peter Bruun; and another featuring French pianist Benoit Delbecq and American drummer Gerry Hemingway. Equally important, Blaser will also reunite his Consort in Motion (Kind of Blue, 2011) Quartet with pianist Russ Lossing, Belgian reed player Joachim Badenhorst, bassist Drew Gress and Hemingway, who replaces the sadly deceased Paul Motian. That record – Blaser’s first and only to include a pianist, marrying the seemingly disparate elements of Renaissance and Baroque period composition with more open-ended jazz improvisation – was praised by All About Jazz’s Troy Collins as ” Fearlessly modern, yet respectfully regal.” Collins continues, asserting that “Blaser’s adventurous arrangements and reinterpretations offer the best of both worlds, enriching the raw impetuousness of avant-garde jazz with the proven sophistication of ageless classical forms. Consort in Motion is a high-water mark in the enduring lineage of the Third Stream, and all the more inspiring for the focus of its vision.”
Meanwhile, with the release of As the Sea – like Boundless, a live recording but one culled from a single performance – Blaser reaps the rewards of greater trust and personal camaraderie built with Ducret, Oester and Cleaver through additional touring, following the release of their debut recording. “The music is quite different from the first record,” says Blaser, “because things are more written. It’s a little more complex rhythmically, too. But it’s crazy, because I can play anything – a single note, even – and everybody will move with me. It’s pretty intense.”
Between recording and touring with his own groups and collaborating in other leaders’ ensembles, Blaser’s career continues an upward trajectory that seems to have no end in sight. “The world of music fascinates me to no end, and I´m determined to take one journey after another with my instrument and work,” says Blaser. “It´s all about discovery and communicating new ideas. Believe me, I´m proof that a shiny trombone can send a message right to your heart and change your life.”
Over the last twenty-five years, drummer Michael Sarin has been at the center of New York City’s genre-bending jazz and improvisation community. His versatility and musical wit helped forge long associations with forward-looking artists Thomas Chapin, Dave Douglas, Myra Melford, Ben Allison, and David Krakauer.
Born in 1965, Michael was raised on Bainbridge Island, WA—a ferryboat ride from Seattle. His interest in music and the drums came early, nourished by both the record collections of his parents and older sister, and by the AM radio he received at age seven.
His formal music education began during high school with drummer Dave Coleman, Sr. He went on to study drums and percussion with Tom Collier at the University of Washington, and later with master drummer, Jerry Granelli.
Since moving to New York in 1989, Michael’s unique style and approach to the drum set has been highly sought after by NYC and European musicians looking to expand the definitions of jazz and improvised music. He has contributed to recordings by the aforementioned artists as well as those of Frank Carlberg, Anthony Coleman, Mark Dresser, Marty Ehrlich, Mark Helias, Denman Maroney, Simon Nabatov, Mario Pavone, and Ned Rothenberg–recordings found on numerous music critics’ Top Ten CD year-end lists.
Michael performs all over the world–in major and minor festivals; concert halls famous and infamous, big and small. He can be heard on recent recordings of Frank Carlberg, Mark Dresser, Joe Fiedler, Erik Friedlander, David Krakauer, and Leslie Pintchik.