Mark Dresser is a swinging, propulsive bassist with a hefty sound, but when he’s not playing in jazz-related groups–with, over the past two decades, folks like Anthony Braxton, Ray Anderson, Gerry Hemingway, Tim Berne, and John Zorn–he dedicates himself to exploring the nebulous area between free improvisation and composition. In co-op groups like the Arcado String Trio and the new-music troupe Tambastics, he has set daring improvisational turns amidst lovely chamber writing, and his evocative scores for old silent films blend everything from tango to brokedown bits of Ellington. For the first set of this concert, Dresser and his trio will accompany Luis Bu–uel and Salvador Dali’s Un chien andalou with a score he wrote for it (available on his recent Knitting Factory disc, Eye’ll Be Seeing You) and perform his “Subtonium,” the inspiration for a silent video by the Kunst Brothers (aka video artist Tom Leeser and sculptor Alison Saar), which will also be shown. In the second set Dresser will focus on music from his excellent 1997 album, Banquet (Tzadik), most of which was written for the Swiss flute virtuoso Matthias Ziegler, who’s now in the trio. As heard on his own Uakti (New Albion), Ziegler manipulates an unusual range of flutes–including the contrabass and quarter-tone–with electronics, and Banquet is an edgy, austere string quartet designed to showcase his compelling textural experiments. Helping adapt those pieces for this stripped-down lineup is Denman Maroney, a longtime Dresser cohort who specializes in something he’s alternately dubbed “unprepared piano” and “hyperpiano.” On a recent duo album with saxophonist and synthesizer player Earl Howard called Fire Song (Erstwhile), Maroney works the inside of his instrument exhaustively, scraping, bowing, thwacking, and dropping objects onto the piano strings as well as hitting the keys in conventional fashion. Friday, 9 PM, HotHouse, 31 E. Balbo; 312-362-9707.


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