If you aren't already familiar with the eight artists who make up the SF Jazz Collective, you will be. As soloists, composers and bandleaders, they represent what's happening now in jazz. More than master instrumentalists, each member is possessed of a totally individual creative voice, working collectively to express a unified musical identity. They also demonstrate that jazz has truly become an international language. Hailing from Puerto Rico, Israel, Venezuela, New Zealand and the U.S., the Collective's multi-cultural line-up mirrors the explosion of jazz talent around the globe. Familiar players like Miguel Zenon, Robin Eubanks, Avishai Cohen, Stefon Harris and others were recorded at the Jazz Standard in New York across a five-night run for "Live in New York 2011-Season 8" featuring fresh arrangements of the music of Stevie Wonder and original compositions by group members.
Drummer/composer Johnathan Blake has been an integral part of the working groups of Tom Harrell, David Sanchez, Russell Malone and Kenny Barron for years. Born and raised in Philadelphia, he is the son of jazz violinist John Blake and carries on the family tradition of great music making. Though he is extremely active as a sideman, Blake has made a concerted effort to create his own ensemble with a sound. He was able accomplish this by enlisting a true murderer's row of jazz heavy hitters, friends and longtime collaborators, including saxophonists Jaleel Shaw and Mark Turner and bassist Ben Street. For his debut CD -- "The Eleventh Hour" -- he's also included special guests Harrell, Robert Glasper, Tim Warfield and Gregoire Maret.