Writer Larry Kart says: "Fine as Bishop has always been -- with his burry tone and penchant for mutes, he might be described as a somewhat "out" cross between Bill Harris and Tricky Sam Nanton -- he's been getting better and better, thinking more melodically than in terms of 'effects,' and this record is SO damn good. One lovely, wry, gnarly piece after another, and the logic of his melodic thinking just sweeps me away. Also, the presence and clarity of the recording is exceptional."
Peter Margasak wrote in the Chicago Reader: "For more than a decade Jeb Bishop has been one of the top instrumentalists in the city, and lately I've become convinced he's one of best trombonists in all of jazz. He's an incredibly thoughtful and focused musician, which helps explain why almost ten years went by between his previous album as a bandleader—with bassist Kent Kessler, drummer Tim Mulvenna, and sometimes guitarist Jeff Parker—and the stunning new 2009 (Better Animal), where he's joined by bassist Jason Roebke and drummer Frank Rosaly. In his liner notes he ascribes the gap to "re-examination of my own playing and the demands I placed on myself; evolution in the musical chemistry of the previous version of the trio; and a realization that it's okay to take your time before making a statement." And 2009 is one hell of a statement. His current trio is both sleeker and more agile than its beefier predecessor, and attacks Bishop's sanguine and well-proportioned compositions with a crisp athletic drive, pulling each one apart without losing the thread. Roebke and Rosaly enable Bishop to express his full range—from ebullient, fat-toned tailgate funk to multiphonic mute-aided dissections of the trombone's sound—and he consistently improvises with a rigorous compositional sensibility, so that even his most abstract excursions tell a story. Bishop isn't nearly as well-known outside the city as he should be, no doubt because he's been so stingy with his own music, but 2009 is the kind of recording that can fix a problem like that in a heartbeat."
Grego Applegate writes: "The confluence of factors that go into a great session by improvising artists can be many. But when the band is just ON IT, the rest becomes of minor significance (so long as everything in the digital world is in order). That's what happened on Chicago trombonist Jeb Bishop's new 2009 (Better Animal 1) CD. This is one of those fortuitous deals when everything is in alignment. Jason Roebke (bass) and Frank Rosaly (drums) are on fire and Jeb Bishop is burning things up like a pyromaniac. It is a set of very nice Jeb Bishop compositions, geared to getting the juices flowing in no mere perfunctory way. There may be a fair amount of trombonist's albums out this year. This one is at the very top so far, and will surely remain so. Jeb is fluid and inspired; he lets loose with a torrent of great lines from the beginning of this CD to the end. This is a must listen for anybody into the trombone and/or the loose but impassioned and intelligent jazz one comes to expect from Mr. Bishop. Hell this is a great listen whether you are into the trombone as a rule or no!"
Some excerpts from the CD:
Hear further samples and get the CD at CDBaby.
Hear samples and get it from iTunes.
It's also in stock at the Jazz Record Mart.
And at Dusty Groove.
Copies are also in stock at Trem Azul in Lisbon, Portugal.
Or buy it from me via PayPal (you don't have to have a PayPal account to do this):
Domestic (US) buyers, use this button ($13.00, domestic shipping included):
Buyers outside the US, use this button ($18.00, international shipping included):
Please note: if I am out of town it might take me a while to ship your copy. You may want to email me first (using the Contact link above) to check estimated shipping time. Thank you!