The set has a life-affirming, celebratory quality...Antwerp stands out as a blue-ribbon piano trio album, certainly one of the year's finest.
Carrying on a widely varied career over several decades, it's through membership in several long-lived trios where Seattle drummer John Bishop's musical voice is probably most apparent. With New York pianist Hal Galper's acclaimed "rubato" trio over the last 15 years, the band Scenes with guitarist John Stowell for another 20, or the piano trio New Stories which started in the mid-80s, each provided a committed vision with a focus on the collective narrative. With that, it's no surprise that Bishop would deliver another trio as the first album under his own name in 15 years. First meeting pianist Bram Weijters and bassist Piet Verbist in Belgium in 2010 through a quartet with trumpeter Chad McCullough, they went on to do yearly tours, performing 100+ concerts, and releasing 3 albums over its 8 years. Continuing yearly trips to Antwerp following the pandemic, the thought of recording a trio with Piet & Bram came in a flash of gratitude for their friendship, musicianship and the ongoing adventures that the first Antwerp visit inspired. Theirs is a sound evolved from mutual admiration and the joy of creation.
"...Bishop has his own distinctive sound, one that a listener can identify on any recording. His intuitive sensitivity, chant-like use of cymbals, and masterful brush work serve as a spatial touchstone..."
All About Jazz
"...Weijters is a commanding presence on the piano - passionate and percussive (with) a knack for intriguing story telling."
All About Jazz
1 Rücksichtslos 6:00 (Bram Weijters)
2 Trip The Light Fantastic 6:54 (Hal Galper)
3 Pointing at the Moon 5:10 (Piet Verbist)
4 Bull 3:34 (Piet Verbist)
5 Lawns 7:28 (Carla Bley)
6 The Same Melody 3:45 (Bram Weijters)
7 For Less Than Nothing 6:57 (Piet Verbist)
8 Two For the Road 6:11 (Henry Mancini)
9 Contemplative 6:47 (Bram Weijters)
Produced by John Bishop
Recorded on May 9, 2023 by Jussi De Nys
at Rockstar Recordings, Niel, Antwerp, Belgium
Mixed by Dave Dysart, Bellevue, WA
Mastered by Dave Darlington
at Bass Hit Recording, New York City
Photos by John Bishop, except:
Back cover by Leila Shearer
Musicians by Eric Malfait
Cover design & layout by John Bishop
All About Jazz (Dan McClenaghan)
4 1/2 STARS Drummer John Bishop, the guy who runs Seattle's Origin Records, does not often put out records under his own name. There was Nothing If Not Something (Origin Records) in 2005, review here, and then nothing until the disc at hand, 2023's Antwerp. Not that Bishop has avoided the recording studio. He is, as a sideman, in fact quite prolif ...
Contemporary Fusion Reviews (Dick Metcalf)
Definitively distinctive jazz John Bishop – ANTWERP: Believe it or not, in all the years I've been reviewing jazz, this is my first encounter with such definitively distinctive jazz as Seattle drummer John Bishop and his bandmates produce for your enjoyment. To give you an idea of their timeless jazz skills, I (most STRONGLY) recommend that you ...
KUVO (Denver) (Arturo Gomez)
The trio of this recording have played together in the studios and stages of Belgium, France, and Russia for 13 years! They have attended many jazz conferences in Europe and have shared musical knowledge and experiences creating very tight bonds among them. The leader of the trio is John Bishop who in addition to being an outstanding drummer, is th ...
Jazz Weekly (George W Harris)
Drummer John Bishop forms a trio with Bram Weijters/p and Piet Verbist/b for a mix of originals and some jazz covers. The leader shows crisp sticks on boppers like "Ruchsichtslos" and the dramatic modal "Bull" which give Weijters plenty of room to move. Verbist digs in like a man with a pick ax on 'The Same Melody" and links arms with Bishop on ...
WTJU-FM (Russell Perry)
Drummer John Bishop (Benjamin Boone, Hal Galper, Thomas Marriott) founded Origin Records as a label "run for musicians by musicians", yet rarely does he issue music under his own name. It has been 18 years since Nothing If Not Something in 2005. Of the program of six originals and three covers (by Hal Galper, Carla Bley, Henry Mancini), Dan McCle ...