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Reviewers: Tony Augarde [Editor], Don Mather, Sam Webster, Jonathan Woolf, Glyn Pursglove



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THE BLESSING

All Is Yes

Candid/Cake CADC 78550

 

 



1. Bleach Cake
2. That Ain’t It
3. Another Brother’s Mother
4. Cake Hole
5. Loubia
6. Can’t Believe in Faith
7. Thermos
8. Suki’s Suzuki
9. Equal and Opposite
 
 
Jim Barr - Basses, vibes
Clive Deamer – Drums, percussion
Pete Judge – Trumpet, glockenspiel
Jake McMurchie – Saxophones
Adrian Utley – Guitar
Tammy Payne – Vocals
Gina Griffin – Violin 

This album won the 2008 BBC Jazz Awards – Best Album. It has also received rave reviews in the newspapers that take an interest in jazz. 

The Blessing certainly maintain their intensity of performance throughout the disc and the ensemble playing is interesting, because it differs from track to track. There are other influences here besides pure jazz, rock for one, but there are many others, which I could not even name. The band has been a great success in jazz festivals and it is easy to see where their lively performances would score against what is put out as jazz in many of them. 

The compositions are all created by band members and the performances do not conform to any set of rules. They class their music as post-jazz. That may be going a bit far as I don’t think jazz has completed its cycle yet! 

The musicians are all very accomplished. Jake McMurchie is an amazing tenor player: it seems odd that we have not heard of him before. Pete Judge is a more than competent trumpet player and the rhythm section cope with the many changes of musical influence with great dexterity. 

Every track has its highlights but Can’t Believe in Faith was the track I liked best. It kicks off with an exciting groove and maintains that level all the way through. 

It is amazing that a group of musicians from Bristol have come together and made a record of such quality. As a critic who often finds himself out of tune with the performances of many contemporary artists, I can see where these guys are coming from and goodness knows where they are going to. I hope they stick together so that we can find out!

  Don Mather
 

 

 

 



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