Off Minor

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Led Bib, at the Vortex 10/4/07

Posted April 11, 2007

Led Bib at the Vortex

A totally incendiary (two) sets from Led Bib at the Vortex, this Tuesday. Another of The Babel label’s great young progressive jazz acts… they were there promoting their new album Sizewell Tea (apparently released April 23rd, but available some places already).

Going in to see this was a fairly on-the-whim sort of thing, based pretty much on hearing their track on this month’s Jazzwise cover-mounted Babel sampler CD (pretty decent, plus you get a free magazine with it, too). I guess they’re a sort of punk-funk-jazz quintet; more ‘jazzy’ than Babel-mates Acoustic Ladyland or Polar Bear, but sharing that hot contemporary-London-jazz feel; a bunch of music-school graduates coming through from a background of growing up listening to rock music… What?

Led Bib is: Liran Donin (bass), Toby McLaren (keyboards), Chris Williams (alto sax, left in picture above), Pete Grogan (also alto sax), and Mark Holub, the group leader (on drums). The gig itself was a bit of a slow start; the band making it onto the Vortex stage almost an hour after the scheduled start, and with the first set seemingly thrown off-kilter by PA issues; the second set was a lot more cooking… The twin sax line up is cool; in a band like Polar Bear, for example, the saxes (Pete Wareham and Mark Lockheart, in that case) tend to stick quite close together, weaving around a single line. With Led Bib, Grogan and Williams play the heads tight together in free swirls, but then separate with very much their own distinctive voices; Grogan plays a more considered, traditional line, with occasional Coltrane-tinges, while Williams is more stream-of-consciousness: every now and then moving into great bursts of bebop-Marshall-Allen. Liran Donin is a great bassist, contributing a couple of brilliantly melodic solos. Toby McLaren was laying the groove well-down with some tight Fender Rhodes, perfectly meshed with Holub’s restrained but inspired drumming. Holub is a New Jersey ex-pat, and you can hear a strong New York-downtown vibe in their music; free-jazz but with the awareness that “people are listening”. Really fantastic group; the nuclear-power reference from their Sizewell Tea is probably pretty apt, just a great fun uplifting band… Sample sounds are available on their myspace and Babel pages…

One Response to “Led Bib, at the Vortex 10/4/07”

GravatarLed Bib at the Vortex, 10/4/07 | Sax Images said:

#1 (on 4/2/2013 at 5:15 am )

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