Chicago Scene: June 20-27, 2015

Wadada Leo Smith

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

Saturday, June 20th 2015

7:00PM at Constellation, 3111 N Western ($15-$10)
Fresh Inc 2015
Fifth House Ensemble

7:00PM at the Rhythm Room, 1715 Maple Ave, Evanston IL, 847.491.9723 (Free)
Jimmy Bennington Colour and Sound Trio

Sunday, June 21st 2015

8:30PM at Constellation, 3111 N Western ($12-$10)
Jessica Aszodi — music by Anthony Pateras, Chris Dench, James Rushford, Jeanette Little

9:00PM at The Owl, 2521 N Milwaukee, 773.235.5300 (Free)
Joshua Abrams, Jason Adasiewicz, David Boykin, Avreeayl Ra

9:00PM at the Redline Tap, 7000 N Glenwood, 773.465.8005 ($5) (wheelchair-accessible)
Jimmy Bennington Colour and Sound, with Artie Black, Mike Harmon

Monday, June 22nd 2015

7:30PM at Experimental Sound Studio, 5925 N Ravenswood, 773.769.1069 ($10-$5)
Option Series
Mars Williams Quartet with Peter Maunu, Kent Kessler, Tyler Damon

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

Tuesday, June 23rd 2015

9:30PM at The Whistler, 2421 N Milwaukee (Free) (wheelchair-accessible)
Dave Rempis, Joshua Abrams, Avreeayl Ra

Wednesday, June 24th 2015

9:30PM at Constellation, 3111 N Western (Free)
Eli Namay, Phil Sudderberg, Keefe Jackson
Sound Of The City Workshop

Thursday, June 25th 2015
8:30PM at Constellation, 3111 N Western ($15)
P N-L Large Unit, with Thomas Johansson, Mats äleklint, Julie Kjær, Klaus Holm, Per åke Holmlander, Ketil Gutvik, Tommi Keranen, Jon Rune Strøm, Christian Meaas Svendsen, Andreas Wildhagen, Christian Obermayer

9:00PM at Elastic, 3429 W Diversey, #208, 773.772.3616
The Blue Lights : Josh Berman, Mars Williams, Dave Rempis, Kent Kessler, Michael Zerang

Friday, June 26th 2015

6:45PM at the Logan Square Monument, 3100 W Logan Blvd
Logan Square Arts Festival
Katherine Young, Tim Daisy
Joshua Abrams’s Natural Information Society

8:30PM at Constellation, 3111 N Western ($20-$15)
Wadada Leo Smith, Douglas Ewart, Mike Reed

Saturday, June 27th 2015

7:00PM at the Rhythm Room, 1715 Maple Ave, Evanston IL, 847.491.9723 (Free)
Jimmy Bennington Colour and Sound Trio, with Jim Baker, Brian Smith

8:30PM at Constellation, 3111 N Western ($20-$15)
Wadada Leo Smith, Douglas Ewart, Mike Reed

9:00PM at No Nation, 1542 N Milwaukee, 2nd Fl, 773.790.7810 ($5 suggested donation)
On The Ground #2
Tim Daisy Solo
Nick Macri, Tim Daisy

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

Taran’s Free Jazz Hour Podcast 12/2015

From Taran’s Free Jazz Hour:

Rich Halley
Creating Structure: Rich Halley 4

Francois Carrier
Unknowable: François Carrier, as/ Michel Lambert, Dr/ Rafal Mazur, Bass G

Look with Thine Ears: Pascal Niggenkemper, B

Skullduggery: Universal Indians W/joe Mcphee

Tenorhood: Ivo Perelman, Ts/ Whit Dickey, Dr

Counterpoint: Ivo Perelman, Ts/ Joe Morris, G/ Mat Maneri Viola

Earth Is the Place: Carlo Actis Dato 4tet

Meta Records
Anima: Stefan Karl Schmid, Ts, Ss/ Philipp Bramswig, G/ Robert Landfermann, B/ Jonas Burgwinkel, Dr

Petit Label
Hey Ho Anonimo: Pierre Lebouteiller, Dr/ Nicolas Marsanne, G, Keyb/ Samuel Frin, Sax, Vo, Effects

éCarlate Bleu: Patrick Martin, as/ Yann Letort, Ts/ Yann Fontbonne, Dr/ Nicolas Talbot, B

Rudresh Mahanthappa
Bird Calls: Rm, as/ Adma O Farrill, Tp/ Matt Mitchell, P/ F Moutin, B/ Rudy Royston, Dr

Brian Landrus
the Deep Below: Brian Landarus, Bari Sax, Bass Sax, Bass FL/ Lonnie Plaxico, B/ Billy Hart, Dr

Upcoming Detroit Shows

Paal Nilssen-Love

From Trinosophes:

Rod Williams Detroit Quartet with Marcus Elliot, Jaribu Shahid, Djallo Djakate
June 19 & 20

Pianist and multi-media sound-artist Rod Williams is a native Detroiter who came up under the tutelage of the legendary Kenn Cox; he also performed in Phil Ranelin‘s group, Vibes From the Tribe, which reunited at Trinosophes last year. He made the move to New York in 1981 to study jazz piano on an NEA Grant. He has worked with Cassandra Wilson, Lester Bowie, David Murray, Dewey Redman, Oliver Lake, Billy Higgins, Henry Threadgill, Wadada Leo Smith, James Carter, Greg Osby, Steve Coleman, Marty Ehrlich and Olu Dara. Williams has received an Interdisciplinary B.A in Electro/Acoustic Music from CUNY and an M.F.A. in Performance Interactive Media Arts from Brooklyn College. He is currently composes for multimedia.

