Then he made a great album. An album worthy of the players he dedicates it to - Stanley Turrentine, Shirley Scott, Charles Earland, Grover Washington, Jr. and J.J. Johnson. While his tribute takes the form of borrowing from the books of his inspirations, Blake's talent takes ownership of every track.
Blake turns in fine performances on the soprano sax when the material calls for that instrument, but it's his tenor work that floors me. Whichever instrument, though, his crisp tone and natural improvisational skills combine to distinguish Blake as one of the finest saxophonists - really, one of the finest musicians altogether - on the jazz scene, and there's no better demonstration of that than the ten tracks on Lest We Forget.