Seamus Blake

Blake was born in London and raised in Vancouver. He is a Berklee student and has contributed to many other recordings. He was the 2002 winner of Thelonious Monk International jazz saxophone competition. He enjoyed playing with Wayne Shorter and Herbie Hancock. His reputation as one of the most important saxophonists his generation was high. He was hailed as one of the best saxophonists in his time. His extensive career included collaborations with Gonzalo rubalcaba and Dave Douglas, Antonio Sanchez and Michael Brecker. Blake recalls that Olivier Saez pitched the idea of the ‘French Connection’ concept to jazz aficionado Olivier Saez. “He was interested hearing me alongside some top-of-of-of-of-of-of-the-of-of-of-of-of-of-of-of-of-of-of-of-the-of-of-of-of-of-of-of-the-of-of-of-of-of-of-the-of-of-of-of-of-of-of-to-of-of-of-of-of-of-of-of-of-of-of-of-the-s-the-a-of-the-a-the-a-the-the-of-the-the-of-the-the-of-the-a-the-to-a-to-the-of-the-to-the-to-on-to-the-to-of-the-of-the-to-of-the-of-to-of-to-the-to-the-to-to-a-to-to-to-to-the-to-to-on-the-to-to-to-to-to-to-to-to-to-to-to-to-to-to-to-of-to-to-to-to-to-to-to-to-to-to-to-to-to-to-on-to-to-to-to-to-to-on-to-to-to-of-to-to-to-on-to-the-to-to-the-off-of-to-the-of-the-of-the-on-of-of-the-on-to-the-on-of-the-on-of-the-off-of-the-off-the-on-on-of-the-of-the-on-on Olivier is a passionate musician who puts all of his energy into music. I was amazed by his organization and generosity during our tour through France and Spain. I was impressed by the way the quartet worked together and we recorded over two days at Studio de Meudon in Paris.” Blake wrote and orchestrated special music for them: “My idea is to combine elements of American and European styles. I write music that I enjoy playing, but also have a European sensibility. This includes classical harmony and certain grooves. I knew the strengths of each member of the band, having toured with them. They are versatile and skilled, with the foundation and openness to go in different directions; so their creative contributions were part of the spirit and spirit of the record.” The title track’s anthemic drive is influenced by Blake’s interest in indie-rock. Blake’s clapping rhythms and 9/8 hand-drum inspired the loping gait in ‘Vaporbabe’. Furtive ‘Sneaky D’ is a strong melody that energizes Blake’s rhythm section. Eddie del Barrio’s “I’m OK” echoes Kenny Barron’s recordings, with Blake taking advantage of the opportunity to solo on the elegant changes. The band’s freedom of exploration is extended by Bristling “Lanota” (read it backwards), as well as ‘Wandering Aengus”, which uses WB Yeats poem as an inspiration to travel through different key centres. Lively samba, “Betty in Rio” (a counterfact to Benny Golson’s slow-swinging “Along Came Betty”) leads to Tixier’s countryfied, friendly ‘Blues for the Real Human Beings’; and, finally, Blake’s indirect observation about humanity’s effect on the planet. Seamus Blake explains that jazz for him is about improvisation and the beauty of a solo. “But while I grew up with and studied a lot of mainstream and traditional jazz, I also like to integrate and involve elements from outside of that world – so it’s refreshing to work with these younger guys.” from

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