The members of the duo Mind Maintenance
Joshua Abrams and Chad Taylor Credit: Lisa Alvarado

Mind Maintenance is Joshua Abrams and Chad Taylor, two musicians whose concord transcends time, distance, genre, and instrumentation. They’ve been playing together since the 1990s, when they both lived in Chicago, and their collaborative relationship has endured since Taylor headed east 20 years ago. They’ve jointly backed the likes of singer Sam Prekop and cosmic cornetist Rob Mazurek; they’ve played with saxophonist Matana Roberts in cooperative jazz group Sticks & Stones; and Taylor occasionally participates in Abrams’s Natural Information Society. Though Taylor and Abrams are both versatile multi-instrumentalists, they tend to get hired for their respective skills playing drums and bass; together, they’re a rhythm section capable of insinuating an organic ebb and flow into any groove. But on Mind Maintenance, their recent self-titled LP on Drag City, Abrams plays only the guembri, a Moroccan bass lute that he also uses in Natural Information Society, and Taylor sticks to mbira, a Zimbabwean thumb piano. Though the former is low and resonant while the latter is bright and sharp, with quick-decaying tones, both instruments can articulate melodies and rhythms simultaneously. The duo use this commonality to spin catchy figures into mesmerizing patterns. So many records released this year seem to be processing the pandemic’s ongoing stress and strain, and a close listen to Mind Maintenance will dispel those states, at least temporarily. This headlining set is Mind Maintenance’s Chicago debut.

A music video for Mind Maintenance’s “Glow & Glimmer,” from their self-titled album released in June by Drag City.

Mind Maintenance, Edward Wilkerson, Thu 9/9, 8:30 PM, Constellation, 3111 N. Western, $15, 18+. The concert will stream live at Constellation’s YouTube channel; donations are appreciated.