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ALBUM REVIEWS

Seamus Blake: Guardians Of The Heart Machine

Read "Guardians Of The Heart Machine" reviewed by Roger Farbey

Seamus Blake was born in 1970 in London, England but raised in Vancouver, Canada. He studied jazz at Berklee College of Music and following his graduation moved to New York Cit, where he became a fixture on the jazz scene including being a member of the Mingus Big Band. He's played or recorded with Victor Lewis, John Scofield, Chris Cheek, Bill Stewart, Ethan Iverson and Dave Douglas and appeared as a sideman on over 70 albums. In 2017 ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Seamus Blake / Chris Cheek: Let's Call the Whole Thing Off

Read "Let's Call the Whole Thing Off" reviewed by Edward Blanco

Friends and musical collaborators for more than two decades, New York tenor saxophonists Seamus Blake and Chris Cheek have been leaders, sidemen and big band soloist throughout their distinguished careers and seem to cherish their roles as co-leaders on joint projects such as their critically-acclaimed Reeds Ramble (Criss Cross Jazz, 2014). Let's Call the Whole Thing Off is their follow up album bringing together the same quintet they call Reeds Ramble which include pianist Ethan Iverson, bassist Matt Penman and ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Tommy Halferty Trio With Seamus Blake at JJ Smyth's

Read "Tommy Halferty Trio With Seamus Blake at JJ Smyth's" reviewed by Ian Patterson

Tommy Halferty Trio With Seamus Blake JJ Smyth's jny:Dublin, Ireland February 13, 2016 The great thing about jazz clubs the size of your living room is that nearly every night is a full house. Within minutes of JJ Smyth's opening its doors it was standing room only for Tommy Halferty's Trio featuring Canadian tenor player Seamus Blake. The Saturday night crowd of regular patrons and fun-seeking tourists responded to an animated set with enthusiasm ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Seamus Blake and Chris Cheek: Reeds Ramble

Read "Reeds Ramble" reviewed by Edward Blanco

As leader of the 1995 funky, alternative/electronic music group The Bloomdaddies, saxophonist Seamus Blake released the band's debut album Bloomdaddies (Criss Cross 1110, 1996) that included fellow reed man Chris Cheek among the personnel. Twenty-years later, after forging independent careers as sidemen, big band soloists and leaders of their own groups, on Reeds Ramble, Blake and Cheek reunite once again in a jazz outing that lays down 'their' version of the oft used term “tenor madness." There's a slight double ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Seamus Blake and Chris Cheek: Reeds Ramble

Read "Reeds Ramble" reviewed by Bruce Lindsay

Saxophonists Seamus Blake and Chris Cheek are both into their third decades as professional musicians. Their working relationship goes back to the early-90s when Cheek was a member of Blake's “alternative grunge jazz" band The Bloomdaddies. On Reeds Ramble (the title is borrowed from a tune written by guitarist Jerry Reed) the two men lead a quintet on a selection of tunes ranging from Elmo Hope's upbeat “De Dah" to Brian Wilson's oddly unsettling “'Til I Die," with one original ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Opus 5: Introducing Opus 5

Read "Introducing Opus 5" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

Collectively delivered jazz albums almost always fall into one of three categories: some are outings from neophytes looking to pool their resources, while trying to build a fan base from the ground floor up; others marry the musical skills of seasoned musicians who've crossed paths in various situations and/or share a commonality in approach; and the most commercially successful, yet artistically regretfully, are usually hastily conceived or rendered performances that simply attach several big names to a project in order ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Seamus Blake Quintet: Live At Smalls

Read "Live At Smalls" reviewed by Bruce Lindsay

Recorded at the Greenwich Village club on August 31st and September 1st 2009, Live At Smalls showcases the inventive sound of English-born, Canadian-raised and New York-based Seamus Blake. The tenor saxophonist's career to date includes membership in the Mingus Big Band, BANN and the Victor Lewis Quintet, as well as his own combos. Live At Smalls finds Blake leading a sharp and swinging quintet on a series of post-bop originals and a cover of “Stranger in Paradise." ...


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