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

2019-11-07
Glenn Smith RIP – Glenn Smith, founder, mandolinist, and primary composer of the DeLand, Florida based prog / fusion band Magnatar, passed away on October 18th 2019 at the age of 68, after a brief illness.  » Read more

2019-11-04
Dino Brassea RIP – Word reaches us of the passing of Dino Brassea, who sang and played flute in Cast for many years. By our count, Brassea appeared on 11 Cast albums between 1994 and 2002. He also released music as a solo artist. » Read more

2019-10-06
Ginger Baker RIP – Legendary English drummer Ginger Baker has died at the age of 80. After coming to fame with Cream in the 60s alongside Eric Clapton and Jack Bruce, he became one of the most recognized and influential drummers of the rock era. On September 25, his family announced that he was critically ill, and on October 6 his death was confirmed. » Read more

2019-08-20
Alex's Hand Seeks Spa Treatment – American / European band Alex's Hand has a new album in the works called Hungarian Spa, which looks to be their biggest and best yet, featuring a large roster of guest musicians. They're seeking funding to take the project on the road, and are looking for help from the crowd of wisdom. » Read more

2019-06-05
Legendary Co-Founder of The 13th Floor Elevators Passes Away at Age 71 – Sadly, Roky Erickson passed away on May 31, 2019. Known as the father of psychedelic music and co-founder of the ground breaking 13th Floor Elevators, Roky had a profound influence on music from the 60s to today. Plagued by his own personal demons, Roky had a difficult life and is now free of these burdens. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Jeff Greinke - Big Weather – I'm very picky when it comes to electronic music. If I like an artist in this vein (like Lightwave, Klaus Schulze, Steve Roach, or Robert Rich) I tend to really get into it. Greinke is an artist that...  (1994) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues