Improvised Communications links to a few Youtube videos of Mary Halvorson and Jessica Pavone In Chicago. The BBC is creating an “audio map” of the world to preserve its varied sounds. Progressive rock band Nektar will be touring Europe soon. Illinois group Random Touch makes some interesting sounds and has information regarding their releases, and samples, available on their site.

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Free Jazz Shows in Chicago

Chicago Now announces free (in both senses of the word) jazz shows from Rudresh Mahanthappa (tonight) and Fred Anderson (August 20), among others, in Chicago.

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Creative Music Workshop at the Chicago Jazz Fest

saxophonist Roscoe Mitchell at the Pomigliano ...
Image via Wikipedia

From All About Jazz:

Chicago, IL – September 2nd and 3rd the Chicago Jazz Festival, a partnership between the Chicago Mayor’s Office of Special Events and the Jazz Institute of Chicago, presents the Chicago Creative Music Workshop (CCMW), under the direction of Nicole Mitchell and Renee Baker. Sponsored by the Chicago Jazz Festival and the Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University, the CCMW will offer a unique opportunity to learn from master improvisers and perform with them in a variety of settings.

Why start a Creative Music workshop in Chicago? Co-Director Nicole Mitchell explains: “Creative music is one of Chicago’s greatest cultural strengths. It’s a local secret that has long been praised internationally. Perhaps the seed was the early work of Sun Ra, and later, the inception of the AACM, with its great trailblazers including Muhal Richard Abrams, Roscoe Mitchell, Anthony Braxton, George Lewis and many more. Chicago is the perfect home for this endeavor. Creative music is now more vital than ever here; it incubates at Fred Anderson’s Velvet Lounge, Elastic Arts and the Hungry Brain and reverberates throughout the world. We owe it to Chicago to provide a place and time where international and local Chicago musicians of this distinct, high level music can study, talk about and develop this music, in an accessible educational environment.”

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From Weasel Walter’s no wave archives to your ears

The Chicago Reader describes Weasel Walter‘s latest efforts.

[Weasel Walter] dials down his usual frenzied energy on the brand-new Last Distractions (Singlespeed) with reedist Aram Shelton (another former Chicagoan) and cornetist Josh Berman, and he’s part of an unlikely meeting with drummer Grant Calvin Weston—a longtime cohort of James Blood Ulmer—on last year’s Nassira (Amulet). He’s also put out several albums via his own UgExplode imprint—which he’s been running since his Chicago days—where he plays with folks like Mary Halvorson, Peter Evans, Greg Kelley, and Marc Edwards. He also recently released a knockout archival dig of music by no wave combo the Toy Killers (pictured), The Unlistenable Years.

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Mary Halvorson and Jessica Pavone on Tour

From Improvised Communications:

Mary Halvorson and Jessica Pavone’s latest American tour starts this weekend.

The duo is back on the road supporting its third and latest release, Thin Air (Thirsty Ear), which’s Farrell Lowe calls “an eminent document by two powerful new voices of the 21st century.”

Here’s the latest itinerary:

Saturday, July 25th: The Windup Space (Baltimore, MD)
Monday, July 27th: Morris Book Shop (Lexington, KY)
Tuesday, July 28th: Mt. Comfort (Indianapolis, IN)
Wednesday, July 29th: The Hideout (Chicago, IL)
Thursday, July 30th: Le Petit Zinc (Detroit, MI)
Friday, July 31st: Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center (Buffalo, NY)
Saturday, August 1st: Metropolis Underground (Syracuse, NY)

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New on ugEXPLODE Records

From ugEXPLODE Records:

Weasel Walter – Apocalyptik Paranoia CD
featuring Peter Evans, Henry Kaiser, Greg Kelley, Forbes Graham, Fred Lonberg-Holm

A brand new helping of studio material by the Weez featuring various formations of an all-star cast of malcontents including Henry Kaiser, Fred Lonberg-Holm, Peter Evans, Greg Kelley and Forbes Graham. There’s an icy, ominous chill to this set of forceful and focused improvisations – this just might be the “Battles of the North” of free music with its hard, frostbitten arctic sheen. The eight tracks here range from painterly, agitated all-acoustic improvisation to explosive, electronics-wracked all-out noise onslaughts. A truly dynamic offering of balls-out abstraction with the intensity and quality you expect from Weasel and co. There are definitely some surprises here resulting from the largely unprecedented mixture of unique musical personalities

Forbes/Young/Walter – American Free LP

American Free??? Without Americans? No Americans Allowed??? Free Music made by Americans? You decide!

