Kuzu formed in 2017, when electric guitarist Tashi Dorji and drummer Tyler Damon invited saxophonist Dave Rempis to join their duo onstage at Elastic Arts. The set went so well that they recorded an album the next day. Anyone who knew what that record’s title, Hiljaisuus, means in Finnish probably just thought the trio were […]
Saxophonist Dave Rempis and drummer Tyler Damon played regular concerts in Margate Park this past summer and fall.
Saxophonist Hafez Modirzadeh has spent the better part of 30 years forging connections among jazz, Persian artistic concepts, and free music. This has resulted in a clutch of albums that ping-pong between gutsy postbop and meditative duets, the latter of which come into focus on his new album, Facets (Pi). Modirzadeh has frequently worked with […]
Over the past few years, Chicago multi-instrumentalist Alex Cowling has released several solo albums that combine weather-beaten indie rock, spacious jazz, and easygoing folk, and he’s done it to little or no fanfare. When I ask him about the new Antarctica, he tells me that one of the few people who’s listened to it is […]
After saxophonist Archie Shepp became known in the 1960s as a fierce musical and political voice in what was then called the avant-garde, he charted a different path. In 1977, Shepp recorded a collection of traditional spirituals (and one jazz standard) in a duet session with pianist Horace Parlan titled Goin’ Home, which is as […]
I’m a live-music addict, and it sometimes feels completely unreal that I haven’t been to a concert in almost a year. But one of the pandemic’s few silver linings is that some musicians are digging into their archives and issuing old live material that might otherwise have stayed on the shelf. Such is the case […]
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 […]
Berlin-based pianist Aki Takase has been performing for more than 40 years, and in that time she’s engaged with contemporary composition, spoken word, and even a turntablist—the trio Lok 03 includes her husband, fellow pianist Alexander von Schlippenbach, and their son, DJ Illvibe. But no matter where she roams, her playing is fundamentally rooted in […]
The Underflow take their name from the Greek record store where guitarist David Grubbs, cornetist Rob Mazurek, and saxophonist Mats Gustafsson played their first trio gig in May 2019. But the connections joining the three musicians were forged in the 1990s, when Grubbs and Mazurek were associated with Chicago’s postrock scene and the Sweden-born Gustafsson […]
New Jersey native Harry James Brenner found his footing in Chicago’s music scene partly by playing in art-rock group Chandeliers; he joined in the mid-aughts as a percussionist, and he’s since played keys for them too. The sharply defined clatter of Brenner’s drums has kept Chandeliers’ mercurial instincts from running away with them, giving even […]
Crazy Doberman are an Indiana free-improvisation and jazz collective created in 2016 as an offshoot of the group Doberman, started three years before. Core members, including Tim Gick and Doberman cofounder Drew Davis, appear on many recordings, but Crazy Doberman’s lineup is loose—it varies on each of the band’s 40-plus albums and has featured dozens […]
This week’s featured gig poster was designed for the HotHouse by graphic designer and photographer Shelley Hiam.
Chicago improvisers Tim Daisy and Matt Piet have responded to the challenges of COVID by learning new ways to record alone.
Tatsu Aoki left his native Tokyo in 1977 to study experimental film and settled in Chicago two years later. In addition to making films, he improvises, composes, and conducts music, playing bass, shamisen, and taiko drums, and by the early 1990s he’d connected with the local jazz scene, developing a particular affinity with past and […]
Among the myriad injuries inflicted upon Americans by COVID-19 (though admittedly one of the mildest) is the impossibility of attending your favorite holiday concert. For the past dozen years, Chicago-based saxophonist Mars Williams has hosted a unique variation on that seasonal tradition. Each December he convenes Witches & Devils, his combo devoted to the music […]