Performances Reviews

Tortoise: Subtle Indie Rock, Aged for 20 Years


Tortoise, an instrumental five-piece band from Chicago, makes music of elaborate detail, rarely settling for a broad stroke when a sharp inflection might suffice. Most of the songs in its show on Saturday night, at the Bell House in Brooklyn, came with the complex interior movements of a timepiece.

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KLANG’s Debut CD, Tea Music, Coming August 25th

From Improvised Communications:

Chicago-based clarinetist/composer James Falzone is proud to announce the August 25th release of Tea Music (Allos Documents 003), the debut studio recording of his three year-old working quartet, KLANG, featuring vibraphonist Jason Adasiewicz, bassist Jason Roebke and drummer Tim Daisy. All four members compose for the group, which picks up the swing era thread of pairing clarinet and vibes, while also exploring its collective interest in the innovative sounds of Jimmy Giuffre’s early small groups of the mid-1950’s.

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Bagatellen Reviews

From Bagatellen:

three from Thessaloniki

Organized Music From Thessaloniki, Kostis Kilymis’ new-ish label out of his native Greece, has picked up the pace in its release schedule, here contributing three distinctive and listenable discs in a year that’s thus far been packed with gems. Experimental music is not without its share of notable Greek musicians, but for whatever reason […]

Jozef van Wissem – A Priori (Incunabulum)

Lutanist Jozef van Wissem has been productive of late, releasing a strong series of solo discs – along with a standout partnership with Tetuzi Akiyama – in the handsome black sleeves he favors on his Incunabulum imprint. So when I received the glossy white A Priori, I was more intrigued than usual. The spaciousness […]

Art Hodes – Up in Volly’s Room

Art Hodes has long had home at Delmark. Despite recording for a variety of other imprints over his lifetime, it’s the Chicago label that continues to keep the departed pianist’s candle lit by keeping the highest percentage of his albums in print. Case in point, this 1972 jam session recently re-minted from its first 1992 […]

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New Lucky 7s Out

Image of Jeff Albert from Facebook
Image of Jeff Albert

A new Lucky 7s CD is out on Clean Feed. Samples are available aswell.

Lucky 7s – Pluto Junkyard

Jeb Bishop, trombone (guitar on “The Dan Hang”) / Jeff Albert, trombone, bass trombone / Josh Berman, cornet / Keefe Jackson, tenor saxophone / Jason Adasiewicz, vibraphone /Matthew Golombisky, double bass (electric bass on “The Dan Hang”) / Quin Kirchner, drums

Recorded July 19 & 20, 2007 at Strobe Recording, Chicago, IL by James Wagner assisted by Gary Schepers / Additional recording by Matthew Golombisky / Mixed by Jeff Albert and Jeb Bishop Mastered by Jeff Albert / Produced by Jeff Albert and Jeb Bishop / Executive production by Trem Azul / Photo by Laurie Herbert / Design by Travassos

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Rituals in Musicality – Wadada Leo Smith at Firehouse 12

From the New Haven Advocate, previews tomorrow’s Firehouse 12 show.

To describe Ishmael Wadada Leo Smith as a musician with a holistic vision is an understatement. From his earliest days performing blues and R&B in Mississippi to his late-’60s stint as a member of the Chicago organization the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians, to his mid-’70s tenure within the nucleus of an improvised music scene in New Haven and in his current position as director of the MFA program in African American Improvisation at Cal Arts, Smith has actively pursued a theory and practice of music that embraces nearly every conceivable element of human life.

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Bagatellen Reviews

From Bagatellen:

Jürg and Marianne Rufer – Les Diaboliques: Jubilee Concert DVD
The trio of Irène Schweizer, Maggie Nicols and Joëlle Léandre – Les Diaboliques – represents a primary factor in the history of Intakt, since they were all present in the label’s very first record (Live At Taktlos) before going on to become one of the most lively expressions in the macrocosm of present-day improvisation. Their […]

Locrian – Drenched Lands
Doom at its most effective will make the impression upon listeners that relief is a matter of hitting the ‘pause’ button’. With song titles like “Obsolete Elegy In Effluvia And Dross,” and “Barren Temple Obscured By Contaminated Fogs,” one might guess that the latest from Chicago’s Locrian (Andre Foisy, Terence Hannum) seeks […]

