Posted inMusic

One of the longest-running freely improvising ensembles on earth plays this (and nearly every) Monday in Roscoe Village

For improvisers, familiarity is a double-edged sword; if musicians get too comfortable with each other, inspiration can turn into habit. But there’s nothing quite so thrilling as the near-telepathic rapport of a group whose players know each other’s strengths and try to push each other to greater heights. The members of Extraordinary Popular Delusions have […]

Posted inMusic

Two improvised saxophone-drum duos show that age is nothing but a number on the Chicago jazz scene

These two sax-percussion duos represent several generations in Chicago improvised music—saxophonist Gerrit Hatcher is 26, while drummer Steve Hunt is 63—but all the musicians share an exploratory curiosity, and both pairs engage in fascinating modes of communication. Reedist Keefe Jackson and Hunt—a perpetually overlooked titan in the city’s jazz scene who’s played in NRG Ensemble, […]

Posted inBlogs

Remembering Hall Russell

Some of the greatest experiences with live music came courtesy of the eccentric multiinstrumentalist and bandleader Hal Russell, whose work with his NRG Ensemble brought gonzo wit, fierce improvisation, and boundless energy to performance after performance. During the late 80s and early 90s they were fixtures at great subterranean bar Lower Links, playing madcap sets […]