Get the Blessing
Get the Blessing, Treibhaus Innsbruck 2011
|Also known as||The Blessing|
|Associated acts||Portishead, Radiohead|
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Get the Blessing (previously known as The Blessing) are a jazz rock quartet based in Bristol, England, active since 2000. They were formed when Jim Barr (bass) and Clive Deamer (drums), the rhythm section from the trip hop group Portishead, teamed up with Jake McMurchie (saxophone) and Pete Judge (trumpet) over their mutual appreciation of Ornette Coleman. To date, they have released five albums, their debut All is Yes won best album at the 2008 BBC Jazz Awards. Their most recent album, Astronautilus, was released in 2015.
The group have been widely received as part of a new generation of groups that blend jazz and rock, which also includes Esbjörn Svensson Trio, Led Bib, Polar Bear, and Acoustic Ladyland. The music is mainly instrumental, although there have been guest singers (specifically Tammy Payne on "The Unnameable" and "Music Style Product"), and Deamer has sung a vocal version of "Bugs in Amber", entitled "Moot", live.
Their live performances have been described as "Technically audacious, mysterious and droll, the Blessing also provided an evening of instrumental entertainment that was unfailingly tuneful and readily accessible." Also as "coupl[ing] hard-hitting, high-volume rock with wailing jazz-horn choruses. The group's flat-out drive, fiery virtuosity and strong, anthemic tunes certainly grabbed the audience". The Guardian newspaper recently said "the spirit of John Coltrane sometimes seemed to hover over the ensuing horn laments and full-on free thrashes alike, and the handclapping Pentopia unlocked all of the gifted Deamer's capacity for subtle variation on metronomically spellbinding grooves."
The band dress uniformly in white shirt and dark grey suits and, for promotional pictures and record covers, often cover their heads, most notably with orange cellophane. Interaction between the group and live audience is channeled through Barr's "comically cryptic introductions in the deadest of deadpan drones".
- Jake McMurchie – saxophone – McMurchie is a jazz musician. He fronts his own jazz group Michelson Morley, as well as featuring as a sideman in other groups. He has played with Portishead and the National Youth Jazz Orchestra.
- Pete Judge – trumpet – Judge is a jazz and experimental musician and soundtrack composer. Other groups include three cane whale, with Alex Vann of Spiro and Paul Bradley of Me band, and Eyebrow with Paul Wigens of Blurt
- Jim Barr – bass guitar – Barr is a session musician, who has sessioned for Peter Gabriel. He is best known for his contributions to the Bristol based trip hop scene, specifically Portishead.
- Clive Deamer – drums, vocals – Deamer is a session musician, who has drummed for Radiohead, Portishead, Jeff Beck, Alison Moyet and Siouxsie Sioux. He is best known for his contributions to the Bristol based trip hop and drum and bass scenes, specifically Portishead and Roni Size and Reprazent, although he has also been a member of more conventional rock groups, such as Hawkwind and Robert Plant's Strange Sensation.
- Adrian Utley – electric guitar (All is Yes: "That Ain't It", "Equal and Opposite", "Small Fish, Small Pond"; Bugs in Amber: "Music Style Product", "The Unnameable", "Einstein Action Figure"; OCDC: "Adagio in Wot Minor", "Low Earth Orbit", "Pentopia"; Lope and Antilope: "Viking Death Moped", "Numbers")
- Robert Wyatt* - vocals (OCDC: "American Meccano")
- Tammy Payne – backing vocals (All is Yes: "Loubia"; Bugs in Amber: "Music Style Product")
- Gina Griffin – violin (All is Yes: "Loubia")
- Beth Porter – cello (Bugs in Amber: "The Word for Moonlight is Moonlight", "The Unnameable")
- Jeff Spencer – viola (Bugs in Amber: "Music Style Product")
- Clair Hiles - piano (OCDC: "Torque")
- Joe Deamer - mono synth (Lope and Antilope: "Antilope")
- 2008 – All is Yes (released as The Blessing) (Cake/Candid Records)
- 2008 – "Bleach Cake"/"The Unnameable" EP (released as The Blessing) (Cake/Candid Records)
- 2009 – Bugs in Amber (Cake/Candid Records)
- 2012 - OC DC (Naim Jazz)
- 2014 - Lope and Antilope (Naim Jazz)
- 2015 - "Astronautilus" (Naim Jazz)
- Michael G. Nastos. "allmusic ((( Get the Blessing > Biography )))". Allmusic. Retrieved 2009-11-17.
- "BBC – Music – Jazz Awards 2008". BBC. 2009-03-16. Retrieved 2009-11-17.
- Andy Robson (27 March 2008). "The Blessing – All is Yes Review". Jazzwise. Retrieved 2009-11-17.
- Chris Jones (8 March 2008). "BBC – Music – Review of The Blessing – All is Yes". BBC. Retrieved 2009-11-17.
- David Sinclair (8 February 2008). "The Blessing: Bar Academy, Islington, N1". The Times. Retrieved 2009-11-17.
- Fordham, John. "4 star review of GTB at Kings Place, March 2013". The Guardian.
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