ICE Cofounder Claire Chase Steps Out With Debut Solo Recording

From the Chicago Reader:

Is it just me, or is the killer new-music group and Chicago-New York presenting force International Contemporary Ensemble responsible for an inordinately large proportion of the exciting new music shows that happen in the city? A few weeks ago I saw violinist David Bowlin give a knockout performance of rarely performed work by Luigi Nono, and I’m super pumped about a program of works by the brilliant Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho happening next month at the MCA.

From the very start one of the key forces behind the organization has been the remarkable flutist Claire Chase, who plays a record release party at the Velvet Lounge tonight.

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Free Jazz Blog Reviews

From Free Jazz:

Sunday, October 18, 2009
Vandermark 5 – Annular Gift (Not Two, 2009) ****
Resonance Ensemble – 10 CD Box (Not Two, 2009) ****
Ken Vandermark & Paal Nilssen-Love – Chicago Volume (Smalltown Superjazzz, 2009) ****
Ken Vandermark – Fox Fire (Maya, 2009) ****
Frame Quartet – 35mm (Okka Disk, 2009) ****

Saturday, October 17, 2009
Charles Rumback – Two Kinds Of Art Thieves (Clean Feed, 2009) ****

Friday, October 16, 2009
Mats Gustafsson – The Vilnius Implosion (NoBusiness, 2009) *****

Thursday, October 15, 2009
Marty Ehrlich Rites Quartet – Things Have Got To Change (Clean Feed, 2009) ****½
Calling Signals 08 – From Café Oto (Loose Torque, 2009) ****

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Fred Anderson CD Release / Douglas Ewart & Inventions at the Velvet Lounge

Mwata Bowden
Image via Wikipedia

In related pieces of news, Fred Anderson has a CD / DVD set coming out and Douglas Ewart will play the Velvet Lounge in Chicago.

On Tuesday, October 14th the Velvet Lounge in Chicago will present Fred Anderson’s release party for 21st Century Chase DVD & CD on Delmark records, which was recorded live at the Velvet Lounge on on Fred’s 80th birthday, March 22, 2009. The ensemble features Fred Anderson on tenor sax, Harrison Bankhead on bass/cello, Avreeayl Ra on drums/mbira/percussion.

Then this weekend, Douglas Ewart & Inventions will be performing at the Velvet Lounge on Saturday, October 17th. Douglas Ewart & Inventions features Douglas Ewart on woodwinds and percussion, Mankwe Ndosi on vocals, Mwata Bowden on woodwinds, Ed Wilkerson on woodwinds, Darius Savage on bass, Dushun Mosley on drums, and Duriel Harris on vocals.

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Yuganaut on Short Midwest Tour

ESP-Disk’s Yuganaut, featuring Steve Rush, Geoff Mann, and Tom Abbs, is currently on tour in Illinois, Michigan, and Wisconsin.

Yuganaut Tour Dates:
Friday Oct. 9th – 4pm – Chicago, IL – WNUR Live on the air
Friday Oct. 9th – 9:30pm – Chicago IL – The Velvet Lounge w/ video artist Selina Trepp
Saturday Oct. 10th – 4pm – Green Bay, WI – Melvin Mcgee’s Art Studio Tour
Saturday Oct 17th – 4pm – Ann Arbor, MI – Edge Fest – Yuganaut w/ Roscoe Mitchell

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4th Annual Umbrella Music Festival

The 4th Annual Umbrella Music Festival is coming to Chicago in November. Click through for a full lineup.

Umbrella Music is pleased to announce the final schedule for the fourth-annual Umbrella Music Festival, November 5th-8th. The event pcelebrates jazz and improvised music from Chicago and beyond.

Called by the Chicago Reader “perhaps the most important jazz festival in Chicago,” the Umbrella Music Festival features cutting-edge jazz and improvised music from around the world, with a particular focus on artists from the diverse, cooperative and thriving local scene.

The festival opens Thursday, November 5th with a special evening dubbed “European Jazz Meets Chicago,” co-presented by Umbrella Music, the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs, and several European consulates and cultural organizations. These concerts will feature some of the best improvising musicians on the European scene, some of them with their regular working groups, and some of them in first-time collaborations with their Chicago counterparts.

The concerts continue over the weekend at the regular Umbrella Music venues, and this year will feature three elder statesman of the improvised music world: legendary trumpeter Bobby Bradford, renowned multi-instrumentalist Joe McPhee, and the Chicago debut of Japanese alto-saxophone legend Akira Sakata.

The complete schedule, as well as all festival-related news and updates are available at

UMBRELLA MUSIC is a group of Chicago musicians and presenters working to provide performance opportunities for creative and improvising musicians. Umbrella members book weekly concert series on Wednesdays at the Hideout, Thursdays at Elastic, and Sundays at the Hungry Brain. More information on the festival, the group, and the events they coordinate is available at:

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Evan Parker: Making Music From Music

Evan Parker’s upcoming Chicago show is previewed in the Reader:

Evan Parker & Ned Rothenberg
Sun 9/27, 3 PM, Claudia Cassidy Theater, Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington, 312-744-6630.

