Relay Recordings, run by Chicago percussionist and composer Tim Daisy, is on a roll. In September, it released Roman Poems, an album of itchy, inverted postbop from Daisy’s group Vox 4 (cellist Fred Lonberg-Holm, clarinetist James Falzone, and violinist and pianist Macie Stewart). Last month, it dropped the trio record Elevation (made at ESS in 2017 with electronic musician Rafael Toral and saxophonist Mars Williams), whose chattering, textural free jazz brings to mind a forest of animals slowly coming to life. Last week, Relay put out one of its most curious releases yet: the 18-minute solo piece “Staklo,” on which Daisy plays glass instruments, including bowls and glasses (he also blows into bottles). It somehow splits the difference between gamelan music and an imaginary Terry Riley version of the 70s jingle “Buy the World a Coke.” On Thursday, December 5, Daisy will play “Staklo” and two other solo pieces at Elastic Arts, then improvise with guitarist Andrew Clinkman.
When Sean Neumann isn’t playing in local country-emo band Ratboys or writing culture journalism (including, occasionally, for the Reader), he makes effervescent indie rock as Jupiter Styles. Neumann recruited some pals—including Ratboys front woman Julia Steiner and Pet Symmetry drummer Marcus Nuccio—to help with the second Jupiter Styles album, last month’s Ultra St. Opera. On Saturday, November 16, Neumann and friends celebrate the LP by headlining the Burlington.
Chicago composer and producer Lional “Brother El” Freeman juggles several projects: he works with Labo Labs as the experimental Makers of Sense and with Radius as beat-scene duo the Present Elders, and he participates in Ernest Dawkins’s jazz collective the Englewood/Soweto Exchange. Freeman is now creating a vegan cookbook called Feeling First: A Recipe for Inspiration that will come with a breakbeat LP, and he’s raising funds via 3Arts: 3arts.org/projects/feeling-first. v
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