Stephen Burns, artistic director of the iconoclastic chamber ensemble Fulcrum Point, has been trying to bring Mark-Anthony Turnage’s Blood on the Floor to Chicago since 2001. The nine-part piece, which takes its title from one of Francis Bacon’s grim canvases and its theme from the drug-related death of the British composer’s brother, combines Stravinsky-esque elements, improvised jazz in the vein of Miles Davis’s electric ensembles, and Frank Zappa-like instrumentation–just the sort of challenging cultural fusion at which Fulcrum Point excels. Turnage is typical of the composers Burns champions–passionate, ambitious, impatient with distinctions between high and low culture. He’s also uniquely unafraid to confront ugly or painful aspects of life, and able to do so while maintaining a groove. Featured soloists include Jim Gailoretto on saxophone, John McLean on guitar, and Justin Emerich and John Rommel on trumpet. A professor of trumpet at Indiana University, Rommel commands one of the biggest sounds I’ve ever heard, second only to retired CSO legend Adolph Herseth. $20. Tuesday, June 1, 7:30 PM, Harris Theater for Music and Dance, 205 E. Randolph; 312-334-7777.
Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Kathy Richland.