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Michael Blake’s Variety Hour: Halloween Special
The New York City based saxophonist Michael Blake is no stranger to hometown fans. He’s been performing and recording with members of his band The Variety Hour for over a decade, this time getting together to play this Halloween Special.
The music covers movie themes (yes, that movie theme), standards, and rarely heard jazz tunes with a definitive macabre tone. Michael explains what sparked this idea, “Over the years I would hear people say that sometimes free jazz sounds ‘scary’. It’s true that exploring the dark and uncharted territories of sound can lead to some pretty terrifying music. The man-made world is too often scary and nature’s violence is frighteningly beautiful. I wanted to make the weird and horrific accessible and put it in context. Since everyone loves Halloween I thought, why not use the idea of scary ‘fun’ to my advantage? So a few years ago we started playing standards like ‘Witchcraft’ and oddities like drummer ‘Philly’ Joe Jones ‘Blues for Dracula’. And ‘stalking Monster by Duke Ellington”