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John Bishop: Nothing If Not Something

On this adventurous, open-ended trio outing, the Seattle-based drummer and founder of Origin Records forges an extraordinary, freewheeling chemistry with kindred spirits Jeff Johnson on bass and Rick Mandyck on alto sax. A ubiquitous figure on the Northwest jazz scene, Bishop’s first recording under his own name runs the gamut of dynamics from a spacious, hymnlike cover of Curtis Lundy’s “Orange Blossom,” underscored by Bishop’s ultrasensitive brushwork, to an off-kilter funk number, Johnson’s “Hurt Brothers,” fueled by the drummer’s insistent, slamming backbeats.

The highly interactive nature of the trio is showcased on Mandyck’s reflective “Anata Wa Utsukushi,” on which Bishop resorts to gentle mallet work, and on a sparse, lightly swinging cover of Ralph Peterson’s lyrical “Lady In Black,” which beautifully highlights Mandyck’s gorgeous, buttery tone and his ease in the high register.

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