All Is Yes

Our rating 
5.0 out of 5 star rating 5.0

COMPOSERS: Jake McMurchie,Pete Judge
LABELS: Candid
PERFORMER: The Blessing – Pete Judge (trumpet), Jake McMurchie (saxophone), Jim Barr (bass), Clive Deamer (drums)
CATALOGUE NO: Candid CCD 79851

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The Blessing is, I believe, big in Bristol, but deserves to be celebrated more widely. They make a gloriously powerful sound for a quartet, even when not cheating with a little overdubbing to fatten the ensembles.

Clive Deamer and Jim Barr (above), perhaps best known as members of excellent trip-hoppers Portishead, import their crisp sound and add an extra edge for this band.

All Is Yes reminds me strongly of two of my favourite fringe-jazz outfits of the late-’80s/early-’90s, Dr Umezu and Xero Slingsby & The Works.

If there’s nothing experimental or innovative here, they still sound fresher than most bands around, and less contrived than critical faves like the Bad Plus or Acoustic Ladyland.

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The tunes, mostly simple but potent, are arrestingly realised by Pete Judge and Jake McMurchie. Funk, Ornette Coleman-inspired free-jazz, punk and a dash of the East add spice without muddying the flavour, earning a five-star benediction for sheer exuberance.