Samuel Blaser & Gerry Hemingway

"Oostum" A new duo release on LP from No Business Recordings

Oostum Cover

The performances of this recording were recorded near Groningen (the Netherlands), in the Church of Oostum on August 29, 2015 as part of the annual ZomerJazzFietsTour. It was released in January of 2018 by No Business records in a limited edition of 300 Lps. Below are two pieces from the LP.

Keerk (Samuel Blaser / Gerry Hemingway) 6:51

Oogue (Samuel Blaser / Gerry Hemingway) 7:22



performance shot from Oostum performance

All About Jazz - John Sharpe - April 2018

Swiss trombonist Samuel Blaser has developed a productive partnership with drummer Gerry Hemingway since the American's relocation to Switzerland. Hemingway also forms part of the latest incarnation of Blaser's Quartet as well as his Consort In Motion outfit, heard on A Mirror to Machaut (Songlines, 2013). Such alliances stand the pair in good stead as they embark on the spontaneous duet heard on Oostum, recorded in church in the eponymous village during the 2015 version of the quintessentially Dutch Zomer Jazz Fiets Tour (Summer Jazz Cycling Tour).

As always the stripped-back format encourages unalloyed exchanges, and in these expert hands, that's what you get over seven jointly-birthed pieces. Blaser, who has become one of the most talented trombonists on the scene, takes a finely-nuanced approach which contrasts passages of springy melodicism with occasional multiphonic chorales. Hemingway maintains a loose momentum tinged with meter, calling on his years of experience to select the most appropriate strategy at any given point. In fact they each find just the right sounds to match the other, as evident in the sudden central climax of "Mettle," erupting from almost inaudible beginnings, before returning to furtive susurrations to finish.

The sense of narrative in that same cut also highlights another of this set's merits. As bandleaders and composers in their own right, both men often create form through their improvisations leading to satisfying end results. "Balloon" furnishes a further example of empathetic listening as Blaser's suitably churchy lyricism shifts up and down the gears, paced by Hemingway's pattering undertow. But whatever the tempo, the two engaging personalities shine through in these unhurried conversational outings. The limited edition LP is also available as a download, including an extra track, the sprightly "Moons," which comes across as a flag-waving finale in this rarefied atmosphere.

Review from Dusted Groove (January 2018 review)

A really great setting for drummer Gerry Hemingway – an album that has him improvising live with trombonist Samuel Blaser – a fantastic musician who's one of the freshest trombone talents we've heard in years! In previous comments, we've liked Blaser to a modern day heir to the genius of 60s trombonists like Roswell Rudd and Grachan Moncur – and those words definitely hold true here, as Blaser delivers a wondrous balance between new sounds and tuneful moments, fresh ideas and a longer tradition on his horn – all in ways that make Hemingway sound even more creative than usual. The album features six duets, all recorded live in a church during a jazz festival in the Netherlands – with titles that include "Spoor", "Rogue", "Mettle", "Bloos", and "Balloon".

Review from Dusted Vol 4 No. 4 March 2018 Derek Taylor

Depending on the chosen measurement marker, free improvisation in its modern Western guise is now well over half-century extant as a means of musical inquiry. That longevity means that the days when pairings of instruments were considered radical or ungainly purely on the absence of measurable precedence are long gone. The tandem of trombone and drum kit may not be common, but examples are readily procurable. What remains singular is the pairing of Samuel Blaser and Gerry Hemingway with such instrumentation. OOSTUM documents on vinyl a concert between the Swiss and the American at Groningen, Netherlands in the summer of 2015. Six pieces, three to a side, serve as chapters in the amicable colloquy. The duo starts from near silence and the dynamics remain wide for the duration with Blaser tracing thematic fragments against a gliding wash of colors and textures from Hemingway. Bowed cymbals match and contrast with the metallics of plungered brass to build a striated horizontal structure of drones. Soon after, it’s mallets on toms vying with pursed, slide-driven murmurs in a loping processional. It being Blaser, there’s also a fair bit of humor as with the Doppler gutbucket shenanigans that color the Side A-closing “Balloon”. Instruments and their implementers prove an optimal match.