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Versatile instrumental trio Bitchin Bajas unspool new material at their first concert since 2019

For the past decade, local trio Bitchin Bajas have exemplified the virtues of patience and versatility. All three members play synthesizers, Cooper Crain and Daniel Quinlivan play organ, and Rob Frye plays woodwinds and percussion. They create plush, pulsing instrumentals with melodies that evolve at such a leisurely pace that you might not notice the […]

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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 […]

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Chicago jazz hero Joshua Abrams and his Natural Information Society bottle hypnosis on Mandatory Reality

Chicago jazz and improvised-music linchpin Joshua Abrams could continue to explore the outer reaches of minimalism with his Natural Information Society ensemble for decades and have no trouble maintaining a hypnotic atmosphere. The eight-piece band’s upcoming fifth album, Mandatory Reality (Eremite), opens with two sprawling tracks. The group is so successful at casting spells that […]

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With Natural Information Society, Joshua Abrams expands his sonic palette while remaining locked-in on modal trance

The power of Joshua Abrams’s Natural Information Society is in large measure derived from a singular sense of purpose: to lock in on a single chord and with subtle, kaleidoscopic modality cast a spell at the nexus of a hypnotic groove. That intent is carried forth on the Chicago band’s fourth and best album, Simultonality […]