Blake Tartare cover

Blake Tartare

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Stunt Records

Jazz - the musical embodiment of freedom and individualism - is getting a good dose of fresh air these days. In an era when a saturated market often leaves fans lost in a myriad of choices, visionary saxophonist Michael Blake and his Danish quartet are contributing their own perspective on things. And it’s a very positive view - uncompromising yet accessible - Blake’s new band is rocking the international jazz world. By utilizing both graceful lyricism and expressive free-jazz, they strive to play social music that defies categorization. Blake Tartare features NY based saxophonist Michael Blake with an exciting rhythm section comprised of Denmark’s leading jazz talent. Tartare has developed a great rapport, building a repertoire which focuses on Blake’s heartfelt compositions, free-jazz diversions and most importantly - a group sensibility of their own making.

The Canadian born saxophonist/composer began his collaboration with these young improvisers five years ago in Copenhagen."These guys understand my music and there are a lot of influences circulating in my world. Soren, Kresten and Jonas are familiar with current trends in popular music and they can bring that forth without disrespecting the rich history and discipline it takes to be a great jazz artist. Their enthusiasm and fearlessness inspires me." says Blake.

In 2001/2002 Kresten, Soren and Jonas received grants from the Danish Jazz Federation to live and study in New York City. Within a few months the guys were settled in and began playing together on a regular basis. Their recordings and live performances consist primarily of Blake’s music but they also at ease covering the works of Roland Kirk, Sun Ra and Charles Mingus.This documentation - their first recording session made in 2002 - certainly captures the bands strengths in the studio; leaning towards contemporary forms that meet up with free-jazz improvisation. They are world class improvisers and it's interesting to watch them develop", Blake proclaims of his Danish mates. "We’ve been playing out a lot and the response has been very positive, even ecstatic."

Finding Common Ground and Getting IT Out

Founded in 2001, Blake Tartare began playing around Copenhagen's historic Christiana enclave and in cafes around town. In 2002 they struck out on their first tour in Italy and Denmark. The following year Tartare performed for a week at the Copenhagen Jazz Festival. In 2004 they toured the Canadian Jazz Festival circuit with the help of grants provided by The Canada Council for the Arts and The Danish Jazz Federation. Following that the boys played in Copenhagen where they recorded live for Danish National Radio. Upon hearing that recording Soren Friis of Stunt Records sought to release the groups first self-produced CD for the public. Last fall after recording their latest album they tore it up at the Berlin Jazz Festival and toured Italy. This summer 2005 Blake Tartare performs at the Aarhus Jazz Festival, Rome Jazz Festival and other reputable jazz parties.