Biography All Music Guide
All Music Guide:
Winner of the 2002 Thelonious Monk Jazz Award, saxophonist, composer, and arranger Seamus Blake is a forward-thinking musician with a bent toward modern creative jazz and swinging post-bop. Born in England in 1970, Blake grew up in Canada and eventually studied at the Berklee College of Music in Boston. After graduating, he relocated to New York City and quickly established himself as a regular performer and in-demand sideman. During this time, he recorded with several name artists including drummers Victor Lewis and Billy Drummond, pianist Darrell Grant, and others. He has also toured with John Scofield, and is a regular member of the Mingus Big Band. As a solo performer, Blake has recorded a steady stream of albums including his 1993 solo debut, The Call, on Criss Cross; 1997's Four Track Mind; 1999's Stranger Things Have Happened; 2000's Sunsol; 2001's Echonomics; 2007's Way Out Willy, and 2009's Bellwether. He is also a co-leader of the collective jazz, rock, and funk ensemble Bloomdaddies with whom he has recorded several albums including the band's 1996 self-titled debut, 1998's Racer X, and 2001's Mosh for Lovers. A consummate live performer, Blake has also released a handful of well-received concert albums including 2001's Live au Cabaret, which featured him performing in Montreal in 1999, and 2008's double-disc Live in Italy, which showcased him over several nights in Palermo, Senigallia, and Cesenatico. In 2010, Blake released the concert album Live at Smalls, featuring such longtime bandmates as drummer Bill Stewart, guitarist Lage Lund, bassist Matt Clohesy, and pianist Dave Kikoski. A member of drummer Adam Nussbaum's BANN ensemble, Blake appeared on the group's 2011 debut album, As You Like.