Exposé Online banner

Led Bib — Umbrella Weather
(RareNoise RNR071, 2017, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2017-06-13

Umbrella Weather Cover art

Many of our readers should already be acquainted with Led Bib. The People in Your Neighborhood (2014) was one of the outstanding jazz releases of its year, and with Umbrella Weather, they might just have done themselves one better. The qualities I appreciate most in jazz are present in abundance: adventurous compositions, explorational sounds, subtle interplay between musicians, and energetic imagination. The personnel is intact from the beginning of the group, with dual alto saxes by Pete Grogan and Chris Williams, keyboards (mostly Rhodes electric piano) from Toby McLaren, electric bassist Liran Donin, and drummer Mark Holub. Not many groups have two alto saxes, and it might seem at first to provide less variety than including a tenor, bari, or soprano might, and neither Grogan nor Williams doubles on anything else. But they make it work, sometimes functioning almost like a single two-headed musician, albeit a somewhat schizophrenic one. And, hey, lots of bands have two guitars, right? I can’t tell the two players apart by sound, but they are both great. McLaren’s favored instrument is the Rhodes, but on this album, he spends more time on other keyboards than I remember on past outings. The credits aren’t specific, but there’s some kind of synth or organ involved, along with some effects like distortion and ring modulator on the Rhodes. Donin’s bass has a big, muscular tone, and is often augmented by effects — when he kicks in the fuzz, the link to classic Soft Machine with Hugh Hopper is unmistakable, though not in a derivative way. Donin also likes to play chords, beefing up the bottom end even more. And Holub, who started the band, is simply an amazing drummer, busy and energetic without overpowering the others, and he has the majority of the composer credits as well. This is one case where a 70+ minute running time is justified — Led Bib provides non-stop interest and quality from start to finish.


Filed under: New releases, 2017 releases

Related artist(s): Led Bib

More info
http://ledbib.bandcamp.com/album/umbrella-weather

Latest news

2020-06-14
Keith Tippett RIP – One of the giants of British jazz has left us. Keith Graham Tippetts, known professionally as Keith Tippett, died today at the age of 72. His work from the late 60s into the 70s and beyond includes some of the greatest jazz produced in the UK, and stands as an impressive oevre to this day. » Read more

2020-05-15
Phil May of The Pretty Things RIP – We were saddened to learn that Phil May, lead singer and founding member of The Pretty Things, has died at the age of 75. The band's 1968 album S.F. Sorrow is one of the enduring classics of the psychedelic era, and the group existed in various forms until finally retiring in 2018. » Read more

2020-05-14
Jorge Santana RIP – Jorge Santana, noted guitarist, leader of the band Malo and brother to Carlos Santan, died on May 14 at the age of 68. Jorge and Carlos worked together on a number of occasions, though Jorge's career was centered around Malo, solo work, and with Fania All-Stars. » Read more

2020-05-06
Florian Schneider RIP – Florian Schneider, one of the founders of the pioneering electronic group Kraftwerk, has died at the age of 73. Co-founder Ralf Hütter announced that his bandmate had passed away from cancer after a brief illness. » Read more

2020-04-23
Shindig Festival Goes Lock-Down – Here's what they're saying: It's A Happening Thing! The Shindig! Magazine Lockdown Festival. In our days of no large gatherings of people, maybe it's still possible to have a music festival. Shindig! Magazine is giving it a go with a multi-artist streaming extravaganza on Saturday April 25. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Bob Lind - Elusive Butterfly - The Complete 1966 Jack Nitzsche Sessions – In the early sixties at the height of the folk boom, Denver based singer/songwriter Bob Lind was regularly working the coffee houses in the area, and later (as the local folk scene dried up) moved to...  (2008) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues