Here’s a Chicago trio that’s eaten up and digested all manner of African, Caribbean, and Middle Eastern sounds, and whose spare-but-lyrical synthesis flows out naturally, without arch hipness or any sense of dilettantish flitting around. Led by the unassuming Nick Horcher, the unassuming Kilometers turn the music of hot countries into something all their own, something strangely laconic, strangely precise and loose at the same time, even strangely midwestern. The drums, bass, and guitar interlock with such intelligent economy, and ring changes on non-Western idioms with such evocative understatement, that while they play you can dose your eyes and summon up the vast loneliness of a Kenya savanna, the graceful beauty of kill-craving cheetahs racing through the grass, and a sunlight that burns away all illusions. The Kilometers can fill the club with a reflective, meditative feeling even as the drums and bass are pounding into the floor, and listening to them is like taking a little vacation without going anywhere at all. By the way, nobody sings. Wednesday, 8:30 PM, Club Lower Links, 954 W. Newport; 248-5238.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Dan Richardson.