Recorded in Chicago in March 2009, this vinyl outpouring of speed, intensity and timbral violence represents the first output by a volcanic new trio committed to pushing free music forms to a new level. Tenor saxophonist Mike Forbes pushes hard, his lines bursting with pressure and laser-like focus. Fans of the early Evan Parker/Peter Brotzmann school will love his approach, but he’s no mere acolyte: Forbes’ playing has a cruel, hard focus which is bloody with rage but totally controlled. He’s not satisfied with biting the reed and squealing his brains out like an identikit free jazzer: his careful control of multiphonics and succinct phrasing reveals a shrewd and singular musical mind at work. Bassist Andrew Scott Young possesses a large, gutteral sound and he fills the cracks in the sax/drums assault with harmonic determination and an aware sense of overall structure. His lines always push the group forward and cohere the hyperactivity of the other musicians. Weasel Walter is obsessed with momentum. his dense bursts of detailed percussion drives the band towards total mania.Check out the NOW sound of free jazz on this LP.

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Six Questions for … Tortoise

Chicago’s Tortoise is interviewed.

More than any other band, the veteran Chicago group has most singularly been associated with the largely instrumental, ’90s-born genre that incorporates all kinds of non-rock sounds yet most appealed to an indie-rock audience. The band’s latest album, “Beacons of Ancestorship,” is one of the most vigorous of its career, but still has some of the jazzy and ambient touches that made albums such as “Millions Now Living Will Never Die” and “TNT” enduring favorites. Herndon also plays in a large handful of avant-garde bands — Exploding Star Orchestra with Rob Mazurek, Powerhouse Sound with Ken Vandermark and A Fox Can Be Hungry with fellow Chicagoans — and explains why foreigners are more open to out-there sounds than Americans. Tortoise plays at the Black Cat on Sunday.

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All About Jazz Reviews

From All About Jazz:

24-Jun-09 Fred Anderson
Staying in the Game (Engine Studios)
Reviewed by Henry Smith

23-Jun-09 Objets Trouves
This Side Up (Intakt Records)
Reviewed by Nic Jones

22-Jun-09 Katharina Weber
Woven Time (Intakt Records)
Reviewed by Nic Jones

21-Jun-09 John Hebert
Byzantine Monkey (Firehouse 12 Records)
Reviewed by Nic Jones

21-Jun-09 Dave Fox Group featuring Bruce Eisenbeil
Home Again (Konnex Records)
Reviewed by Eyal Hareuveni

19-Jun-09 Rob Mazurek / Tortoise
Rob Mazurek and Tortoise: New Chicago
Reviewed by Mark Corroto

19-Jun-09 Indigo Trio
Anaya (Rogueart Records)
Reviewed by Lyn Horton

17-Jun-09 Tortoise
Beacons Of Ancestorship (Thrill Jockey)
Reviewed by Troy Collins

17-Jun-09 Stefan Keune / Hans Schneider / Achim Kramer
No Comment (FMP Records)
Reviewed by Nic Jones

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General Performances

A Revamped AACM Steps Forward

From the Chicago Reader:

Chicago’s venerable AACM recently underwent an executive shuffle that brought in some young blood. Flutist Nicole Mitchell continues in the top spot, but drummer Mike Reed has signed on as vice chair, cellist Tomeka Reid is the new treasurer, and vocalist Saalik Ziyad has stepped in as secretary.

The revamped leadership recently announced its first new endeavor, the Nomadic Sound Experiment, a bimonthly concert series designed to bring the AACM’s music to different parts of the Chicago metropolitan area.

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Performances Releases

New Josh Berman out on Delmark Records and Two CD Release Parties

From Delmark:

DELMARK DEBUT CD from Chicago cornet master, Josh Berman just released (on LP soon, too!) , with 2 CD release parties to celebrate this fantastic new release.

2 CD release parties this week for you to enjoy! Wednesday, June 3 at Hideout Chicago and Sunday June 7 at Hungry Brain, CHicago, and Josh will be also be performing at the end of the month in NYC for Dave Douglas‘ prestigious FESTIVAL OF NEW TRUMPET MUSIC!!

Wednesday, June 3 – Hideout, Chicago , – 1354 W. Wabansia, Chicago – 773 227 4433 – 9:30 pm

– Immediate Sound Series presents two sets with Josh Berman’s Old Idea record release concert for their self-titled debut on Delmark Records featuring
Josh Berman cornet
Keefe Jackson tenor sax
Jason Adasiewicz vibraphone
Anton Hatwich bass
Marc Riordan drums
DJ sets
James Falzone spins The Good of Goodman

Sunday, June 7 – Hungry Brain, Chicago – – 2319 W. Belmont, Chicago – 10 pm

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