Michael Blanco | In The Morning

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In The Morning

by Michael Blanco

"This outstanding release certainly doesn’t sound like a debut album--The compositions share a dusky, imploring quality, with catchy, insistent hooks and compelling harmonies--It’s a remarkable introduction that leaves one eager to hear more."- Jazz Times
Genre: Jazz: Contemporary Jazz
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Within Reach
5:30 album only
2. In the Morning
8:07 album only
3. Point of View
4:42 album only
4. Uptown Meditations
3:18 album only
5. Rainy Afternoon
6:22 album only
6. Of Those Who Know
6:20 album only
7. One More Time
6:08 album only
8. Reverie
3:33 album only
9. Moodswings
5:53 album only
10. A Long Way From Home
2:55 album only


Album Notes

Rich Perry- tenor saxophone
Aaron Goldberg- piano
Alan Ferber-trombone
Bill Campbell-drums
Rob Wilkerson-alto saxophone (tracks 3,8)
Michael Blanco- bass/compositions

“Michael Blanco is an imaginative bandleader, an emerging composer and a damn fine bassist.” -- Fred Hersch

"A composer of remarkable promise."
--Mark Keresman, Primetime A&E Magazine

"This outstanding release certainly doesn't sound like a debut album. Blanco, a repeat winner of the ASCAP Young Composer Award and a solid bassist to boot, has combined a dynamite sextet and 10 impressive modern-cool tunes for utterly winning results. The compositions share a dusky, imploring quality, with catchy, insistent hooks and compelling harmonies--several, such as the haunting "Point Of View" make the group sound like a miniature big band. It's a remarkable introduction that leaves one eager to hear more."
--Jazz Times

"Transplanted San Diego native Michael Blanco, now a New York-based bassist, places himself among the top jazz bassists and composers with his new album. Polished, confident, imaginative, "In the Morning" is a mature album of straight-ahead jazz...It's a promising debut, and ought to put Blanco on most jazz fans' listening lists."
--Jim Trageser, North County Times/The Californian

"Bassist/Composer, Michael Blanco is one of the new rising individuals who possesses an abundance of musical talent and savvy. In The Morning, his new recording, is a perfect example of excellent world-class bass playing combined with a great program of sophisticated original compositions. Bravo Michael!" --Rufus Reid

"Judging from their prolific output, Barcelona-based Fresh Sound Records has a lock on signing and recording young jazz talent as evidenced by the dozens of CD's they release each year for the US and European markets. Worth far more than a passing listen is American bassist Michael Blanco's tight little ensemble recording called In The Morning (Fresh Sound New Talent), one of the strongest, most affable straight-ahead jazz recordings released late last year.

What makes Blanco's CD work so well is that he writes tunes that are both memorable and succinct- ten tracks make up the CD's reasonable 53-minute running time. The opening number, "Within Reach", has the kind of optimistic vibe and friendly melody reminiscent of the best tunes from the Yellowjackets. Nope, there are no electronics, gimmicks or sweetening here; this is good, modern music with roots in the jazz tradition. It's also a testament to Blanco's good taste and training that his compositions treat his players equally, as on the title track, a soulful little groover where each musician's contribution is important but one player doesn't overshadow the other. Other highlights include the hip duet between Blanco and his drummer called "A Long Way From Home", the scrappy "One More Time" and the classy "Moodswings", punctuated by a winning solo from the much-in-demand pianist Aaron Goldberg.

In addition to Goldberg, Blanco's regular band includes Rich Perry (tenor saxophone), Rob Wilkerson (alto saxophone), Alan Ferber (trombone) and Bill Campbell (drums). Engineer Michael Brorby favors a warm, naturalistic balance between the musicians that conveys a welcoming sense of space, like you've been invited to hear Blanco and his group in a well-appointed living room."
--Nick Bewsey, Primetime A&E Magazine

"Bassist Michael Blanco seems to be making all the right moves...He throws himself wholly into harmonic rich and sophisticated style of jazz on In The Morning that is proof that he's absorbed a fair amount of theory in his time, but, as those composition awards prove, he's got a good ear for melody...Another fine effort from the Fresh Sound label."
-- Tad Hendrickson, Jazz Week

"Blanco dwarfed the double bass with his musical prowess. His expert fingers coasted on the strings to make exciting stops in the most interesting places."
--Jamaica Gleaner (review from Ocho Rios Jazz Festival)

Bassist/Composer Michael Blanco is a two-time recipient of the ASCAP Foundation Young Jazz Composer Award (2005, 2006) and now presents those winning compositions on his debut release for the esteemed Fresh Sound/New Talent jazz label out of Barcelona, Spain.

