Belgian jazz trio THUNDERBLENDER releases debut album ‘STILLORGAN’
Together with two young trailblazers of the Belgian jazz scene, Hendrik Lasure (SCHNTZL) and Jens Bouttery (Hi Hawaii), they play Comerford’s dark and unpredictable compositions with joy and abandon.
The music explores intense emotions, moving between order and chaos, free improvisation and intricate writing, heavy grooves and fragile intimate moments. It’s a European band with a nod to the American avant-garde, influenced by Henry Threadgill and Tim Berne, with references to 20th century classical harmony.
Jens Bouttery augments his drum set with left-handed bass synth, giving him complete freedom as a one-man rhythm section. Without a conventional bass player, Lasure is free to use the full range of the grand piano, sometimes with live sampling. Comerford plays tenor and the rarely-heard bass saxophone, with playing that could be characterised as equal parts abrasive and lyrical.
They have toured around Belgium, Ireland, Netherlands and Germany, Sam being awarded “Best Instrumentalist” at Tremplin d’Avignon. All three members are laureates of the “Toots Thielemans Award” from the KCB.
On September 11th 2020 they will release their debut album ‘Stillorgan’, recorded with producer Koen Gisen, in CD and LP formats on WERF Records. This will be accompanied by a Belgian release tour, in association with Jazzlab Series.
“Even in Thunderblender’s most intense improvisational flights there’s an abiding sense of the three musicians locked on the same intuitive wavelength, whereby freedom and control are but two sides of the same coin. Gutsy yet melodic, rhythmically complex yet grooving, there’s plenty to admire in this fine debut.”
– Ian Patterson, All About Jazz, on debut EP Last Minute Panic, 2017.
Sam Comerford (IE) – tenor and bass saxophone, compositions
Sam plays tenor and bass sax in groups such as Hendrik Lasure’s warm bad, Aerie, Umbra, Insufficient Funs, ODIL, and Yskan. He represented Ireland for two years in the European Saxophone Ensemble, and twice at the 12 Points Festival.
Hendrik Lasure (BE) – piano, live sampler
At 22 years old, Hendrik has drawn critical acclaim as one of the most exciting pianists of his generation. He plays piano and synthesiser in the duo SCHNTZL, and in 2018 released his debut album with warm bad, a sextet with three guitars. Other groups include Bombataz and An Pierlé quartet
Jens Bouttery (BE) – drums, bass synth
One of the most in demand drummers in and out of Belgium, Jens is one half of Hi Hawaii, a duo with Lennart Heyndels. As a sideman he works in groups such as Les Chroniques de l’Inutile, Llop and Jef Neve’s “Spirit Control”, and Warhaus.