JazzWeek.com December 4, 2006
by Tad Hendrickson
In The Morning (Fresh Sounds)
THE WINNER OF ASCAP Foundation Young Jazz Composer Award in 2005 and 2006, bassist Michael Blanco seems to be making all the right moves. The San Diego native now based in New York City has played with such varied folk as Doc Cheatham, Norah Jones, Randy Brecker as well as a host of Broadway show bands. He throws himself wholly into harmonic rich and sophisticated style of jazz on In The Morning that is proof that he's absorbed a fair amount of theory in his time, but, as those composition awards prove, he's got a good ear for melody.
Some will no doubt also be impressed with his tasteful solos (particularly on "Point Of View"), but the real standout in that department is pianist Aaron Goldberg, who breaks these Blanco originals wide open with stunning work on nearly every track. Highlights include the ebullient "Uptown Meditations," the galloping "One More Time" and the sort of sad sort of happy "Within Reach."
Another fine effort from the Fresh Sounds label.