JEFF BIRD – Rhythm and Entertainment


From the moment it passed through my hands at the August Stylus Contributor meeting, I was intrigued by Rhythm and Entertainment. The cover art is simple, symmetric, and boasts an impressive longevity (albeit of recordings from someone I’d never heard of) but I thought, this could be good. Rhythm and Entertainment is a two disc retrospective of Jeff Bird’s thirty years in the music industry – the main difference between discs being that disc two is more introspective and experimental with repetition and spoken word/vocals. Musically, Bird excels in every way. He’s accredited to five different kinds of bass on the release as well as eleven additional instruments (including the lap steel, mandolin, melodica, and tarka to name a few).  Genre-wise, there’s no uniformity. There’s a mix of soul, swing, and worldly sounds throughout. Over the years he’s played with the Cowboy Junkies, worked in film and television, and now, should you ever find yourself in the Kingston area, he offers music lessons for the mandolin, harmonica and bass. The album was recorded at multiple locations, including live at Manhattan Pizza Studio and the “Ty Tyrfu” (don’t know where that is exactly, but it is Welsh for “house of noise and commotion”). Astounding in more than the musical sense, Bird’s humble website is an endearing accompaniment to satisfy all the questions you may ever have about him. Rhythm and Entertainment is an entertaining retrospective highlighting a superbly skilled musician. (Independent, Victoria King


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