Lovely bit of mellow, straight-ahead jazz 'n' a bit of blues from the band lead by the (mostly tenor) sax player and Lounge Lizard) from Vancouver, livin' in the big city. Or, The Big City, I should say. Michael Blake's been living in NYC over 10 years and plays in numerous groups, notably The Lounge Lizards and with fellow Jazz Composers Collective member (and founder) Ben Allison. And though Blake says the band's name is a moniker laid on him by Lizard leader John Lurie, referring to his general speed, its other meaning applies well to this music's leanings into the sweet, thrown-back and sexy category, particularly on Blake's sultry composition "Dry Socket". His patriotism for the old country shows through on a pretty faithful cover (sans vox, naturally) of Neil Young's "Harvest", and Blake somehow manages to enfuse Duke Ellington's "Rockin' In Rhythm" with an energy that can only be referred to as relaxed spunk.