AMN Reviews: Jeb Bishop / Nate McBride / Tim Daisy – Alive at the Hideout (2020; Catalytic Sound)

Longtime Chicago improvisers Bishop (trombone and electronics), McBride (electric bass), and Daisy (drums) recently released this 33-minute set from 2011, recorded live at one of that city’s longtime music clubs, the Hideout. Consisting of two long tracks, the album captures an energetic slice of modern jazz.

From the outset, the trio is aggressive, almost to the point of being downright angry. McBride puts down assertive, jagged, and rolling rhythms that tightly couple with the busy kit-work of Daisy. Bishop serves up as much punctuation as he does melody, with pointed themes that turn sharp corners. The second piece slows things down for a while until Bishop eschews the trombone in favor of grinding electronics and effects. Eventually, he sets them up in the background and plays over them while McBride and Daisy provide another driving rhythmic exploration.

What sets these gentlemen apart – aside from the gutsiness of their approach – is that they straddle categorization. Too unusal for the traditional, but too structured to be free.  In spite of (or perhaps because of) this, Alive at the Hideout is absolutely devastating.  It was released last month as a members-only offering, but will reward any effort you take to get your hands on it.

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