The Squid's Ear Magazine

Blake, Michael / Kresten Osgood: Control This (Clean Feed)

A set of saxophone & drums duo from Ex-Loung Lizard Blake and Copenhagen/NY drummer Osgood, free and melodic music with great rhythmic and harmonic diversity.

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product information:

UPC: 5609063001365

Label: Clean Feed
Catalog ID: CF136
Squidco Product Code: 11233

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2009
Country: Portugal
Packaging: Cardstock Gatefold Sleeve
Recorded March 8, 2008 at Electroluxe Studio in Brooklyn, NY by Michael Gittleman.


Kresten Osgood-drums

Michael Blake-soprano sax, alto sax, tenor sax

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Sample The Album:

Descriptions, Reviews, &c.

"The saxophone/drums duo format has a great tradition in jazz music. Control This is a collection of improvisations rooted in the history of this musical idiom, yet it sounds like completely new music. Stripped of chords and bass notes the musicians are free to compose in the moment and converse musically in a completely free environment. It is to their credit that we have to remind ourselves when listening to these tracks that there isn't bass or chord instruments involved. They are implying that information: the bass is coming out of the bass drum and floor tom. Blake's lines are fueled with an endless amount of harmonic information that never distracts from his melodic intent. Especially on alto saxophone (his debut, for Blake is primarily recognized for his tenor and soprano playing) the communication between Blake and Osgood is clearly inspired. If there is any proof that the living art of jazz exists it is in these moments of pure improvisation.

Their partnership goes way back: the drummer holds a commanding presence in the Copenhagen music community and frequents New York City where he has produced albums with Oliver Lake, Sam Rivers and Paul Bley. He is a member of the band Blake Tartare, lead by the saxophonist, and they both recorded with Dr. Lonnie Smith. Blake has won accolades as a saxophonist ever since he joined the Lounge Lizards in 1990. He has released 8 albums as a leader (including "Right Before Your Very Ears" on Clean Feed) and is extremely active on the New York scene. Perhaps both players personalities and kinship has never been so well represented as on 'Control This'. Immediately we feel a complicity between the two musicians; they know each other very well and they are in close synchrony. But what could function as a guarantee of security, turns to be the basis of a journey that goes deeper into the realms of cooperative research - of the music and of themselves. Remarkable."-Clean Feed

Artist Biographies

"Kresten Osgood is one of these people who at the same time defy and totally own categories. An extraordinary drummer and improviser who with the fullest respect to tradition, challenges it at any given moment of his creative endeavors. He has about a 100 albums to his credit, toured practically everywhere, has been performing and/or recording with legends like Roscoe Mitchell, Paul Bley, Lee Scratch Perry, William Parker, Masabumi Kikuchi, Derek Bailey, Wadada Leo Smith, Jason Moran, Michael Blake, Oliver Lake, Kurt Rosenwinkel, John Tchicai, Tim Berne, Justin Vernon, Peter Brötzman, Joshua Redman, Eugene Chadbourne, Billy Preston, Alan Silva, Brad Mehldau, Mats Gustafsson, Bennie Maupin, The National, Dr. Lonnie Smith, Sam Rivers, Henry Grimes, Dr. Yusef Lateef, Warren Smith, and many many others.

But even that doesn't really cover the full spectrum of what he has been up to in his career. A successful rapper, composer, pianist, vocalist, saxophonist and trumpeter, a true multi-instrumentalist, a powerful organizer being an extremely important driving force in lifting and pushing the music life in Copenhagen forward, entertainer with his own shows in TV and radio, receiver of numerous awards and honors, A very sharp kaleidoscope man, regardless of the context always realizing his fullest potential.

Kresten has been involved in a 17 part series about the history of danish jazz. a podcast released by the Danish National radio."


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"Michael Blake (born May 19, 1964) is a Canadian-born [Montreal] American saxophonist, composer and arranger. Blake is based in New York City where he has led a robust career leading his own bands. As a sideman Michael has performed with Charlie Hunter, The Lounge Lizards, Steven Bernstein/Henry Butler and the Hot 9, Ben Allison, Nicole Mitchell, Hamid Drake, Oliver Lake Big Band, Dafnis Prieto Big Band, Ricki Lee Jones and Ray LaMontagne. The New York Times jazz critic Ben Ratliff wrote,"Mr. Blake, on tenor especially, is an endlessly engaging improviser, and an inquisitive one"."

-Michael Blake Website (

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

Track Listing:

1. Salutations 6:38

2. Control This 3:47

3. Creole Love Call 10:03

4. Top Hat 5:43

5. Elephants Are Afraid of Mice 7:10

6. Cotton Mouth 8:40

7. Cheryl 13:49

Related Categories of Interest:

Clean Feed

Improvised Music
NY Downtown & Metropolitan Jazz/Improv
European Improvisation, Composition and Experimental Forms
Duo Recordings
Saxophone & Drummer / Percussionist Duos
Squidco's Clean Feed $12.00 Sale

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