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Bear Proof

by Todd Sickafoose

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Little H Collective
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Little H Collective Oh my. I’m having a hard time finding the words to describe how delightful is it to listen to this album. Maybe I’ll just leave it at delightful. The interplay, the sitting back, the ebbs and flows. All of it. Delightful!
Brian Courage
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Brian Courage I was at the LPR show in 2017ish. Todd is an absolutely brilliant bassist and composer and new music from him is cause for celebration!
Desiré Whitmore
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Desiré Whitmore Todd! this makes me so happy.

You know that feeling when you have the most delightful meal, but you can't eat or again because the place closed or changed their menu? Then you find a spot that makes it, and it's even BETTER than you remember?

That's what this record is. Thank you for bringing my comfort food back. Turns Luck has been stuck in my head since I first heard it.

Every musician on this record is beyond masterful and the music itself is so incredibly beautiful and playful.
jazzelf thumbnail
jazzelf let me know if you actually read these then I will ask a question.
Ayax thumbnail
Ayax Beautiful record! My only observation is that (with the exception of track 6) the vivacious conversational quality of the first part tones down after track 4 and is somewhat missed for the remainder Favorite track: Switched On.
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Switched On 07:36
Flush 08:10
Turns Luck 07:48
Prospects 05:45



62 minutes of music for 8 musicians. Intended to be performed straight-through in a concert, it’s captured here “live” in the studio, recorded as one continuous take. We fixed a few notes afterward – including a moment somewhere in the first half where Jenny dropped her bow, and somewhere in the second where I dropped mine. Otherwise, this is exactly how that 62 minutes sounded. A raise of the glass to Adam Muñoz for keeping the tape rolling without interruption at Fantasy Studios (Berkeley, California); and for that matter, to Derk Richardson – who, the night before, encouraged us to play the whole thing live on his KPFA radio program ‘The Hear and Now’. He sat amongst us, lost in his headphones, and chose quiet moments to grin and whisper the requisite station identification – a detail that added to the sense of mischief. The fact that Fantasy has since shuttered its doors, and Derk has retired his long-running show, is a sign that it’s taken us a few years to release this album.

And noting these cultural disappearances is apt because, if you’d like, BEAR PROOF can also be:

A surreal meditation on BOOM and BUST. Is music perhaps better than words for talking about high times and utter ruin? In California, there’s still a bridge that spells out GOLD HERE. Let these nine song titles lead you in that direction, if you wish.



released September 29, 2023

Jenny Scheinman - violin
Adam Levy - guitar
Erik Deutsch - piano
Ben Goldberg - clarinet
Kirk Knuffke - cornet
Rob Reich - accordion
Allison Miller - drums
Todd Sickafoose - acoustic bass

Produced by Todd Sickafoose.
Recorded by Adam Muñoz at Fantasy Studios (Berkeley CA).
Mixed by Todd Sickafoose at Earycanal.
Mastered by Adam Ayan at Gateway Mastering (Portland ME).
Original artwork by Grady McFerrin.
Design by Brian Grunert at White Bicycle (Buffalo NY).

Music by Todd Sickafoose (Group Chirp Music / BMI).

Bear Proof was made possible with support from Chamber Music America’s New Jazz Works: Commissioning and Ensemble Development program funded through the generosity of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.

So far, we’ve had the pleasure of performing Bear Proof at the Freight & Salvage (Berkeley CA), Angel City Jazz Festival @ Moss Theater (Los Angeles CA), Earshot Jazz Festival @ Town Hall (Seattle WA), Holocene (Portland OR), The Shedd (Eugene OR), Ars Nova Workshop (Philadelphia PA), Le Poisson Rouge (NYC) and Winter Jazzfest (NYC).


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Todd Sickafoose Brooklyn, New York

Tony & Grammy award-winning composer, producer, orchestrator, bandleader and double bassist whose music straddles the worlds of folk, indie rock, jazz and chamber music.


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