Seamus Blake & French Connection
'Few artists are capable of delivering near-perfection every time, but Blake is one of them, with nary a misstep here and a consistent ability to create a clear narrative with every solo.'
All About Jazz
It's another tenor heavyweight who closes this year’s festival, London-born, Canadian-raised and New York-based Seamus Blake, a musician who shot to prominence on the early 00s jazz scene, after winning the 2002 Thelonious Monk International Saxophone Competition.
With fifteen albums under his belt, and a slew of high-profile sideman gigs on his CV (including the Mingus Big Band), Blake is a living, breathing, roaring, example of an increasingly rare breed: the tenor saxophone giant.
The French Connection is his project in collaboration with young French musicians pianist Tony Tixier, bassist Florent Nisse and drummer Gautier Garrigue, and is featured on a new album Guardians of The Heart Machine.
Of his new band, Blake says 'it's so refreshing to work with these younger guys', adding that his aim with this new band is to 'integrate and involve elements from outside [the jazz] world.'
In fact, in a jazz scene nowadays virtually drowning in projects purporting to be fusing this music with that, Blake shows how diversity and inclusivity can work when in the hands of a true master musician. Herts Jazz have pulled off something of a coup with this one: an international jazz titan making a rare 'out-of-town' appearance.
What better way could there be for closing a weekend of top quality jazz?
< Back to festival
Sunday September 29, 8:00pm
- > Seamus Blake - Tenor Saxophone
- > Tony Tixier - Piano
- > Florent Nisse - Double Bass
- > Gautier Garrigue - Drums