Constellation hasn’t hosted a New Year’s Eve bash since the Sun Ra Arkestra’s legendary fete in 2017. This year, the intimate venue ushers in 2023 with homegrown talents who could be considered Constellation all-stars. The evening is headlined by Natural Information Society, led by multi-instrumentalist Joshua Abrams; the five-piece ensemble realizes his teeming compositions (often […]
Tag: Joshua Abrams
Local darkwave group Kill Scenes preview a new album at the Hideout
Last month, local darkwave band Kill Scenes dropped “Acid Black Window,” the first single from the upcoming full-length album Masque. The five-piece group, anchored by songwriters Meghan Lamb (vocals) and Sean Whittaker (guitar, electronics), lace their tracks with swirling six-string textures and driving synth melodies—Gossip Wolf doesn’t doubt for a second that “Acid Black Window” […]
Mandingo Griot Society: a global exchange born in Chicago
Foday Musa Suso absorbed centuries of tradition growing up in Gambia. As part of the griot caste, his family had performed a centuries-long role in Gambian society, narrating historical epics and singing praise songs while playing the kora, a harplike 21-string instrument his distant ancestors invented. Suso dreamed of bringing his music to places far […]
Joshua Abrams and Chad Taylor concentrate their shared history in Mind Maintenance
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 […]
Ari Brown belongs in Chicago’s canon of great tenor saxophonists
Ari Brown hasn’t often sought the spotlight, but his blend of bebop rigor and avant-garde daring puts him on par with the likes of Fred Anderson and Von Freeman.
Cosmic Country star Andrew Sa drops a high lonesome covers collection
Cosmic Country star Andrew Sa drops a high lonesome covers collection, Dave Rempis releases a double album of live performances that COVID couldn’t stop, and more.
Natural Information Society reaches a new ecstatic peak with Evan Parker
While it’s impossible to pinpoint a single peak in John Coltrane’s vast discography, Ascension is one of his most intense expressions of transcendental intent. Local musician Joshua Abrams knows his Coltrane, so it’s no accident that he’s given the name Descension to this summit between his group Natural Information Society and English saxophonist (and fellow […]
Hamid Drake and Michael Zerang livestream their traditional solstice duo
Hamid Drake and Michael Zerang livestream their traditional solstice drum duo, Che Arthur of Pink Avalanche drops two instrumental solo EPs, and more.
A eulogy for Danny’s Tavern
For decades, Danny’s nurtured a devoted and welcoming community of music lovers—but it couldn’t survive the pandemic.
Chicago’s September jazz festivals cope with COVID
The city is replacing the Chicago Jazz Festival with a slimmed-down online event, while the smaller, nimbler Hyde Park Jazz Festival plans to try pop-up in-person shows.
Reunion Chicago, Slo ’Mo, and Open Television throw a three-night virtual Pride party
Reunion Chicago, Slo ’Mo, and Open Television throw a three-night virtual Pride party, Brent Gutzeit of TV Pow assembles a massive compilation to benefit the fight for racial justice, and more.
The Chicago Underground Quartet bottle their lightning again
For 19 years, the Chicago Underground Quartet’s first album was their only album—but now longtime collaborators Rob Mazurek, Jeff Parker, and Chad Taylor have recaptured the group’s freewheeling jazz spirit.
Former Can vocalist Damo Suzuki still diving into impromptu moments
Update: This show has been canceled to help slow the spread of COVID-19. Tickets will be refunded at point of purchase. Damo Suzuki has always had a case of wanderlust. Born in 1950 in Kobe, Japan, he began traveling while still in his teens and spent time living in Gräsmark, Sweden, before eventually landing in […]
Saxophonist Dave Rempis builds a band with the stamina for deep dives
The lively quartet Chicago saxophonist Dave Rempis brings to the festival finds the meditative heart of free improvisation.
Natural Information Society make the stage a home—and vice versa
Joshua Abrams and Lisa Alvarado of Natural Information Society help give the Chicago collective’s transcendent minimalism a family feeling.