Eubie Blake

An American Classic: Eubie Blake

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This rather unusual album features the classical Amherst Saxophone Quartet (which consists of a soprano, alto, tenor and baritone saxophonist) performing wholly-written out arrangements of 14 Eubie Blake compositions. Blake, who was 98 at the time, greatly appreciated the gesture. In addition to renditions of "Charleston Rag," "Troublesome Ivories" and "I'm Just Wild About Harry," the group plays many lesser-known Blake tunes. While most of the pieces date from 1899-1924, four are from more recent times including a pair from the 1970's. The high musicianship of the classical musicians plus the colorful arrangements make this album of interest to jazz listeners despite the lack of improvisation.