Tiger Hatchery are the children of Chicago’s two primary underground scenes. Comprised of Mike Forbes on sax, bassist Andrew Scott and drummer Ben Billington, the trio’s union of Scratch Acid scrawl and AACM aggression has earned them a half-hour on wax for legendary jazz label ESP-Disk. And these cats do not disappoint, hailed by the New York imprint’s in-house staff as “one of the most powerful albums” of their half-century in business. If you are familiar with ESP’s rich catalog, they’ve got essential titles from such titans of the art as Albert Ayler, Paul Bley, Ornette Coleman and Pharoah Sanders to name just a few, not to mention classic out-rock titles from groups like The Fugs and Holy Modal Rounders, company Tiger Hatchery surely fit alongside.
“This is truly abstract music meant to be primitively sculpted and intentionally destroyed,” proclaims John Olsen of the noise act Wolf Eyes in his liner notes to Sun Worship, where he also builds the argument of this three-song suite being the first true Chicago jazz LP to come out on ESP-Disk.
And when you catch an earful of the bruising “Chieftain” or the 15-and-a-half minute mammoth “Grand Mal”, you will know what he means. Fans of Sun Ra, John Zorn and Rob Mazurek listen up.