AMN Reviews: Hanging Hearts – Into a Myth (2017; Shifting Paradigm Records)

This debut from Chicago trio Hanging Hearts falls somewhere in the general location of that town’s Chicago Edge Ensemble – a mix of jazz and rock styles, with a touch of experimentalism. Into a Myth features Chris Weller on tenor and bass saxophones, Cole DeGenova on keyboards, and Devin Drobka on drums. Dave King, drummer from The Bad Plus, produced the album.

On tracks like Return of Saturn, Big Big Bang Anunini, and Creation, Weller provides lines that are both rude and soaring, while DeGenova applies washes in the background. In contrast, Pilsen opens with catchy sax melodies over raw keyboard riffing (sounding quite guitar-like), and then takes a left turn into free-jazz land before a reprise. Throughout, Drobka takes a mostly subtle role, more than simple timekeeping and breaking out from time to time. The takes it downtempo as well, with He Had the Purist of Intentions, a near-ballad.

Not afraid to mix things up, Hanging Hearts covers a broad spectrum of sounds that Chicago is known for, with energy and spirit. A notable effort.

Hanging Hearts will be on tour starting this week:

6/10: w/ Dave King Trucking Company @ Cactus Club- Milwaukee, WI
6/11: w/ Tony Barba @ Art In- Madison, WI
6/12: w/ Dave King Trucking Company @ Ice House- Minneapolis, MN
6/16: CD RELEASE w/ Sun Speak @ Constellation- Chicago, IL
7/04: w/ Ben Willis Band @ Trinosophes- Detroit, MI
7/05: Ann Arbor, MI
7/06: The Bop Stop- Cleveland, OH
7/07: Pittsburgh, PA
7/08: Boston, MA
7/09: w/ Mario Castro @ Rockwood Music Hall- New York, NY
7/10: Baltimore, MD
7/11: Washington, D.C.
7/12: Cincinnati, OH
7/13: w/ Jonah Parzen-Johnson & Ben Lumsdaine @ Blockhouse- Bloomington, IN
7/14: VINYL RELEASE w/ Jonah Parzen-Johnson @ Hungry Brain- Chicago, IL 9pm
7/15: Spot Tavern- Lafayette, IN
7/16: Fort Wayne, IN

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