Ches Smith
  • Ziga Koritnik
  • Ches Smith

In this week’s paper I previewed the upcoming performances by Marc Ribot’s power trio Ceramic Dog at Pritzker Pavilion and Constellation; the rhythmic engine for that wonderfully flinty band is drummer Ches Smith, a guy who epitomizes the cross-fertilization of forward-looking jazz and outre rock music. He grew up with both, and he’s conversant in both. He’s played under the leadership of folks like guitarist Mary Halvorson and saxophonists Tim Berne and Darius Jones, as well as providing propulsion for art-rock outfits like Secret Chiefs 3, Xiu Xiu, and Good for Cows, his own duo with former Chicago bassist Devin Hoff.