Get The Blessing is rightly famous for its hard-hitting and irreverent take on British jazz but this event brings their music’s cinematic qualities to the fore. For this special event they team up with award-winning, long-time GTB and Portishead collaborator John Minton to produce a film which examines and celebrates over a century of Bristol, captured on film by local people.
If last year’s Metropolis was an epic expressionist vision of dystopia, Bristopolis offers an intimate contemporary parallel: a poetic visual essay and an abstract urban history, using archive footage filtered through John Minton’s creative vision, and organically wedded to one of Bristol’s most famous jazz exports – the inventive, uncategorisable Get The Blessing.
“…they may well be the most original and exciting band on the British scene at the moment.” Jazzwise Magazine
Bassist Jim Barr once remarked that Get The Blessing were “total outsiders” and “the punk entry” when they won the 2008 BBC Jazz Award for Best Album with ‘All Is Yes’. Almost six years later and four albums down the line, the same could still be said to hold true, albeit with a little more wisdom at their disposal.
Formed in 2000 to share a fascination with the improvisation and monophonic nature of Ornette Coleman’s earlier works and throughout this time, the line-up has remained the same throughout with Portishead rhythm masters Jim Barr and Clive Deamer on bass and drums respectively, Pete Judge on trumpet and Jake McMurchie on saxophone. And all this despite other commitments for everyone, not least Deamer’s recruitment as Radiohead’s second live drummer in 2012. The band’s old friend and collaborator – and Portishead guitarist – Adrian Utley also makes the occasional guest appearance.
The Bristol-based four-piece can now boast a truly international fan base. Since the release of All Is Yes in February 2008, they’ve taken their musical vision round the world with successful tours and festival appearances in the UK, USA, Canada, Ireland, Germany, Austria, France, Spain, Switzerland, Italy, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Dubai, Turkey, Macedonia, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Serbia.
Jake McMurchie – tenor saxophone/electronics
Pete Judge – trumpet/electronics
Jim Barr – bass
Clive Deamer – drums
Earlier this month John Minton gave us this interview.
Film and soundtrack especially commissioned by the BJABF with film footage kindly provided by Bristol Archives Film Archive: BROFA with additional footage from Martin Weitz of Focus Productions.