AMN Reviews: Led Bib – The Good Egg (2014; Cuneiform Records)

coverIt is time to add to the annals of albums that can be classified as a short burst of energy. UK-based Led Bib has never been a group that overstays its welcome on any particular piece. But clocking in at 35-minutes, this live recording from February and July of 2013 has something to say, says it, then gracefully steps out of the way.

Led Bib has always resembled some variation of a progressive rock band playing jazz, or a jazz band playing progressive rock, and this release does not change that formula.  The Good Egg features the group’s usual dual-horn attack, prominent bass and drums, and keyboards providing atmosphere.  On the surface, Led Bib’s approach originates in well-trodden territory. An intricate bass line is laid down, the drums follow along adding accents of their own, and the horns provide when seems to be partially-composed, partially-improvised layers on top of that. But rarely has such a formula been done so well. The group fills each second with something new, and the tracks exhibit a level of energy that exceeds their already frantically-paced studio releases.

If anything, many albums are too long.  Perhaps musicians feel like they need to fill out the 80 some-odd minutes of a CD rather than leaving some material on the cutting room floor. Led Bib gives creative jazz the Goldilocks treatment to great effect, and the result is one of their best offerings to date.

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