Left Hip
Label
Drip Audio

Psyche and rock-tinged free jazz from Vancouver bass player Tommy Babin and his band. The album, recorded in a single take, features Babin on acoustic bass, with Chad MacQuarrie of weird punk band Karen Foster on electric guitar and Vancouver’s omnipresent free-improv hired gun Skye Brooks on drums. Your Body Is Your Prison starts out sounding somewhat composed, with a first track or two that have characteristics of contemporary jazz compositions by Steve Coleman and Rudresh Mahanthappa.

There is an undercurrent of that sound throughout in the composed sections, but things loosen up and devolve nicely as the album progresses, into an amorphous stew of psyche/shoegazer/drone rock riffs and mutilated jazz riffage from MacQuarrie. Babin and Brooks holds things down nicely throughout, each taking a new nice solo flights. Chad Makela doesn’t contribute as forcefully or wildly as I personally think a sax player ought to for large chunks of the album, his playing seems for most of the album something of a wallflower next to MacQuarrie’s bold stabs, jabs and warped wanderings. There are a few shining moments where the band come together in an awesome collective frenzy and Makela really starts blowing, like on the rousing finale of Sky Beneath My Feet or on the surprisingly unpredictable madness of Citizen Kang.

Overall, a solid album, with MacQuarrie distinguising himself as a fresh new voice on the free improv scene, and Babin expanding on his reputation as a top-notch bass player to include gifted composer as well. The sound is fairly unique, it makes one want to follow the progress of the group should they continue to record, to see where they take this.