For this weekend, Rod will be joined by a Detroit rhythm section made up of his Vibes From the Tribe alumni, Jaribu Shahid (also a member of the legendary avant-jazz group Griot Galaxy and current bassist of Art Ensemble of Chicago) and ubiquitous drummer Djallo Djakate. On Saturday, the reed talents of Marcus Elliot will be in the front line; on Sunday Kris Johmsons’ trumpet takes over.

Paal Nilssen-Love‘s Large Unit
June 23

Norwegian drummer Paal Nilssen-Love has played our series in more projects than just about anyone over the last decade. This time he’s coming as the leader, and he’s going big:

Prolific Norwegian drummer Paal Nilssen-Love’s big band ensemble LARGE UNIT came to life in 2013. Nilssen-Love stepping up as band leader had been a long time coming – but it was worth the wait. LARGE UNIT hit the music scene like “one hell of a monolithic jazz colossus.”

Pigeons, Tony Pasquarosa
July 16

Michael Mallis record release
July 17

100 Drawings by Jimbo Easter
July 18

AMN Reviews: Kevin Cogen – Electroacoustic Miscellaneous [bandcamp]; Todd Francis Smith – Electroacoustic Works [bandcamp]

The appeal of early electronic music systems consisted in their capacity to allow composers and performers access to a spectrum of sounds that literally had been unheard before. Over the ensuing decades electronic systems were miniaturized, digitized and democratized, but their original, fundamental function—to open up to artists an expanded world of timbres—never went away. These releases by two young composer/performers show just how vital this function remains.

Montrealer Kevin Cogen’s Electroacoustic Miscellaneous is, as its title announces, an eclectic olio of compositions, collages and musique concrète. Purely electronic works run up against electroacoustic pieces, atmospheric soundscapes jostle tracks with a rhythmic backbone. Cogen works from such raw materials as recordings of conversations or cymbals or performances on piano and then manipulates them to varying degrees, so that the substance of a conversation may still legible or a chord progression retained, if sometimes redirected. The compositions tend toward textures built up of classic electronic sounds and cyclical structures, whether rhythmic—some of them poppish–or harmonic.

Like the pieces on Electroacoustic Miscellaneous, the tracks on Electroacoustic Works by Todd Francis Smith, a jazz guitarist and composer from Bellingham, WA, focus on the interplay of timbral qualities inherent in sonically thick surfaces. The structures here are looser, but the sonorities are rich and shimmering, enfolding the listener in an almost tactile experience of sound.

Each in its own way, these two releases are consistent with the timbrally-centered aesthetic that animated the early electronic experimentalists. Like them, Cogen and Smith treat sound color as a value in itself, to be grasped—and enjoyed–on its own terms.

AMN Reviews: George Christian – Aos Rios Urbanos (Spectropol Records)

When storytelling, George Christian of Bahia, Brazil, cradles an acoustic guitar. His sound is intuitive, as if, drifting down the semi-titular “Union (To the Urban Rivers)”, he is conveying his impressions of, even interaction with, the passing scene. His meandering tales evoke multicolored, multiplumed imagery, ever so slightly suggesting ideas and melodies that span from choro to Celtic, fingertips as familiar with Egberto Gismonti as Martin Carthy. In actual fact, he recorded Aos Rios Urbanos entirely at home, onto his computer, and polished its body or scored its surface with its software. When they are on nearly equal footing, like “Pure Flow”, strings and wires enmesh and, almost counterintuitively, the piece breathes even more profoundly.

When Christian wields his electric guitar, as on “Resurtection”, it truly becomes an axe, an extension of ineffability, perhaps the “screaming…struggles of existential awakening” mentioned in his liner notes. His furthest-out piece, “New Sadness, or Requiem for Regina Celi”, reveals the strong pull electroacoustic composition exercises on him, though frankly this degree of ambient-cum-noise abstraction cannot compete with multiemotional facets conveyed by, say, “Pure Flow”. The finale is “Aborted Cry”, a bruiser that reluctantly acknowledges the indifference of nature to mankind and its needs with its abrupt end, like heavy snow finally snapping power lines.

Stephen Fruitman

Newsbits: Women in Electronic Music / Bhob Rainey in Philly / Jaga Jazzist in DC / The Bridges in Paris

Prepared Guitar has a nice list of women in electronic music. Of course, any such list is not complete, but these artists are all worth exploring.

Philadelphia’s Bowerbird will close out it’s 2014 – 2015 GATE season with a double bill of audio-visual spectaculars inspired by Iannis Xenakis‘ “Polytopes”. The evening features a new electronic work by Bhob Rainey and a performance of Keroaän, Ian M Fraser and Reed Evan Rosenberg’s laser, strobe, and sound performing Artificial Intelligence platform. Sunday, June 21 @ The Rotunda, 4014 Walnut Street, 8pm.

Jaga Jazzist and Among Savages will appear June 21 at the Black Cat, 1811 14th St. NW Washington, DC 20009.

Fred Jackson, Stephane Payen, Edward Perraud, and Frank Rosaly will play in Paris on June 21st and 22nd, as part of the Bridges project.

Ornette Coleman’s Funeral, Tribute to Jerome Cooper in NY

Funeral Services for Ornette Coleman
Saturday, June 27 at 11am
The Riverside Church
490 Riverside Drive between West 120 & West 122 Street, Ne wYork

A Musical Celebration
of the Life of Jerome Cooper
the iconic percussionist ‘Revolutionary Ensemble‘ …
Tuesday June 30 at 7pm
509 Atlantic Ave, Brooklyn, NY
Musical Tributes By  Thurman Barker, Tom Buckner, Cooper-Moore, William Parker, Charles Gayle, Reggie Nicholson, OGJB Quartet (Oliver Lake, Graham Haynes, Joe Fonda, Barry Altschul), William Hooker, Adam Rudolph and others