Posted inBest of Chicago

Best impromptu spiritual-jazz show to celebrate what turned out not to be the end of the pandemic

When the pandemic shut down live music, Chicago gallery Corbett vs. Dempsey began presenting great online gigs via Experimental Sound Studio’s Quarantine Concerts series. I remember the excitement I felt when the gallery made a last-minute, low-key announcement, mostly to friends and supporters, that the sixth of its Sequesterfest livestreaming events would also be open […]

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Chicago joins seven other cities on two continents to host the Catalytic Sound Festival

Avant-garde jazz musicians have been uniting to better control their opportunities to perform, record, and engage with their communities at least since the 1960s, when the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM) first convened in Chicago and the shorter-lived Jazz Composers Guild (which included Carla Bley, Sun Ra, Bill Dixon, and Archie Shepp) […]

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Ken Vandermark, Kent Kessler, and Hamid Drake are back to help improvised music fans release holiday stress

In January the DKV Trio released The Fire Each Time (Not Two), a six-CD box set documenting a string of gigs that percussionist Hamid Drake, bassist Kent Kessler, and reedist Ken Vandermark played with multi-instrumentalist Joe McPhee in four different countries during the last two months of 2017. This set—and previous DKV recordings featuring the […]

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Saxophone and trumpet improviser Joe McPhee steps into a sonic abyss with sound organizer Graham Lambkin

John Snyder lays downs gnarly, surging, needling analog synthesizer tones alongside multihorn player Joe McPhee on The Willisau Concert, a 1975 concert recording originally released by Hat Hut and recently reissued by Chicago’s Corbett vs. Dempsey. The album, which also features the explosive drumming of South African Makaya Ntshoko, is a typically quizzical affair for […]

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Chicago institution DKV Trio reconvenes for some holiday concerts with multi-instrumentalist Joe McPhee

The holiday season in Chicago often means great things for the city’s musical institutions, as local musicians who spend much of their time on the road coalesce in their hometown. Both reedist Ken Vandermark and percussionist Hamid Drake are road dogs, but in December they’re known to come together with longtime collaborator and bassist Kent […]