Tony Malaby Cello Trio – Warblepeck
Much to my surprise, Tony Malaby’s cello trio – where the saxophonist is joined by Fred Lonberg-Holm and percussionist John Hollenbeck – sounds remarkably like an updated hybrid of Air and Hemphill on their debut recording. It’s not just because the presence of a cello invokes Abdul Wadud, since Lonberg-Holm’s playing sounds about as […]

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Umbrella Music Through March 29

Matana Roberts Chicago Project
Image by Md2545 via Flickr

From Chicago’s Umbrella Music:

Wednesday, 25 March 2009
The Hideout
10:00PM | Anderson/Bankhead/Daisy
Fred Anderson – tenor sax
Harrison Bankhead – bass
Tim Daisy – drums
In celebration of Fred Anderson’s 80th Birthday
two sets
$12 cover
PLUS | DJ Sets : Peter Margasak gets Brassy

Thursday, 26 March 2009
10:00PM | Frankenstein
Jason Stein – bass clarinet
Frank Rosaly – drums
11:00PM | Nick Mazzarella Trio
Nick Mazzarella – alto saxophone
Anton Hatwich – bass
Frank Rosaly – drums

Sunday, 29 March 2009
The Hungry Brain
10:00PM | An Evening with Michael Wilhelmi
Berlin pianist Michael Wilhelmi with mixed Chicago groupings

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Ethnic Heritage Ensemble in Chicago

Kahil El'Zabar
Image by smlevy24 via Flickr

From Delmark:

Friday, March 6, 2009, 9pm –

Kahil El’ Zabar‘s Ethnic Heritage Ensemble – live performance

“Urban Rituals” – The Magic of Music in an “Inspired Terrain”

Featuring Kahil El’Zabar, Corey Wilkes, Ernest Dawkins & DJ Madrid, $15 donation

Flatfile Galleries, 217 N. Carpenter, Chicago – 708-280-0414

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Peter Brotzmann Chicago Tentet in Amsterdam, February 13

All About Jazz provides a review of this performance.

Peter Brotzmann Chicago Tentet
Amsterdam, Netherlands
February 12, 2009

How many larger instrumental ensembles endure for over ten years with the core of the line-up unchanged? In the economic climate of the last decade, not many. All the more remarkable, then, that the Peter Brotzmann Chicago Tentet, which draws its membership from two continents, is now thriving in its eleventh year. Embarking on their latest European tour, the band descended on Amsterdam’s Bimhuis, where they held court to a packed house on a cold Friday evening.

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3rd Annual Umbrella Music Festival

Alexander von Schlippenbach, German jazz pianistImage via Wikipedia Coming soon to Chicago, the 3rd Annual Umbrella Music Festival:

Wednesday, November 5th at The Chicago Cultural Center

6:00 PM : Christian Weber Quartet Switzerland
6:45 PM : Elisabeth Harnik Group Austria
7:30 PM : Mikolaj Trzaska Trio Poland
8:15 PM : Schlippenbach/Lovens Duo Germany
9:00 PM : ZU Italy
10:00 PM : Braam/de Joode/Vatcher The Netherlands

Thursday, November 6th at The Velvet Lounge
9:00 PM : Rempis/Kessler/Vatcher
10:00 PM : Josh Berman Quintet
11:00 PM : Alexander von Schlippenbach Solo

Friday, November 7th at Elastic
9:00 PM : Harnik/Bauder/Roebke
10:00 PM : John Tchicai Solo
11:00 PM : Bik-Bent-Braam Chicago Version

Saturday, November 8th at The Hideout
9:00 PM : Trzaska/O Reilly/Weber/Fujiwara
10:00 PM : Tchicai/Drake Duo
11:00 PM : Douglas Ewart And Inventions

Sunday, November 9th at The Hungry Brain
9:00 PM : Baker/Williams/Sandstrom/Hunt
10:00 PM : Taylor Ho Bynum Quintet
11:00 PM : John Tchicai Septet

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