Since moving to New York City in January 2000, Michael Blanco has been involved in a wide variety of musical projects, including bands led by Doug Wamble (Marsalis Music), Frank LoCrasto (MAXJAZZ), Bob Reynolds (Fresh Sound New Talent), John Chin (Fresh Sound New Talent), John Stevens (Maverick), and Frank Basile (Village Vanguard Orchestra). He was a founding member of the alternative jazz/rock band Overground with singer-songwriter Zack Hexum (Trauma Records), with whom he recorded the album What Happens Now.

In addition to his ASCAP awards, Blanco was a finalist in the International Society of Bassists jazz bass competition in 2003, where he led a trio featuring his original arrangements and Palmetto Records’ pianist, Bill Mays. In 2001 Blanco served as a Jazz Ambassador for the Kennedy Center for the Arts and for the U.S. Department of State. As part of a trio led by Richard Doron Johnson – pianist for the Wynton Marsalis’ Septet – Blanco represented the United States on tours of South America, Central America and the Caribbean.

ABOUT THE ARTIST Born and raised in San Diego, California, Blanco was attracted at an early age to the sounds of west coast jazz and the music of Miles Davis, Billy Strayhorn and Bill Evans. Singer-songwriters like James Taylor and Carole King were also quite influential. While attending high school at the San Diego School for Creative and Performing Arts, he hung out at San Diego’s short-lived jazz venue, The Horton Grand, to meet and learn from legendary musicians such as Joe Henderson, Ray Brown, Kenny Barron, Rufus Reid, Benny Green, Ben Riley, George Mraz, Al Foster, Charles McPherson and Alan Broadbent. During this time, Blanco also studied with famed west coast bassist Bob Magnusson and spent many nights sitting in with bands led by Holly Hoffmann, Mike Wofford, Peter Sprague and Hollis Gentry. At the age of 19, Blanco was featured on the radio program “Jazz Live” on KSDS FM and wrote, In the Morning’s composition, “Uptown Meditations” which was inspired by his musical experiences in San Diego.

Blanco left the west coast after receiving a scholarship to attend the acclaimed jazz studies program at the University Of North Texas (UNT). While a student there, he toured and recorded with the Grammy-nominated One O’Clock Lab Band, studied with classical double bass virtuoso Jeff Bradetich and performed with jazz luminaries such as Doc Cheatham, Dave Liebman, Randy Brecker, Carl Allen, Herb Ellis and Eddie Bert. Blanco performed on the One O’Clock Lab Band CD “Lab ’98” and at the 50th anniversary gala concert celebrating UNT’s jazz studies department.

Blanco currently leads a jazz quintet dedicated to performing his original compositions and has performed at major New York City venues including Carnegie Hall, Town Hall, Birdland and Blue Note and smaller important laboratories for jazz like Makor, Tonic, Barbes and La Lanterna. Presently Blanco plays with Doug Wamble, the Frank LoCrasto Trio, the John Chin Trio, and vocalist Shayna Steele.

Rich Perry is a widely experienced tenor saxophonist who has been living and performing in New York City since 1976. He regularly performs with New York’s Vanguard Jazz Orchestra and Maria Schneider Jazz Orchestra. Currently, he is a member of Rufus Reid Quintet, the George Mraz Quartet, with Richie Beirach and Billy Hart, the Dave Scott Quintet, and the John Fedchock New York Big Band. Perry has recorded 10 CDs for SteepleChase label.

Pianist Aaron Goldberg spent a busy 2005 touring worldwide with the Wynton Marsalis quartet as well as with the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra. Aaron is also currently a member of the Kurt Rosenwinkel group, and one-third of the cooperative OAM Trio. As a sideman he is perhaps best known for his work with the quartet of tenor saxophone phenomenon Joshua Redman, with whom he toured for three and a half years and recorded two albums for Warner Bros.

Trombonist Alan Ferber has performed with Kenny Wheeler, Lee Konitz, Don Byron, Charlie Hunter, Bennie Wallace, Anthony Wilson, and John Hollenbeck. As a bandleader, Alan leads a nonet that recently released its first album on the Fresh Sound/New Talent label.

Bill Campbell is one of the most in demand young jazz drummers on the New York Jazz scene. He has recorded and/or performed with Mark Turner, Joel Frahm, Jonathan Kreisberg, John Chin, and Jon Gordon, among many others.



to write a review

David Gilmore

Lively, fresh compositions!
Classic jazz with a twist! Smooth vibes perfect for those times when you just want to chill!

Christa Fiore

Super cuts. Clean, tight. Mike's a real writer!
Loved all the cuts. Right in my groove. I sent one to a friend of mine so he wouldn't miss it. All good stuff! & all great musicians!

Gerry - Los Angeles

Tired of elevator Jazz? This CD is for you!
Fresh ideas and exceptional musicians make this a must have CD!

Ed McGlaughlin

Great music, well played!
Came across Michael with his trio on a recent trip to NYC and was impressed and had to look him up. The compositions, the ensemble playing and solos on this CD are fantastic. If you like second quintet era jazz brought up to current times, you'll really enjoy this.