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Get the Blessing, Arnolfini, 15 March

March 18, 2012

I have the idea they actually make money in Germany, but Get the Blessing playing material from a newly released album was something of a Bristol event (reviewed in brief by Tony Benjamin here).

Always interesting to check out bands that get reviewed under the jazz banner but have achieved a measure of popularity in spite (we can safely assume not because) of that. And a great show. We missed the 2 support bands, but they obviously generated a good mood. And this is modern good-time music – in a good way. Sounds to me like jazz derived instrumental music, rather than jazz, most of the time, but interesting enough, and everyone plays really well. Outstanding tonight was Dylan Howe, standing-in on drums. Last seen playing  scholastically precise bebop with his own quartet, the trickier grooves energising Get the Blessing’s bass-driven compositions suited him to a T, and he fitted in as if he’d been with them from the start. The bass is supple, but fairly simple, and the tunes carefully crafted to catch the ear without being too demanding. There is nothing especially new going on here, I don’t think: you can hear elements of this sound in plenty of other bands, some of them playing and recording on the downtown New York scene 20 years ago. But it is plenty listenable, and jazz meeting the wider music scene without (much) compromise is always heartening.

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