AMN Reviews: Steve Lehman Octet – Mise en Abime (2014; Pi Recordings)

pi54_270The title of this album refers to the phenomenon of standing between two mirrors and seeing an infinite reproductions of one’s image. And the way that Lehman brings intellectualism to creative music, comparisons to M. C. Escher and recursion are perhaps appropriate. Joined by Chris Dingman, Jonathan Finlayson, Drew Gress, and Tyshawn Sorey, among others, Lehman’s octet features five horns, vibes, bass, and drums. The result is a busy, almost frantic, feel stretching across eight tracks.

While Mise en Abime resembles free jazz at times, it is too pre-planned to fall squarely into that category. Particularly, this album continues Lehman’s foray into spectral music, though it does not seem as much at first listen. Instead his hard bop, Braxton, and Ellington influences are at the fore throughout most of this recording. But on some tracks, such as Beyond All Limits, shimmering spectralism creeps in to good effect.  Lehman instructs his group to create sweeping background sound effects. Whether Lehman composed some of these pieces in the spectral domain is unclear, but ultimately it does not matter.  Hearing Mise en Abime is like listening to two different albums played on top of one another.  This combination works, but it leaves you with a sense of wonderment over the composer’s ability to synthesize all of the sounds and keep them straight.

A very compelling release that is cerebral, but never too academic in nature. Highly recommended.

Celebrating the Sun Ra Centennial

English: Sun Ra at New England Conservatory, F...
Sun Ra 

From the Chicago Reader:

May 22 was the official centennial of the birth of the brilliant bandleader, composer, and keyboardist Sun Ra, but I’m thankful that the entire year is being used to celebrate his memory and particular brand of visionary genius. Chicago, where Herman Poole Blount (a native of Birmingham, Alabama) assembled the earliest versions of his Arkestra in 1953, has gotten in on the act in numerous ways, but some of the most exciting events are happening this week. Yesterday, as part of the Chicago Jazz Festival, saxophonist Marshall Allen (who took the reins of Arkestra after the death of fellow saxophonist John Gilmore in 1995, two years after Ra passed away), trumpeter Art Hoyle (who played with the Arkestra in the 50s), writer and Columbia University professor John Szwed (who authored the authoritative Sun Ra biography Space Is the Place), and writer, gallerist, and Sun Ra scholar John Corbett engaged in a lively, discursive panel discussion on Ra’s legacy at Roosevelt University’s Ganz Hall. And on Sunday, Allen will lead the Arkestra in a performance that will close out this year’s festival, with an 8:30 PM set at Pritzker Pavilion.

Chicago Scene: August 30 – September 13, 2014

English: Jay Pritzker Pavilion, Chicago
English: Jay Pritzker Pavilion, Chicago (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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

Saturday, August 30th 2014

Jazz and Heritage Pavilion, Millennium Park, 201 E Randolph (wheelchair-accessible)
Chicago Jazz Festival
2:00PM Chicago Underground Duo : Rob Mazurek, Chad Taylor
3:30PM Kurt Rosenwinkel

3:00PM at Experimental Sound Studio, 5925 N Ravenswood, 773.769.1069 ($10-$8)
Pillars and Tongues
Mind Over Mirrors

5:00PM at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion, Millennium Park, 201 E Randolph (wheelchair-accessible)
Chicago Jazz Festival
Ari Brown Quintet
6:00PM Gary Burton
8:30PM Dave Holland, Kevin Eubanks, Craig Taborn, Eric Harl

7:00PM-11:00PM at the Rhythm Room, 1715 Maple Ave, Evanston IL, 847.491.9723
Jimmy Bennington Colour And Sound Trio

9:30PM at Constellation, 3111 N Western ($20-$15)
After Fest Session
Kidd Jordan, Matthew Shipp, Alvin Fielder, with special guests
10:00PM at the Logan Center Performance Penthouse, 915 E 60th, 773.702.ARTS ($10 suggested donation)
Hereafterfest featuring the Nicole Mitchell Quartet, David Boykin Expanse, Microcosmic Sound Orchestra, others TBA

Sunday, August 31st 2014

12:30PM at the Jazz and Heritage Pavilion, Millennium Park, 201 E Randolph (wheelchair-accessible)
Chicago Jazz Festival
Tomeka Reid Quartet
2:00PM Jason Adasiewicz’s Sun Rooms

Jay Pritzker Pavilion, Millennium Park, 201 E Randolph (wheelchair-accessible)
Chicago Jazz Festival
8:30PM Sun Ra Arkestra

7:00PM at Woodland Pattern, 720 E Locust, Milwaukee WI, 414.263.5001 ($8-$6)
Tomeka Reid Quartet with Mary Halvorson, Jason Roebke, Tomas Fujiwara

