Album Remarks & Appraisals:
All About Jazz - Troy Collins
Some debut recordings encapsulate all of an aspiring artist's diverse interests; others are less ambitious, and merely document a particular ensemble or performance. The Eleventh Hour, an expansive tour de force by rising drummer Jonathan Blake, is a prime example of the former. Blake's successful merger of styles should come as no surprise; in addition to sideman gigs for Kenny Barron, Tom Harrell and the Mingus Big Band, he is the son of violinist John Blake - his roots run deep.
Part of the success of The Eleventh Hour can be attributed to Blake's considered balance between the stalwart contributions of his working group and a handful of all-star guest appearances. Blake's quintet features tight-knit personnel; tenor saxophonist Mark Turner and altoist Jaleel Shaw make an intrepid frontline, while pianist Kevin Hays and bassist Ben Street round out the energetic rhythm section. Their high profile company includes Harrell, Robert Glasper, GrTgoire Maret and Tim Warfield, whose distinctive contributions enhance, rather than overshadow, the band's capable efforts. ... read more...
Personnel: Johnathan Blake (drums).
Audio Mixer: Mike Marciano.
Liner Note Author: Johnathan Blake.
Recording information: Systems Two Recording Studio, Brooklyn, NY (04/2010).
Photographer: Emra Islek.