Redwood Jazz Alliance

Chris Lightcap's Bigmouth
Tuesday, October 30, 8 p.m.| Fulkerson Recital Hall, HSU

 "With Deluxe, one of the year's most satisfying jazz releases, Lightcap delivered a righteous dispatch from the New York jazz grid, full of streamlined rhythm and stark, suggestive harmony."
—Nate Chinen, New York TImes

"From start to finish this music sings."
—Lloyd Sachs, DownBeat

(For music and links, scroll to the bottom of this page)

Chris Lightcap's Bigmouth

We might not agree with the Wall Street Journal about much else, but when that paper's jazz writer Martin Johnson put Chris Lightcap among "the next wave of greats," we were right there with him: the bassist's latest CD was our clear pick for 2010 album of the year. (And not just ours; the disc wound up on more than twenty "best-of" lists, including those of the New York Times, the Village Voice, NPR, and JazzTimes.) With a brawny frontline and a killer rhythm section, Lightcap's band Bigmouth makes rippling, surging, ebullient music that borrows smartly from pop, indie, Latin, funk, gospel and African music--and sounds like none of them. It just sounds fantastic.

Lightcap grew up in blue-collar Latrobe, Pennsylvania, starting on violin and piano before picking up the bass as a teenager. He moved to New York in 1993 and was soon playing with the likes of Cecil Taylor, Paquito D'Rivera, John Abercrombie, Tom Harrell, and Jeff "Tain" Watts.  He served longer apprenticeships with Archie Shepp and Joe Morris, and at the same time he forged lasting relationships with a score of younger musicians who have since risen to the top tier of the current New York and Brooklyn scenes.  Lightcap's own first band came together in 1998, and for a decade now he's been a key part of violinist Regina Carter’s group Reverse Thread.

Bigmouth's members have the sort of symbiotic rapport that comes from years of collaboration in each other's bands and as co-sidemen.  Over the years, plenty of big names have occupied one of the band's two tenor chairs: Mark Turner, Bill McHenry, Chris Cheek, and Jeff Lederer have all (in the words of the WSJ) "creat[ed] soaring harmonies and incisive, contrasting solos."  The one constant has been Tony Malaby, the distinctive and ubiquitous bandleader, composer, and sideman.  (RJA audiences will remember his appearance with trumpeter Ralph Alessi's This Against That back in 2009.) Partnering with Malaby on this tour is multi-instrumentalist Andrew Bishop, an educator, composer, and player active in a wide array of idioms and perhaps best known for his "Hank Williams Project."  Rounding out the band's rhythm section, and filling in for longtime Lightcap collaborators Craig Taborn and Gerald Cleaver, are two of the jazz firmament's brightest rising stars: keyboardist Matt Mitchell, a favorite of mavericks like Tim Berne and John Hollenbeck and member of the latest incarnation of the Dave Douglas Quintet (he also visited Arcata last spring with guitarist Rez Abbasi's Invocation); and restless drummer Ches Smith, who like Mitchell runs with Berne, downtown guitarist Mary Halvorson, and others.   

In 2011 Lightcap won a prestigious New Jazz Works commission from Chamber Music America; he's premiering pieces composed under that grant on this tour.

(Adapted in part from Jazz Times and Clean Feed Records)

Tickets ($15 General Admission, $10 Students & Seniors) are available here at our website, or at Wildberries, Wildwood Music, People's Records, and The Works.

Chris Lightcap will also present an open public workshop on Wednesday, October 31st at 11:00 a.m. in the Studio Theater (Theatre Arts Building Room 115, just down the hall from the Van Duzer Lobby). People of all levels of experience are welcome to attend, and admission is FREE.

News IconWords & Pixels:

video Video:

  • "Ting," live at the 2010 Red Hook Jazz Festival, Brooklyn, NY (see sidebar at left).


Additional support for this show comes from KHSU, Northtown Books, and Rustic West Trading Company.

HSU SealWednesday's free public workshop is made possible through the generosity of HSU's Office of the President, the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, and the Department of Music.

If you or your business would like to consider sponsoring a Redwood Jazz Alliance event and/or advertising in our concert programs, please e-mail us or visit our Underwriting & Donations page.

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