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Angel Bat Dawid finds creative kinship in Sistazz of the Nitty Gritty

Brotherhood, meet sisterhood. Those who know clarinetist, composer, and self-described “sonic archaeologist” Angel Bat Dawid from the incisive October release LIVE likely associate her with her stalwart seven-piece band, Tha Brotherhood, which backs her on that album. It was recorded during a fraught, frustrating 2019 European tour, but when the pandemic shuttered venues and stilled […]

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Damon Locks & Black Monument Ensemble’s Now is an essential album of the moment

Flipping through television channels. Flicking through radio stations. They’re quotidian actions—until they’re not. When you’ve lived through a year like 2020, every frequency delivers the same nightmare from a different angle. On Now (International Anthem), Chicago sound collagist Damon Locks and his Black Monument Ensemble confidently grasp the tuning dial of history. Like 2019’s Where […]

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German indie veterans the Notwist draw from Chicago’s jazz community for the new Vertigo Days

Long-running German group the Notwist perfected their airy combination of lovelorn indie rock and tender electronic sounds nearly two decades ago, but once they got it just right, they apparently decided never to repeat themselves. They preceded the new Vertigo Days (Morr Music) with an instrumental album steeped in the wallpaper aesthetics of library music […]

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The Awakening’s reissue of 1972’s Hear, Sense and Feel still uplifts through jazz and R&B

When the Awakening formed in the early 1970s, they combined veterans of Chicago’s R&B sessions and jazz players affiliated with the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians. The sextet drew on these diverse sources for its 1972 debut album, Hear, Sense and Feel, which is being reissued domestically this month as part of Real […]