Todd Bishop

Travelogue

origin 82664

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MUSIC REVIEW BY Travis Rogers, Jr., JazzTimes

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For Travelogue Bishop has brought together some old partners and one new addition. Chris Higgins on bass is the new addition and a welcome one, at that. Higgins straight Jazz approach works incredibly well with Bishop's own drum work.

Returning for Travelogue are Richard Cole on the woodwinds (soprano, tenor and baritone saxophones, bass clarinet and alto flute) and the brilliant Jasnam Daya Singh (formerly Weber Iago) on piano. Singh is one of the most fulfilling and exciting Jazz pianists of our time.

The album opens with "Moving" and is a Bishop and Singh composition. Singh is a fantastic composer as evidenced by his long collaboration with Hristo Vitchev. Bishop is well-partnered with Singh as they create lyrically rhythmic works that highlight both of them as well as their bandmates. All four musicians are given broad moments that allow them to add their own talents to the overall sound. Bishop captures the attention early and often.

"Far and Awake" is a composition by Singh only. The start/stop texture is beautifully transformed into a flowing tapestry of rich and luscious tonality. Singh's solos are a joy to hear, as always. He never disappoints. Add Cole's sax and it becomes a work of great exception.

"Ventimiglia" (Bishop/Singh) gives and early forum to Higgins' bass who sets up the coolest of grooves right from the inception. The nearly Afro-Cuban beats of Bishop keep the piano and sax propelling forward.

"Dom's Riff" (Bishop) is a hot rhythmic exploration and "Rover" (Bishop/Singh) moves between tight changes and instrumental shifts as Cole also moves between sax and bass clarinet. "Norwegian" (Bishop/Singh), on the other hand, is the most haunting piece of the album. The bass clarinet intensifies the feel and Singh is masterfully intriguing. Bishop himself is exquisite in his creation of the framework within which the soloists move and create. A fascinating piece.

Richard Cole's composition "Somnambulist" is almost a tone-poem in its vivid imagery of the sleepwalker. Cole has penned a piece with rare vision and Bishop, Singh and Higgins carry off the piece incredibly well with equal vision and inspiration.

The album concludes with Shields and Butcher's "Only Shallow." The track has a completely different feel and expression than the rest of the album. A bit funkier, more intense, it is a fun send-off from Bishop to the listener. The bass groove by Higgins is memorable indeed. Travelogue is brilliant from beginning to end.

The musicians are flawless and the compositions are often staggering. Including Jasnam Daya Singh is a sure bet. Bishop has scored again.






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