New York tenor saxophonist Stephen Gauci kicks off a long weekend in Chicago with a promising quartet gig tonight at Elastic with bassist Ingebrigt Haaker Flaten, reedist Dave Rempis, and drummer Tim Daisy. Haaker Flaten appears on Gauci’s newest album, Nididhyasana (Clean Feed), an all-improvised session billed to his quartet Basso Continuo, which is named after a form of accompaniment used in Baroque music. There’s no Baroque connection here, but the “basso” bit obviously refers to the presence of two bassists–Mike Bisio is the second–who do indeed give the music a low-end continuity. In fact, the lucid, intuitive interactions between the bull fiddlers sometimes threaten to overshadow the braided lines and temperate counterpoint of Gauci and trumpeter Nate Wooley–though there are extended sections where only one horn plays, when everyone’s going the group almost sounds like a double duo.

When Gauci was nine years old he discovered he had hearing problems, and the condition has only worsened over the years–he currently wears hearing aids in both ears. But now, in his early 40s, he plays with such fluidity and buoyancy that you’d never guess.

The quartet from his Elastic gig plays again tomorrow night at the Velvet Lounge and as a trio (without Rempis) on Saturday at Heaven Gallery. Finally, Gauci plays the Hungry Brain on Sunday night with vibist Jason Adasiewicz, drummer Frank Rosaly, and bassist Anton Hatwich.

And yes, I’ve noticed the string of photos of saxophonists here in the past week.

Today’s playlist:

John Doe, A Year in the Wildnerness (Yep Roc)
Bachi da Pietra, Non Io (Die Schachtel)
Rempis Percussion Quartet, Hunter-Gatherers (482 Music)
Cabruera, Cabruera (Nikita)