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Slow Poke at Home

by Michael Blake

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Listen Here 07:36
Afro Blake 04:25
Harvest 05:21
Dry Socket 07:17


Recorded live by Tony Scherr at his house in 1998, Brooklyn, NY
Mixed by Tony Scherr
Produced by Tony Scherr and Slow Poke
Mastered by Gene Paul at DB Plus

"True to their name, they took most of the tempos at an absurdly slow pace (a rarity among New York musicians out to flaunt their chops in a macho-competitive scene), at times sounding like Stan Getz on quaaludes jamming with the Cowboy Junkies." Bill Milkowski, Jazz Thing Magazine

"A kind of electro-funk stew of the avant-garde, all built around Blake's fine ear for composing and arranging." Peter Hadekel, The Montreal Gazette

"The worlds sleepiest, sexiest instrumental quartet." The Georgia Straight

A little background info on this sweet little album. There were five tracks on the original CD release. Along with my songs Afro Blake and Dry Socket we covered Duke Ellington, Neil Young and Eddie Harris. It was recorded in our bassist Tony Scherr's living room back in 1998. Our self-released album connected with folks and it wasn't long before we were playing regular sets in NYC and touring in Europe and Canada. All of this was generated by word of mouth, quite a while before social media existed. Slow Poke fan, musician and songwriter Richard Julian may have put it best when he said to me that "Slow Poke is completely unique in that you can't really place where it was recorded, when it was recorded, how it was recorded or who is playing on it."

At the time we made At Home I was touring in The Lounge Lizards with slide guitarist David Tronzo and he and I were discussing how to make a relaxed but funky album that also had some jazz soul. Nothing new there really, but on top of that we also believed in playing improvised music. You know, 'weird' stuff. We wanted it to have the blues but also have some of that unpredictability that our audience had come to expect from us. Thankfully we found a couple of guys with similar aesthetics in bassist Tony Scherr and drummer Kenny Wollesen. Slow Poke came together that day and we chose the material, rehearsed and recorded it in a day. It was licensed to Palmetto sometime later and remastered with two additional tracks. Here it is in its original format.

- Michael Blake, Brooklyn, NY July 3, 2019


released July 4, 2019

Michael Blake (tenor and soprano saxophone), David Tronzo (slide guitar), Tony Scherr (acoustic & electric bass), Kenny Wollesen (drums)


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Michael Blake New York, New York

The Canadian born tenor and soprano saxophonist Michael Blake has been a mainstay in the New York scene for over 30 years and has put out over a dozen albums under his name. Among the many artists he has performed with are The Lounge Lizards, Steven Bernstein, Charlie Hunter and Ben Allison. ... more

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