AMN Reviews: Jessica Ackerley Trio – Coalesce (2017; Bandcamp)

Let’s get the obvious comparison out of the way – here is a young, female guitarist based out of New York with an idiosyncratic style who combines compositional and outside jazz. The parallels to Mary Halvorson are apparent, if not completely plain to see and hear. Ackerley, however, who originally hails from Canada, provides her own take on the guitar trio in this, her debut release as leader.

Teaming with Mat Muntz on bass and Nick Fraser on drums, Ackerley leads the group through seven tracks ranging in length from 3 to 10 minutes. Ackerley focuses on electric guitar with (for the most part) little distortion. Her lines feature aggressive strumming and chording along with cleanly-picked themes, not to mention the occasional speed-picked blowout. Muntz often runs counterpoint to Ackerley, while Fraser is a very busy percussionist.  Both provide ample contributions of an unexpected nature even on the downtempo pieces.

The result is a trio that has more ideas than most groups of twice the size. For instance, on the 7-minute Discoid, there is so much to absorb that a single listen, or even two or three, is not sufficient.  Notable about Coalesce is the compositions’ emphasis on space and their deliberate pacing.  But even when creating ambiance, Ackerley’s unusual phrasing prevents the music from fading into the background.  Between the spacious passages, the trio breaks out into a free-form blast of energy from time to time, with Ackerley turning up the distortion. Snakes in the Grass is an example of this approach, and is also a stand-out amongst a strong set of tracks.

Coalesce is a thoughtful and introspective debut. Not only does Ackerley lead the trio through an offering of creative jazz of unusually high quality, the group also exhibits an impressive amount of restraint while doing so. Instead of turning it up to 11 for forty minutes, they keep it at a slow burn across much of the album.

Let’s hope for more releases from Ackerley and company.  Highly recommended.

http://www.jessicaackerley.com/

Chicago Scene: February 25 – March 2, 2017

Kent Kessler

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

Saturday, February 25th 2017

4:00PM at the Evanston Public Library, 1703 Orrington Ave, Evanston IL, 847.448.8620 (Free)
Birdhouse Jazz Series
Jason Stein Trio with Kent Kessler, Hamid Drake

7:30PM at the Museum of Contemporary Art, 220 E Chicago, 312.280.2660 ($30) (wheelchair-accessible)
Music for Merce
Curated by John King, featuring David Behrman, Joan La Barbara, Fast Forward, George Lewis, Ikue Mori, Zeena Parkins, Quinta, Phil Selway, Christian Wolff

Sunday, February 26th 2017

3:00PM at the Museum of Contemporary Art, 220 E Chicago, 312.280.2660 ($30) (wheelchair-accessible)
Music for Merce
Curated by John King, featuring David Behrman, Joan La Barbara, Fast Forward, George Lewis, Ikue Mori, Zeena Parkins, Quinta, Phil Selway, Christian Wolff

8:30PM at Constellation, 3111 N Western ($15)
a.pe.ri.od.ic (21): “Time With People” by Tim Parkinson
a.pe.ri.od.ic

9:00PM at the Hungry Brain, 2319 W Belmont ($10 donation) (wheelchair-accessible)
Taylor Ho Bynum, Dana Jessen, Joshua Abrams, Mike Reed

Monday, February 27th 2017

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, March 1st 2017
7:30PM-10:00PM at In House, 3520 W Armitage
Autotelic Series
Ryan Packard

8:30PM at Constellation, 3111 N Western ($20-$15)
The Necks : Chris Abrahams, Tony Buck, Lloyd Swanton

Thursday, March 2nd 2017

8:30PM at Constellation, 3111 N Western ($20-$15)
The Necks : Chris Abrahams, Tony Buck, Lloyd Swanton

9:00PM at Elastic, 3429 W Diversey, #208, 773.772.3616 ($10)
Piotr Michalowski, Fred Lonberg-Holm
Mars Williams, Tollef Østvang
Aaron Zarzutzki, Charlie Kirchen, Matt Carroll

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

http://now-is.org/, http://www.ratchetmusic.com, http://www.mcachicago.org, http://www.cityofchicago.org/city/en/depts/dca/supp_info/chicago_culturalcenterschedule.html, http://www.skylarkchicago.com, http://www.hideoutchicago.com, http://www.elasticrevolution.com, http://www.myopicbookstore.com/music.html, http://www.lampo.org, http://dalniente.com, http://iceorg.org/events/category/chicago, http://www.emptybottle.com/

Interview With Konstrukt

Source: The Quietus.

In a field frequently dulled by over-intellectualisation, Turkish voyagers Konstrukt make delightfully impure free music. Born out of an informal jam session in 2008, the group mutated into a revolving collective of musicians from the Istanbul experimental scene. Currently centring around guitarist Umut Çağlar and saxophonist Korhan Futacı, they’ve now been cutting terrifying swathes across European jazz festivals and Turkish art spaces alike for the past six years.