8:30PM at Constellation, 3111 N Western ($15)
James Falzone, Michael Hall

9:00PM in the Rooftop Garden, 117 N Jefferson ($25-$20)
Jazz Fest Afterset
Harrison Bankhead’s Velvet Blue Quartet featuring Vincent Chancey and special guests — tickets:

10:00PM at the Hungry Brain, 2319 W Belmont, 773.709.1401 (wheelchair-accessible)
Rempis Percussion Quartet : Dave Rempis, Ingebrigt Håker Flaten, Tim Daisy, Frank Rosaly

Tuesday, September 2nd 2014

10:00PM at The Whistler, 2421 N Milwaukee (wheelchair-accessible)
Jason Stein Quartet with Keefe Jackson, Joshua Abrams, Marcus Evans

Wednesday, September 3rd 2014

8:00PM at Beat Kitchen, 2100 W Belmont, 773.281.4444 (wheelchair-accessible)
Splice Series
Peter Maunu, Albert Wildeman, Mars Williams, Steve Hunt

9:00PM at the Bedford, 1612 W Division, 773.235.8800 (Free)
LeRoy Bach, Dan Bitney, Tomeka Reid

9:30PM at Constellation, 3111 N Western (Free)
Tim Stine Trio with Anton Hatwich, Frank Rosaly

10:00PM at the Hideout, 1354 W Wabansia, 773.227.4433 ($15)
Rob Mazurek, Joshua Abrams, Hamid Drake

Thursday, September 4th 2014

7:30PM at the Mayne Stage, 1328 W Morse, 773.381.4554
Ensemble Dal Niente — music by George Lewis, Philip Glass, Lee Hyla, Patricia Alessandrini, Frederic Rzewski

Friday, September 5th 2014

9:00PM at Constellation, 3111 N Western ($10)
Hanami Quartet : Andrew Trim, Mai Sugimoto, Jason Stein, Charles Rumback

Saturday, September 6th 2014

7:00PM-11:00PM at the Rhythm Room, 1715 Maple Ave, Evanston IL, 847.491.9723
Jimmy Bennington Colour And Sound Trio

Sunday, September 7th 2014

8:30PM at Constellation, 3111 N Western ($10)
Travis Laplante’s Battle Trance : Travis Laplante, Patrick Breiner, Matthew Nelson, Jeremy Viner
Doug Perkins with special guests Lisa Kaplan, Nick Photinos

Monday, September 8th 2014

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

Wednesday, September 10th 2014

9:30PM at Constellation, 3111 N Western (Free)
Nick Mazzarella, Cameron Pfiffner, Joshua Abrams, Mike Reed
Sound Of The City Workshop — visit for details

Thursday, September 11th 2014

9:00PM at Multi Kulti, 1000 N Milwaukee, 4th Fl
Vincent Davis Percussion Plus : Vincent Davis, Edward Wilkerson Jr, Scott Hesse, Emma Dayhuff, Jim Baker

Friday, September 12th 2014

7:30PM at the Museum of Contemporary Art, 220 E Chicago, 312.280.2660 (wheelchair-accessible)
Heart and Breath
eighth blackbird

7:30PM at Transistor, 3441 N Broadway, 312.631.9408 (Donation)
Led Astray
Reid Karris

9:30PM at Constellation, 3111 N Western ($12)
Steve Dawson’s Funeral Bonsai Wedding : Steve Dawson, Jason Adasiewicz, Frank Rosaly, Jason Roebke
Rock Falls

Saturday, September 13th 2014

9:30PM at Constellation, 3111 N Western ($12)
Thumbscrew : Mary Halvorson, Michael Formanek, Tomas Fujiwara

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

The ISSUE Project Room in September

Cover of 灰野敬二

From New York’s ISSUE Project Room:

Sir Richard Bishop / Tashi Dorji
SAT, SEPTEMBER 6 – 8:00PM – $15 / $12

Charles Curtis & Tashi Wada
FRI, SEPTEMBER 12 – 8:00PM – $15 / $12

Yoshi Wada & Tashi Wada
SAT, SEPTEMBER 13 – 8:00PM – $15 / $12

Ché-Shizu / Chie Mukai & LLILW GRAY
FRI, SEPTEMBER 19 – 8:00PM – $15 / $12

Maher Shalal Hash Baz / à qui Avec Gabriel
SAT, SEPTEMBER 20 – 8:00PM – $15 / $12

Felix Kubin / Lary 7
THU, SEPTEMBER 25 – 8:00PM – $15 / $12

Keiji Haino & Tony Conrad / Okkyung Lee
FRI, SEPTEMBER 26 – 8:00PM – $20 / $15

Keiji Haino / xNOBBQx / X Wave
SAT, SEPTEMBER 27 – 7:00PM – $20 / $15

The Spectrum in September

From New York’s Spectrum:

– Roman Rofalski with his trio mates Johannes Felscher & Philippe Lemm (Sept. 1)

– Karl Larsen (Sept. 2)

