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Albums We Love: Get the Blessing's "Lope and Antilope"

Portishead meets jazz? Not really a surprise, if you were a fan of the British 90’s trip-hop icons who knew the ins and outs of cool jazz.

Featuring the rhythm section of Portishead, with Jim Barr on bass and Clive Dreamer on drums, Get the Blessing just released their fourth full-length album. It’s cutting-edge stuff which fuses Ornette Coleman progressive jazz with noise, thrash, electronic beats, North African music, and rock and roll. They’ve embraced the newer sounds of jazz –younger generations musicians who feel comfortable combining the rock and hip hop subgenres they’ve grown up with, with artful playfulness of jazz and other traditional folk music from across the globe.

The combination creates a confident coolness, a spirited funkiness, and a progressive, fresh sound. They seamlessly flow between intensity and calmness, creating a journey for the open-minded modern listener.

The thing is, jazz needs to evolve to stay relevant, and there is oftentimes a lot of push back from jazz purists. Get the Blessing’s newest record (and their previous records as well), do a superb job of combining the musicianship and sensibility of jazz, while making it accessible to younger audiences and people with a taste for eclecticism. As open-minded as we’ve become about food from various cultures in the last 30 or so years, we’ve done the same with music. The result is a synthesis of sounds greater than the sum of its parts. This is what Get the Blessing understands.

The opening tack “Quiet,” begins the record with an easy-going late-afternoon meditative laziness enhanced by a ghostly theremin invoked by Jake McMurchie’s saxophone. For a funky, burner try “Corniche,” while “Antilope” takes cues from Miles Davis’ second great quintet. The album is diverse, killing, and whole-heartedly rooted in jazz. Get the Blessing is on a role, each album being better than the previous and Lope and Antilope is no exception.

Get the Blessing, “Lope and Antilope,” Naim Jazz, 2014

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