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For saxophonist and composer Dan Blake, having a bond fide jazz club open in his home community of Mount Kisco a little more than a year ago was
The only thing that would be better than having the venue, Jazz on Main on South Moger Avenue, close to home would be to perform there.
For the first time since, Blake will be playing there this Saturday night for two shows with his trio Dan Blake and The Digging after taking in a number of other performers there since its opening.
“The room sounds great. It’s just nice to have a fully engaged jazz venue in this area on the level of anywhere else,” Blake said.
For jazz lovers, Blake’s trio, which at times goes by the name Circular Jazz, will present original material that he wrote in the tradition of “chordless” saxophone trio, meaning there’s no piano or guitar. It’s Blake, who will have three choices of saxophone – soprano, tenor and a “stritch” alto – and he will be accompanied by Bryan Copeland on bass and Bob Meyer on drums.
A chordless trio offers plenty of traditional stripped-down jazz but it also allows for freedom and experimentation, Blake said. Therefore, it makes sense that he describes himself as an “experimental traditionalist” where he can push the boundaries and even step outside those boundaries.
“Sonny Rollins and many saxophone greats have play in this trio format and that automatically gives it a kind of extreme degree of playfulness and freedom,” Blake said.
He said Rollins’ “The Freedom Suite” is one of many works that has had a major influence on his career where he can control his own jazz commentary, as he describes it.
The saxophone trio has its challenges, it’s something that Blake enjoys.
“There’s a lot more interaction with percussion, with the drums, so the music to me becomes a lot more rhythmic in nature,” Blake explained. “At the same time, I’m playing notes, so one still has to pay attention in whatever form it is.”
If you don’t get a chance to see Dan Blake and The Digging this Saturday, he’ll be performing at the Winter Jazzfest in New York City on Jan. 11.
“It feels good to be able to share some of my music in this venue, especially in these times when there’s so much stress in the world and I’m just enjoying making sounds with people that I care about for people that I care about in this community,” Blake said.
This Saturday evening’s shows are at 7 and 9 p.m. and the cover charge is $30.
Jazz on Main is located at 37 S. Moger Ave. in Mount Kisco. For more information, visit www.jazzonmain.com.
Martin has more than 30 years experience covering local news in Westchester and Putnam counties, including a frequent focus on zoning and planning issues. He has been editor-in-chief of The Examiner since its inception in 2007. Read more from Martin’s editor-author bio here. Read Martin’s archived work here: https://www.theexaminernews.com/author/martin-wilbur2007/