Blake Wilner Quartet | Interloper

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Jazz: Contemporary Jazz Jazz: Progressive Jazz Moods: Type: Lyrical
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by Blake Wilner Quartet

Original modern jazz from one of the most dynamic young groups performing in Europe today.
Genre: Jazz: Contemporary Jazz
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Drunken Romance
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4:14 album only
2. Mo Mo
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6:04 album only
3. Interloper
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6:09 album only
4. Stormy Friday
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6:33 album only
5. In The City
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6:32 album only
6. Dangerous Mind
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6:23 album only
7. Deconstruction
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3:41 album only
8. Cafe Rouge
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5:23 album only
9. The Prayer
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3:58 album only


Album Notes
Whilst leavening the jazz chops with outside rock and funk elements, Blake doesn't compromise his stance as a firm individualist.
Martin Longley, Jazz Review (10 musicians you must hear)

An accomplished composer ... whose music has an auspicious emotional and structural range.
Jazz Journal International

This is contemporary jazz at its best and some of the finest dynamic music on current offer.
Wes Gillespie, EuroclubdeJazz

As with many of the evening's other pieces, the work then strayed into emotionally ambiguous territory, with tempestuous outbursts and moments of astounded revelation. An imaginative and original quartet.
James Griffiths, The Guardian

Blake Wilner is an individual voice on guitar. Reflective, with a distinctive approach to composition, his pieces are lyrical, melodic and attractive. Solos are clean and spacious, and the result of concentrated thought. His career usefully demonstrates the international nature of jazz, and its ability to absorb music from anywhere in the world
Mike Butler, Metro

The Blake Wilner Quartet is considered one of the most exciting, individualistic and innovative young jazz groups performing at the moment. The group brings together guitarist Wilner’s long-time collaborator, expat Australian saxophonist Brandon Allen and his favourite UK musicians, bassist Oli Hayhurst and drummer Chris Hutchings. Wilner describes how the new album came about: The music on Interloper was inspired by a transient life in London: observations and experiences with musicians, artists, places and the pressures and pleasures of being far from home. Every composition was arranged to highlight the musicians within the quartet; they are some of the most distinctive in UK jazz. The objective being to emphasise the lyricism and collective potential of the group’s instrumentation.

The Quartet tours Australia in June and July of this year, and the UK throughout November and December (UK dates to be announced).

The Blake Wilner Quartet was featured on a Jazzwise compilation CD of Cheltenham Jazz Festival artists, and its third album, The Reprieve, reached the finals of the Sony International Jazz Competition for independent recordings. Wilner was featured in a Jazz Review article entitled ‘Ten Musicians You Must Hear’. Wilner’s compositions have many stylistic influences: swing, groove, minimalism and pop and previous albums have featured arrangements of contemporary pieces by artists such as Bob Marley and Tom Waits. The Quartet has played renowned festivals such as Cheltenham Jazz Festival, Greenwich Jazz Festival and the City of London Festival as well as performing extensively throughout the UK.

Blake Wilner was born in Perth, Western Australia in 1973. He has a Certificate of Music from both the Australian Institute of Music, and the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts, and an Associate Degree of Music for jazz performance from WAAPA. Before moving to the UK, Wilner spent time in New York where he studied with jazz greats Rufus Reid, Richie De Rosa, Mick Goodrick, Kenny Wessell and Jeff Ciampa. His time in New York inspired his 2000 album of original compositions, A Thought of NYU. Wilner's second album, The Bookshop, was released in 2002 and featured music composed whilst living in London. In 2003 and 2004 he led the quartet on highly acclaimed Arts Council England sponsored tours of the UK, the second of which promoted the UK release of his third recording, The Reprieve. In 2004 he was a finalist in the Jerwood/PRS Foundation Initiative and in APRAs PDAs. In 2005, Wilner performed extensively as a freelance musician and made a return visit for two months to New York. He holds teaching positions at the London Contemporary College of Music, Kingston University and the Blackheath Conservatoire.

Brandon Allen is originally from Australia but now resident in London. He has worked extensively in the jazz, pop, R’n’B, funk, modern classical and dance idioms as well as working as a session player for commercial music and films. In addition to The Blake Wilner Quartet, Allen is currently a member of the Guy Barker Group and Dylan Howe’s 5 Corners. Oli Hayhurst, on double bass, was a founding member of the Orient House ensemble with Gilad Atzmon, in which he toured extensively in the UK and Europe. His diversity has seen him perform with Paul McCartney, John Paricelli and Martin Speake. Since graduating from the Royal Academy of Music in 2001, drummer Chris Hutchings has performed with many renowned UK artists including Stan Sultzman, Tim Garland and Gilad Atzmon. In 2001 he won the Perrier Best Band award with his own Quartet.


to write a review

Chris May - All About Jazz

Interloper - Blake Wilner Quartet - Ant Jazz
At the risk of being guilty of national stereotyping, I have to say that London-based Australian expat Blake Wilner's guitar playing reminds me of Russell Crowe. Wilner may or may not enjoy pitching mobile phones at hotel receptionists, or rounding off an evening's drinking with an invigorating bar room brawl, but he brings the same lurching Wild West unpredictability to his music as his thespian compatriot does to a night on the town.

Bring it on. Interloper punches the lights out and announces Wilner's certain arrival in the major league. All the elements that have distinguished his previous three albums—slow-drag rock and funk motor rhythms, interactive tenor sax/guitar improvisations, fractured bass/drum ostinatos, high contrast dynamics, shifting tempos, an embrace of pause and silence, and lyrical post bop toplines—are again present, but the mixture is more fully and effectively realised than before. It's dangerous, exciting, individual and delightful.

And this time round, Wilner's band members all play like motherfuckers, too. The biggest and best news is the return of saxophonist Brandon Allen, a fellow Australian expat and collaborator of Wilner's since the early days of the quartet in Sydney (both musicians left for London around the same time, but life temporarily took them in different directions). Allen's lusty playing—which mixes free, funk, jam band, Stax and straightahead just like Wilner's, and is also as gorgeously and messily lyrical—is a major ingredient in the album's success.

Bass player Oli Hayhurst, a founding member of Gilad Atzmon's Orient House ensemble, returns from 2004's The Reprieve, but teamed this time with Chris Hutchings, a drummer of comparable wit and propulsive power, who's been playing with Wilner on and off since 2001. It's a bad-ass band with brains.

Wilner's writing hits a new peak too. Faux fumbling on the opening “Drunken Romance,” meditative on the closing “The Prayer,” and tempestuous and passionate in between—”Interloper,” “Stormy Monday,” “In The City” and “Dangerous Mind” do just what they promise on the can. Forward motion, melodic invention, back-line soul, and big architecture are constant.

The Blake Wilner Quartet tours Australia in June/July and the UK in November/December.