Tatsu Aoki’s ‘Reduction’ in Chicago Reviewed

Tatsu Aoki
Tatsu Aoki (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


From chicagotribune.com:


For more than three decades, Chicago bassist-composer Tatsu Aoki has been exploring both the musical traditions of his Japanese homeland and the ways in which jazz, avant-garde and blues are played in his adopted city. His experiments in merging these seemingly unrelated worlds have yielded several gripping works, most notably “Rooted: Origins of Now” (2001), “re: Rooted” (2006) and “Trans-Rooted” (2010). None of these projects, however, ventured into storytelling as linear or as mysterious as “Reduction,” which Aoki and a large ensemble of taiko drummers, jazz musicians and dancers presented Saturday night at the Museum of Contemporary Art. Though the piece had its stronger and weaker passages, it showed Aoki producing some of the most autobiographical work of his career.


Chicago Scene: December 23 – January 4

English: Mars Williams performing live at Doub...


This is a weekly overview of live avant performances in the Chicago area.  Contact us if you’d like your shows listed.


December 23:


6:00AM at Constellation, 3111 N Western ($22)
23rd Annual Winter Solstice Concerts
Hamid Drake, Michael Zerang

9:00PM at Beat Kitchen, 2100 W Belmont, 773.281.4444 (wheelchair-accessible)
Extraordinary Popular Delusions : Jim Baker, Mars Williams, Brian Sandstrom, Steve Hunt


December 29:


8:30PM at Constellation, 3111 N Western ($10-$5)
Amphion Percussion : Peter Zlotnick, Sean Connors, with Lisa Raschiatore — music by Elizabeth Kelly, Peter Klatzow, David T Little, György Ligeti, Morton Feldman, Adam Cuthbért

10:00PM at the Hungry Brain, 2319 W Belmont, 773.709.1401 (wheelchair-accessible)
UFO Sightings
Jason Stein, Tim Daisy
Jason Stein, Tim Daisy, Tomeka Reid

10:00PM at the Redline Tap, 7000 N Glenwood, 773.465.8005 ($5) (wheelchair-accessible)
Colour and Sound : Jimmy Bennington, Fred Jackson, Jerome Croswell, Brian Sandstrom


December 30:


7:30PM at Myopic Books, 1564 N Milwaukee, 773.862.4882
Eli Namay, Phil Sudderburg, Keefe Jackson, Chris Kimmons


January 2:


9:00PM at Multi Kulti, 1000 N Milwaukee, 4th Fl
Edward Wilkerson Jr, Jim Baker, Vincent Davis
Friday, January 3rd 2014


January 3


8:00PM-12:00AM at the Logan Center Performance Penthouse, 915 E 60th, 773.702.ARTS ($10)
Sonic Healing Ministries : David Boykin, MC Pugz Atomz, Akenya Seymour, DJ Ayana Contreras


For more information, such as show times and directions, as well as upcoming performances, see:


Now Is
The Ratchet Series
Umbrella Music
MCA Chicago
Chicago Events
The Skylark
The Hideout
The Elastic
Myopic Books
Dal Niente
ICE Chicago
The Empty Bottle


AMN Reviews: Stefan Christoff – Duets for Abdelrazik (Howlarts)

Improvised at Hotel2Tango, the studio Godspeed You! Black Emperor made famous, and recorded for an arts collective named after Allen Ginsberg´s most celebrated poem, pianist Stefan Christoff and friends meditate à deux over the fate of Abousfian Abdelrazik, a Sudanese-Canadian exiled, jailed and likely tortured in Sudan for six years as a result of Kafkaesque nightmare bureaucracy combining the full incompetence of the RCMP, US, UN and Canadian Security Intelligence Service.

Though an act of political activism motivated by outrage, the Duets for Abdelrazik are gentle and full of room for reflection. You might even find them “romantic”, in the sense that in slicing through diversion and distortion, instrumental music can say things about dignity and justice that words cannot express. And the form – the “good” duet is a dialogue, which clearly the handling of Abdelrazik was not, and pulses with the Buberian I and thou empathy and recognition necessary to make society.
The blues convocation of Christoff and saxophonist Matana Roberts and later contrabassist Peter Burton move deep and are deeply moving. Norman Nawrocki on violin creeps right in under the skin of Christoff´s piano while Rebecca Foon´s cello sidles up to its curves. Modalities not unfamiliar to listeners of classical and folkloric Mediterranean Rim music (Greece, Turkey, Lebanon, Syria) or John Zorn´s Masada ensembles especially come to the fore when Christoff meets Radwan Ghazi Moumneh on buzuq (or buzek, or bouzouk, depending on your transliteration) and in the extended, wide-ranging dialogue with Sam Shalabi on oud that closes the record. Through it all, Christoff´s piano cascades like a force of nature – it is fulfilling.