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Interloper by Blake Wilner Quartet

Every piece of music an artist writes has merit because of the level of creativity contained within its musical structure. Historically, jazz has always been about change and the intuitive ideas that come from within. Some musicians can master that aspect of writing immediately, while others constantly experiment and implement until they get the dynamics correct artistically. One of those artists who borders on creativity and experimentation is Blake Wilner. His brand of jazz has a voice that exists somewhere in the metaphysical composition of fusion. Sometimes he is whimsical in approach, while in other instances Blake searches for perspective. His latest CD entitled Interloper is a journey of sorts into the paranormal aspects of his impressionistic ideas.

Blake Wilner has recorded nine indelible tracks of fusion-oriented jazz, with each having varying levels of highs and lows within its overall structure. I place him in the fusion category because of the way he augments his music with elements of jazz, rock and contemporary influences. While listening to the Blake Wilner Quartet, I found myself waiting for something that would peak my curiosity at some point, which did not begin to happen until track four with a cut aptly titled "Interloper." That particular tune began the process of illumination, which began to shed light on Wilner as a composer, who has a definitive grasp on where he is going as an artist. The jazz landscape is painted with Wilner’s omnipresent guitar backed by a tempestuous Brandon Allen on saxophone, which is offset by the percussive rhythms of drummer Chris Hutchins. The cut ebbs and flows across a lyrical pattern that serves as a backdrop for Wilner’s impressionistic melody.

Another likable segment of the Interloper CD is a track entitled "Café Rouge." This time out, bassist Oli Hayhurst converses with Allen on sax as Blake provides the cover. Collectively, everything Blake is about as a composer begins to shine through. The track is lyrical in scope and imaginative in style, which leads me to believe that Blake Wilner has a lot of vibes locked away inside his imaginative creativity.

Coming from the United Kingdom by way of Australia, most commonly referred to as the "Land Down Under," Blake Wilner’s Interloper is somewhat of an enigma. At various intervals, the CD is intuitive and entertaining. At other times, a certain level of moodiness comes to mind. But might I add, Blake Wilner does have a voice that is sure to be expanded upon at some point. However, I hope the depth and scope becomes clearer on future efforts . Although I was left wondering where Blake was trying to go during his journey, he eventually caught my attention with at least five of the nine tracks Interloper had to offer. In the end, the Blake Wilner Quartet has laid claim to a blend of jazz that has promise. When examining Interloper, I was sometimes left wondering. However, I can honestly say that I am now a fan.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Blake Wilner Quartet
  • CD Title: Interloper
  • Genre: Fusion
  • Year Released: 2006
  • Record Label: Ant Jazz/Blake Wilner
  • Tracks: Drunken Romance, Mo Mo, Interloper, Stormy Friday, In The City, Dangerous Mind, Deconstruction, Cafe Rouge, The Prayer
  • Musicians: Blake Wilner (guitar), Brandon Allen (saxophone), Oli Hayhurst (bass), Chris Hutchings (drums)
  • Rating: Three Stars
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