DKV TRIO WITH JOHANNES BAUER, AXEL DšRNER & THOMAS LEHN
In the introduction to his fine book on jazz in the Netherlands, New Dutch Swing, Kevin Whitehead writes: “Some folks dismiss jazz abroad–in Europe especially–as one more ripoff of black culture. Wrong. Not ripoff but great triumph of; the world adopts the diasporan esthetic.” Particularly in the last three decades, jazz has scattered like a supernova, mixing and mingling with the cultures it encounters and arriving transformed by them. The flow of ideas is anything but one-way: as plenty of Chicago musicians reveal the influence of Europeans like Evan Parker and Derek Bailey more than John Coltrane and Ornette Coleman, so German musicians like Peter Brštzmann and Georg GrŠwe have been frequenting Chicago in the last few years, collaborating with locals on a variety of projects. In a way, then, the pairing of trombonist Johannes Bauer, trumpeter Axel Dšrner, and analog synth player Thomas Lehn with Chicagoans Ken Vandermark, Kent Kessler, and Hamid Drake (aka the DKV Trio) is nothing new, although none of these particular Germans have played here before. What distinguishes this meeting from previous international jam sessions in Chicago is that it’s not ad hoc: the six will work together for several days before the show, developing material and rehearsing it. Bauer is the brother of fellow trombonist Konrad, who dazzled audiences earlier this year at the Renaissance Society with his command of multiphonics and echo. As their duo CD Bauer Bauer (Intakt) makes plain, Johannes can almost match him blow for blow in those areas and has plenty of other tricks up his sleeve to boot. Dšrner is a remarkably flexible hornman, delivering freebop interpretations of Monk with as much clarity, style, and oomph as he does in free improv. Last year he and Johannes Bauer wove a breathtaking tangle of brassy smears, farts, and truncated melodies on pianist Fred Van Hove’s Suite for B…City (FMP). What little I’ve heard from Lehn makes local hero Jim Baker look mild-mannered behind the ARP: his synth bleeps, screams, and crackles with insistent energy and constant surprise. What these ingredients will yield when added to DKV’s own brand of intensity is anyone’s guess–which seems to be the point. Wednesday, 9 PM, Empty Bottle, 1035 N. Western; 773-276-3600. PETER MARGASAK
Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): misc photos.