– Flin van Hemmen presents Canyons (Jazz) (Sept. 2)

– Acheulian Handaxe presents: Peter Geisselbrecht plays Federico Mompou & Charles Ives (Sept. 3)

– Acoustic Frontiers: Michael Lytle, Denman Maroney and Robert Dick. Free-improvisation series.(Sept. 3)

– Elliott Simpson: Music for the just intonation National Reso-Phonic guitar designed by Lou Harrison, with and without electronics. (Sept. 3)

– Nicolas Letman-Burtinovic presents Spectral Interzone – Jazz for the eminently civilized (Sept. 4)
Bobby Avey Trio with Thomson Kneeland and Jordan Perlson; Bobby Avey 4tet with Jonathan Finlayson,
Thomson Kneeland and Jordan Perlson.

– Marilyn Nonken’s Voluptuous Virtuosity Series (Sept. 5)

– John King’s Born into Flames Series with two guest artist sets: Chris McIntyre & Todd Reynolds (Sept. 5)

– Matt Marks’ Crossfade Composer-Performer Series (Sept. 6)

– Elliott Cooper Cole & Peter Ferry (Sept. 6)

– Paul Morin’s New Installation: Art & Piano Performance Event featuring his elevator time machine! (Sept. 7)

– Soundscapes Series (Ambient Music) from Cornelius Dufallo & Patrick Derivax with guest artist, Shahzad Ismaily

– Late Night with the Brothers Balliett (Sept. 7)

– Charlie Waters; Gold Sparkle Band (Andrew Barker, Andrew Roberts, Jeremy Wilms, Charlie Waters)
+ Daniel Carter (Sept. 8)

– Dana Reason, Barre Phillips, Lori Freeman & John Heward (Sept. 9)

– Gadfly: Jazz curated by Chris Pitsiokos (Sept. 9)

– Luna Cholong Kang (Sept. 10)

– Spectrum’s Singer-Songwriter Series + Open Mic, hosted by Aline Queen (Sept. 10)

– Jazz at Spectrum curated by Petros Klampanis (Sept. 11)

– Jonah Parzen-Johnson Group (Sept. 12)

– Minor Music Marathon hosted by Jesse Krakow (Sept. 13)

– Mick Rossi’s Outliers series featuring 4k4 – Mick Rossi, Andy Laster, Andrew Sterman & Peter Hess (Sept. 13)

– Caroline Park with fellow BUMPR members, Peter Bussigel, Stephan Moore along with Forbes Graham
and Hannah Levinson (Sept. 13)

– Carolyn Enger with guest artist, Josh Henderson (Sept. 14)

– The Far Cry Flute Quartet with Robert Dick, Jamie Baum, Elsa Nilsson & Jessica Lurie (Sept. 14)

– Gabriel Zucker presents Tuesdays on the Spectrum (Sept. 16)

– Embracing Dissonance: A Life in Bebop — Joel Forrester film screening (Sept. 16)

– Giorgi Janiashvili & Maria Nemtsova (Sept. 18)

– Elvis Zapp Urban Film Festival – 32 Short Experimental Videos in 64 minutes (Sept. 19)

– Coding of Evidentiality Ensemble with Lester St. Louis, Michael Attias, Bram De Looze & Dre Hocevar (Sept. 19)

– Daniela Candillari, Samantha Malk & Kelli Ruttle (Sept. 20)

– Halcyon Chamber Series; Luke Krafka, cello et al. (Sept. 20)

– Ramin Arjomand’s Series, Reinterpretations (Sept. 21)

– Jenny Q Chai CD Release Show for “Life Sketches: Piano Music of Nils Vigeland” (Sept. 21)

– Jane Ash and Susan Seliger present Out by Ten featuring Joe Alterman & Hilary Gardner (Sept. 24)

– Ambient-Chaos hosted by Robert Pepper (Sept. 25)
Experi-MENTAL Festival Opening at Spectrum with VJ Mamiko, Artstar, Aeronaut, [ówt krì], A Murder
of Angels & Globular Cluster
PAS Musique & Alrealon Musique bring you 5 days of audio/video experimentation (various venues)

– Vox Temporum Series on new composers curated by Lester St. Louis & Brian Erickson with guest artist,
Adrianna Mateo (Sept. 26)

– WhoThroughThen collective of performers and composers with Tyler Gilmore, Michael Sachs, Joanna Mattrey,
Steven Long & Lucia Stavros (Sept. 27)

– Tentative: Quiet City & Iktus Percussion (Sept. 27)

– The Secret Quartet with Cornelius Dufallo, Jennifer Choi, Yves Dharamraj & Lev ‘Ljova’ Zhurbin (Sept. 28)

– Washington Square Winds (Sept. 28)

– Kathleen Tagg’s New Sounds Africa Series with guest artist, Vuyo Satashe (Sept. 28)