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.
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. "