Lope And Antilope
Here we have the fourth full-lengther from British jazz quartet Get The Blessing. Formed around the rhythm section of Portishead, theirs is a probing, searching version of jazz – it makes me think of the recent Sons of Kemet album (which I loved). We start with the weird and wonderful pitch-bends from the sax on Quiet – and here, as is often the case across this album, Clive Deamer’s feathery tickles across the toms and snare provide a stately, just-right touch. Jim Barr’s basslines, in many ways, drive the sound of the band, leaving Jake McMurchie (saxophone) and Pete Judge (trumpet) to colour in around the improvisatory shapes.
Formed from a love of Ornette Coleman’s music – Get The Blessing are now playing perfect jazz and perfectly ignoring jazz altogether, sometimes all at once. This album eventually heads to Zorn land (Lope) via the rubble from a big-band explosion (Viking Death Moped) but in and around these strange, and always wonderful, excavations we have hints of mannered groove too (Little Ease, Corniche).
A shit-hot band, Get The Blessing provides space too for a few guests, once again Adrian Utley (best known as Portishead’s guitarist) lends his sound to some of these songs – and there are always nice surprises around the corner and inside each tune. Antilope’s far from anti the loping groove until its final few seconds when a dizzying flurry of post-bop furry arrives sorta po-faced and tongue-in-cheek all at once. Luposcope is a sonorous mood-groove, the production highlighting the sound of sticks on rims, or little pounces into the toms – such a dream rhythm-section.
All of these players are busy with various sideline projects so to have a record this unified, this intriguing and exciting, is almost more than we should be asking for. It’s a great record. So many slick – fresh – sounds here. The horns provide the flashlight, but it’s that bass and drum pairing that’s gonna guide you home here. Each track feels like a highlight. Love it!