Thunderblender is a trio from Brussels led by Sam Comerford.
Together with two young trailblazers of the Belgian jazz scene, Hendrik Lasure and Jens Bouttery, they play Comerfords 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. Its 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 augmented by live sampling. Comerford plays tenor and the rarely-heard bass saxophone, with playing that could be characterised as equal parts abrasive and lyrical.
In 2020 they will release their debut album, 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. They have toured around Belgium, Ireland, Netherlands and Germany, Sam being awarded Best Instrumentalist at Tremplin dAvignon. All three members are laureates of the Toots Thielemans Award from the KCB.
AllAboutJazz.com on their debut EP, Last Minute Panic (2017): "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."