British saxophonist Evan Parker, who plays a free concert with reedist Ned Rothenberg on Sunday at the Chicago Cultural Center, is one of the most instantly recognizable improvisers in the world. He’s developed an idiosyncratic vocabulary distinguished by mastery of circular breathing and polyphonics, and throughout a career spanning more than four decades he’s stayed open to new ideas. A committed sonic explorer, he’s had a dizzying variety of collaborators—he’s made pioneering music with the likes of Derek Bailey and Peter Brötzmann and he’s played in a swing band with Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts.

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Concerts that will keep audiences humming

Not sure if you really want to hum this stuff, but has a list of upcoming Chicago classical shows of note, including a few left of center.

Music in the Loft. This is a good time to sample this high-quality chamber music series, presented in an intimate West Loop setting. The 17th season includes such promising ensembles as the youthful Biava Quartet and showcases music by resident composer Conrad Tao, an astonishing 14-year-old, Illinois-born prodigy. Begins Oct. 3-4; $20, $10 students. 1017 W. Washington Blvd.; 312-243-9233

Frederic Rzewski. The characteristic drive and intensity of Rzewski’s music should emerge in performances given under auspices of the Chicago Symphony’s MusicNOW series, Oct. 5 at the Harris Theater for Music and Dance 205 E. Randolph St.; and the University of Chicago’s Contempo series, Nov. 14 in Ganz Hall, Roosevelt University, 430 S. Michigan Ave. Cliff Colnot conducts; eighth blackbird and the Pacifica Quartet share the latter program. 312-294-3000; $20 (Music NOW). 773-702-8068; $15, $4 students (Contempo)

ICE and Kaija Saariaho. The adventurous, Chicago-based International Contemporary Ensemble affords listeners a rare glimpse into the luminous, mystical chamber music of the celebrated Finnish composer. Nov. 19; $20-$25, $10 students. Museum of Contemporary Art, 220 E. Chicago Ave.; 312-280-2660

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Jim O’Rourke, Once an Insider, Worked Alone and on the Outside for ‘The Visitor’

Jim O’Rourke is profiled and his new release is discussed.

Mr. O’Rourke, 40, is about equally known for his own music — albums like “Eureka,” “Insignificance” and his remarkable new one, “The Visitor” — as for his work for other people. For about 10 years, starting in the mid-1990s, Mr. O’Rourke, based in Chicago and then New York, saw his craft, knowledge and legendarily selfless work ethic connect some far-apart poles in music: pop, improvised music, contemporary classical and noise.

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Lampo: Homeless Again

The Chicago Reader informs us about Lampo once again being without a space.

Normally this is the time of year I look forward to learning Lampo’s fall lineup. One of the midwest’s greatest advocates for experimental music, Lampo has been presenting dynamic work, often in exclusive U.S. engagements, from some of the world’s most important sound artists and musicians for more than a decade. But no announcement of a fall schedule is coming: today Lampo director Andrew Fenchel informed me that the organization is once again without a home.

Lampo brings modern, experimental classical / electronic music to Chicago, and their shows have been very well-received. More details from Mr. Fenchel:

As you may know, we have been exceptionally lucky to call “216” home for the past two years. The space was generously donated by the building’s owner, and we are grateful for the time we had there. Now the owner has something different in mind for the space and we need to move on. Nothing but thanks and appreciation to him.

In the short term, this means our summer hiatus will continue through the fall — although we’ll do our best to surprise you with something before too long.

Looking ahead, we will find a new home and continue the Lampo series. We’ll certainly keep you updated on our search for space and report on new collaborations and projects. Separate from this announcement we have had some cool stuff in the works for a while, and we’ll be excited to tell you about our plans.

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Umbrella Music Through August 23

Kent Kessler, Jeb Bishop
Image by cattoo via Flickr

From Chicago’s Umbrella Music:

Sunday, 9 August 2009
The Hungry Brain
10:00PM | Johnston/Roebke/McBride
Darren Johnston – trumpet
Jason Roebke – bass
Nate McBride – bass
11:00PM | Mind vs Target
Shane Perlowin – guitar
Joe Burkett – bass
Michael Libramento – drums

Wednesday, 12 August 2009
The Hideout
10:00PM | Darren Johnston Quintet
Darren Johnston – trumpet
Jeb Bishop – trombone
Jason Adasiewicz – vibraphone
Nate McBride – bass
Frank Rosaly – drums
two sets
$7 cover
PLUS | DJ Sets: Nate McBride spins Tropics
Music from Hot Cities, Villages & Lands

Tuesday, 18 August 2009
9:00PM | Greg Ward’S Fitted Shards
Greg Ward – saxophone
Rob Clearfield – keyboard
Jeff Greene – bass
Quin Kirchner – drums
Jazz Festival Preview Night
two sets

Wednesday, 19 August 2009
The Hideout
10:00PM | Double Quartet, Round Two!
Jim Baker – keyboards
Mars Williams – saxophones
Brian Sandstrom – bass & guitar
Steve Hunt – drums
Jeb Bishop – trombone
Dave Rempis – saxophones
Kent Kessler – bass
Michael Zerang – drums
two sets
$8 cover
PLUS | DJ Sets : Mitch Cocanig Gets Erratic

Thursday, 20 August 2009
10:00PM | Rempis/Rosaly
Dave Rempis – saxophones
Frank Rosaly – drums

Sunday, 23 August 2009
The Hungry Brain
10:00PM | Nick Broste Group
Lineup TBA
11:00PM | Michael Zerang and Chicago Favorites
Lineup TBA

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