Led Bib, Sensible Shoes

Thank god for Led Bib. Vaulting the fine line between new jazz and old throwbacks, the London-based quintet sounds morelike John Zorn without all that klezmer stuff going on. On thier past albums and at past shows they have played standards mixed in with Bowie and Talking heads covers, no strange thing considering they were started by Mark Holub, the bands drummer. Thier rock sound maybe what makes them so accessible, and so Cunieform, a label they share with Upsilon Crux, Beat Circus, and the punk-jazz group Gutbucket.

Armed with double alto saxaphone, the group can create wall-of-sound harmonies by adding the interjections of Rhodes keyboard. Sensible Shoes, a heavily rock influenced group with subtly rock influenced tracks, can jump in and out of genres at the drop of a hat. Squirrel Carnage takes us in and out of hard bop, into free jazz, and back again. Water Shortage is an electro-charged ballad departing from thier harder album openers.

On Sensible Shoes, Led Bib finds thier hard-hitting sound and defines themselves as well-versed players. They would fit just as well Downtown at Tonic in the mid-90s as they would with Joe McPhee on the soul-charged Nation Time. At times, the shifts in and out of genre and rhythm may seem even frustrating, but Led Bib has created a masterful look at their abilities in just 9 tracks. Sensible Shoes is available from Cuneiform Records.


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