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Todd Bishop

Todd Bishop (b. 1967) has been performing and teaching professionally in Portland, OR, the west, and internationally since 1985. He has led jazz, avant-garde and indie rock groups and produced five CDs of original music for Seattle's Origin Records and for independent release. With his multi-layered, organic style, he is a compelling musician, and has thrilled audiences with visceral performances owing as much to the influence of Keith Moon or Olatunji as to the jazz masters.

He released two CDs with the jazz power trio Flatland. The Satellite is a largely groove-based album with early Bishop arrangements of two Don Cherry tunes, and produced by Tony Lash (Elliot Smith, Dandy Warhols). The second CD, Origin of Species, bore Bishop's stamp as producer and arranger, highlights including several dark, cinematic soundscape pieces, and "Malheur", a propulsive drum solo. The group was a significant regional presence, and shared bills with such acts as Galactic, Charlie Hunter, Wayne Horvitz, and Herbie Hancock's Headhunters.

Next came the ambient, delicately-textured free improvisations of Lower Monumental, which released Mayday Session, a live broadcast performance on Seattle's venerable Sonarchy Radio. Features a spontaneously rendered Bishop composition, "Headlights."

The movie-music/international pop-oriented Pop Art 4 is Bishop's most ambitious project to date, with an European tour in the works and at least four additional CDs worth of material currently in development, including free interpretations of the music of Akira Kurosawa's Yojimbo, Lalo Schifrin's Dirty Harry soundtrack, and Candy, an album of original music.

Bishop studied classical percussion with Charles Dowd at the University of Oregon, and, under scholarship, jazz studies with Gregg Field (Count Basie) and John Thomas (Woody Herman, Chick Corea) at the University of Southern California. He also completed six national tours with DCI-affilliated drum and bugle corps, including the famous1986 Santa Clara Vanguard, which finished second nationally that year. He was instructed by drum corps greats Ralph Hardimon, George Tuthill, and Fred Sanford, as well as marching specialist Alan Keown.

Also accomplished in visual media, he is a prolific photographer of Pacific NW musicians, has returned several times to Italy to photograph the city of Rome, and is one of the major providers of photographic imagery for Origin Arts. As a painter, Bishop creates richly textured abstract landscapes echoing Oregon farm country and wilderness in oils. He is represented by the Provenance gallery (Eugene, OR), and his work has been collected by buyers on four continents. He is also the creator of the Skulli and My Sweet Fiend character designs, which are currently selling well in several large chains in North America and Japan.


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Alberto Tacchini e il Questionario di Proust

Read "Alberto Tacchini e il Questionario di Proust" reviewed by Paolo Peviani

All About Jazz: Il tratto principale della mia musica. Alberto Tacchini Sono una persona eclettica e alcuni vedono questo come un'immaturità, come il non avere ancora fatto una scelta. Invece ci sono tante cose, che ho scoperto ascoltando dischi in cui mi riconosco, tra le quali non voglio scegliere. Ho sempre invidiato quelli che riescono a partire con un'idea forte. Io invece sono molto curioso e quindi per me vale sempre la pena di ascoltare, elaborare, imparare...

Take Five With...

Todd Bishop e il Questionario di Proust

Read "Todd Bishop e il Questionario di Proust" reviewed by Paolo Peviani

Il tratto principale della mia musica Nei miei dischi cerco sempre di trasmettere un senso cinematografico. La qualità che desidero nei musicisti che suonano con me Mi piace che le persone con cui suono abbiano una forte personalità musicale, ed un buon senso dell'umorismo. Come musicista, il momento in cui sono stato più felice Quando, dopo due settimane di serate con il mio gruppo, cominciamo a suonare come ...

Album Review

Todd Bishop Group: Little Played Little Bird

Read "Little Played Little Bird" reviewed by C. Michael Bailey

In the twilight days of the compact disc as a sound storage device, the most compelling reason for keeping what still seems a “new" audio media (compared to wax cylinders and 78s) in the face of purely electronic media is “concept" or “thematic" releases. One such example was drummer Todd Bishop's Pop Art 4 album, 69 Annee Erotique (Origin Records, 2009). This excellent release surveyed the music of French pop artist Serge Gainsbourg, music with popularity in Europe, little heard ...

Album Review

Todd Bishop Group: Little Played Little Bird

Read "Little Played Little Bird" reviewed by Dan McClenaghan

Fans of alto saxophonist Ornette Coleman have had to sit through a long wait since the free jazz pioneer's last recording, Sound Grammar (Sound Grammar Records, 2006), a marvelous set that garnered the artist a Pulitzer Prize. Those fans are still waiting, though the iconic jazz man has teased them with his bits and pieces (non-album length) of his distinctive playing on bassist Jamaaladeen Tacuma's For the Love of Ornette (Jam All Productions, 2011) and saxophone legend Sonny Rollins' Road ...

Album Review

Todd Bishop's Pop Art 4: 69 Annee Erotique

Read "69 Annee Erotique" reviewed by C. Michael Bailey

Context can be everything or nothing. Listening to 69 Annee Erotique with no background will spark recognition of well-preserved lounge music of the 1960s/'70s, performed with modern sonics imitating those of the period: A bit of psychedelia wisping into the edges of post-war Western society right before the Summer of Love and the sexual revolution. The music is all well played and entertaining. Portland Oregon drummer Todd Bishop creates a themed recording as well integrated as Bob Sneider's and Joe ...

Album Review

Todd Bishop's Pop Art 4: 69 Annee Erotique

Read "69 Annee Erotique" reviewed by Dan McClenaghan

69 Annee Erotique gets extra credit for off-the-beaten-path-ness. It is a work celebrating the music of the late French pop songster Serge Gainsbourg (1928- 1991), by Portland Oregon-based Todd Bishop's Pop Art 4. Gainsbourg, whose name may not be person-on-the-street familiar in the United States, was a pop icon in France from the late-1950s to the 1980s, a musical renaissance man of sorts who delved into jazz, pop, reggae, soundtracks, psychedelia and electronica, all while nurturing a reputation for unseemliness ...

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Paul Abella, Chicagojazz.com:

"Origin Records strikes again with another outstanding disc..."

“Oh man, this really is hip!”

"I loved Bishop’s disc from the second I put it in the CD player..."

"... fat bass lines and funky drum grooves..."

C. Michael Bailey, Allaboutjazz.com:

"...beautiful decadence, brilliant and bright."

"...psychedelia wisping into the edges of post-war Western society right before the Summer of Love and the sexual revolution."

"Todd Bishop has done something special here, respectfully presenting Gainsbourg's music with [Bishop's] own... American flair. [He] readily captures the international sexiness of Gainsbourg's tunes while buffing them to a 21st Century shine. "

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Recordings: As Leader | As Sideperson


Origin Records


Little Played Little...

Origin Records


69 Annee Erotique

Origin Records



From: Travelogue
By Todd Bishop



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