Match and Fuse Festival, Dublin, September 2017

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Match and Fuse have been doing great things with creative music in Europe over the last few years. In association with Diatribe Records they're presenting their first Dublin festival. Looking forward to playing there with a new band!

Brendan Doherty (IE) | drums
Heidi Heidelberg (UK) | guitar/voice
Maxime Delporte (FR) | bass
Nils Fischer (CH) | sax/clarinet
Sam Comerford (IE) | sax

More info here

"Prix du Meilleur Instrumentiste" at Tremplin Jazz Avignon

Last week Thunderblender played at the Concours Tremplin Jazz d'Avignon. A pleasure to play with this band for the first time in France, especially in such a beautiful venue!

I was very honoured to be awarded the "Prix du Meilleur Instrumentiste", or Best soloist award) by the jury.

Franck Bergerot of Jazz Magazine wrote about the gig. Some very roughly(!) translated excerpts here:

....Sam Comerford having a central position, not only for his stature as composer, but also for his charisma, this completely loose lyricism that, as with Own Your Bones, blurs the borders between writing and improvisation, playing subtone with lots of air and saliva that evokes in particular the legacy of Ben Webster. 

But one thinks also of more contemporary personalities such as David Murray (a little), Ellery Eskelin (a lot), the playing of a drummer with similar yet more muted activism to that of the previous evening's Dominik Mahning, both evoking the generation of Jim Black and Tom Rainey, that brings to mind Tim Berne in the interweaving of the writing and improvisation according to the the long forms (But there is a more "ligne claire" lyricism, also in the deconstruction, with Comerford.)
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Umbra at InJazz festival, Rotterdam

Umbra played for the first time in the Netherlands this week at InJazz Festival, Rotterdam. We had a great time. And got our first Dutch review in Jazzenzo! Rough translation:

"Umbra, a quintet from Ireland, gave one of the most energetic performances of the whole event. In a kind of musical roller coaster they passed in turn through punk, rock, no wave jazz and improv. An unusual mix that was supported by a driving rhythm section. The playing of soprano saxophonist Chris Engel and tenor saxophonist Sam Comerford is outright explosive. The improvisations of bandleader and guitarist Chris Guilfoyle are complex and adventurous. Unstoppable music, with artistic urgency, innovative!"

Will Menter - Intimate in Public

In the wonderful surroundings of Quincerot in Burgundy I joined 12 other saxophonists to record Will Menter's piece Intimate in Public this June. I had originally played tenor on a slightly different version of the piece with the European Saxophone Ensemble in 2013. You can see a beautiful documentary film on that project here.

Guillaume Orti, Olivier Py, Karen van Schaik, Chisato Cieux, Lionel Garcin, Alice Waring, Sylvain Debaisieux, Bruno Wilhelm, Marie Braun, Andy Leveque, Jouk Minor and Cyril Darmedru.

Guillaume Orti, Olivier Py, Karen van Schaik, Chisato Cieux, Lionel Garcin, Alice Waring, Sylvain Debaisieux, Bruno Wilhelm, Marie Braun, Andy Leveque, Jouk Minor and Cyril Darmedru.

The new version is a video piece, where audio and video of the performances in different spaces will be digitally layered on top of each other in the editing process. Instead of tenor I was on bass. There was lots of walking while playing, quite a workout. We performed in a forest, on an aqueduct, and a cavernous 13th century hospital, among other locations. Great to play with such a team of saxophonists!

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More about the project on Will's site.

Hendrik Lasure's warm bad

On 8th June Hendrik Lasure's new band warm bad (warm bath in English) will play at the MIM in Brussels. Here's a short clip from our first gig at Atelier Rue Verte. Stay tuned for more news about this project in 2018!

The Warm Bad is:

Benjamin Sauzereau - guitar
Marco Giongrandi - guitar
Vitja Pauwels - guitar
Soet Kempeneer - bass guitar
Sam Comerford - tenor sax
Casper Van De Velde - drums
Hendrik Lasure - piano

Umbra "Seattle" single launch & release show in Whelan's

"Seattle", the first single from Umbra's debut album, just got premiered on math rock blog Fecking Bahamas. They said:

It’s not often that we hear of a band combining highly technical jazz with the loose, slack sensibility of grunge ... some of the best jazz we have heard all year.

Stay to the end to hear a shredtastic solo from Mr. Chris Guilfoyle. I'm very excited to share the music with the world! (Also it's my recorded debut on clarinet!)

We're releasing the single at a midnight show in Whelan's on June 9th, more details on the facebook event here!

EDIT: Seattle is now available on Bandcamp! Click on the box below..