14th May2009

Led Bib ‘Sensible Shoes’ (Cuneiform) 3/5

by ukvibe

With a decided left-field attitude comes this latest album from Led Bib, a British based and formed quintet comprising rhythm section and two alto saxophones under the tutelage of expat American Mark Holub. Notorious for their anarchic live sound that combines free jazz, thrash metal drumming and all round cacophony of sound, Led Bib’s fourth album faces the same dilemma as its predecessors. Can the group reproduce in the studio the manic sound they generate in a live setting? The answer is a qualified yes. They are at their best on the improvised fusion of ‘Flat pack fantasy’ that might be described as Weather Report on acid, or on the Miles influenced fusion of ‘Squirrel carnage’ that features nice licks from pianist Tony McLaren. Arguably the more reflective side to their playing is hinted at on tracks such as ‘Water shortage’ with clever use of piano and sax. It has to be said that this will not be everyone’s cup of tea and even within jazz circles 
may attract marginal interest at best. The album comes with a government health warning for the faint hearted if played loud. Those of a sensitive disposition be warned!

Tim Stenhouse

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