CD reviews

Led Bib – “It’s Morning”

Led Bib – It’s Morning (RareNoise Records RNR108 review by Nick Davies) Led Bib return with their sixth album, their second for RareNoise Records, promising music that is different from what has come before; this time, incorporating vocals. The band are innovators and their music can be described as exploratory jazz with a hint of rock/post punk and a dash of electronica. True improvisers, they certainly lived up to high expectations with It’s Morning. The band retains its core line-up of Mark Holub on drums, Liran Donin on bass and both Chris Williams and Peter Grogan on saxophones. New members include Elliot Galvin on keyboards, plus Sharron Fortnam and Jack Hues on vocals. The two standout aspects of this Led Bib album are Galvin’s experimental improvisation and the incredible vocals. Led Bib has never used vocals on its previous five albums so this genius addition takes them on a different journey. Holub states: “Led Bib has developed an identifiable improvisation language over the last 15 years. After all that time we started to wonder what it might be like to take the language into a whole new area”. With this album, they have done just that, despite rumours that the band would be no more after their last album. Its Morning is a heavyweight record that delivers in every aspect. The music is at times complex but later transitions to subtlety and, later, jaw-dropping astonishment: a cinematic journey at one point and a full blooded assault on the senses later but always creating a sense of magic that is often lacking in music today. As a composer, Holub is able to get the best out of his musicians, introducing them at precisely the perfect moment, like in the Atom Story track, which starts with Galvin’s keyboards, progressing on to Fortnam’s vocal, both complementing each other. The vocal entwines the music like a vine which enhances the track and sets the scene. The next song Stratford East starts differently, first with the band, followed by the cello in a cross between electric punk and house which is achieved by a classic battle between the cello and keyboard. Just when one adjusts to this surprise, Fortnam’s charmed vocal is introduced. The rest of the album follows a similar vein, with the addition of the vocal its standout feature. This change in direction places Led Bib firmly on your reviewer’s favourites list and makes them, as a band, simply unforgettable.

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