Blake Lyman is bad at naming things. From his eponymous quintet to this, their debut album, Eponymous, success at naming has been elusive. Nonetheless, Eponymous features stellar performances from saxophonist Noah Bernstein, pianist Andrew Oliver, bassist Arcellus Sykes, and drummer Sam Foulger on such poorly titled compositions as “Ballad in Parts” and “This One Goes Like This”. The Blake Lyman Quintet was founded in 2011 as a vehicle to explore alternative musical forms, process-based compositional techniques, and non-traditional jazz orchestration.
“Melodically driven and rhythmically headstrong, the sophomore release of tenor saxophonist Blake Lyman is the kind of music that descends from Clifford Jordan’s noirish hard bop of the 70s. Lyman’s quintet, which is rounded out by Noah Bernstein on alto sax, Andrew Oliver on piano & keys, Arcellus Sykes on bass and Sam Foulger on drums, is firmly rooted in a post-bop environment, but it’s the same cinematic treatment of melodies and definitive, yet flowing percussion that typified some of Jordan’s best work. Nice follow-up for Lyman, who was equally impressive on his debut, Anthology, For Now.” – Dave Sumner