The next stretch of small group shows continued this amazingly quality of music:
-Tuesday the 4th at Elastic: a drum duo with Paal and Michael; and a first time quartet featuring Fred, Johannes, Kent, and Per-Åke. The only disappointment was a smaller turnout due to more wretched Chicago weather.
-Wednesday the 5th at the Hideout: Sonore (Peter, Mats, me) and the Survival Unit III (Joe, Fred, Michael). Though both ensembles have worked extensively in Europe, neither plays often enough Stateside. And I know that when I stand on stage with Sonore I always feel inspired because I’ll be able to steal enough ideas to keep me sounding fresh for weeks.
-Thursday the 6th at Elastic: the duo of Peter and Michael, a return to the format of their outstanding recording, “Live In Beirut,” released on Al Maslakh Records in 2005; and the Peter performing in another duo, this time with Joe McPhee. For me, this set with the two elder statesmen of the Tentet was, along with the full ensemble’s performance at the MCA, the highlight of the ten days of Chicago activity by the band. The music was so straightforward, intense and relaxed; somehow I felt like I was hearing a conversation in sound that would remain creatively permanent. It was some of the best music I had heard in my life.
-Friday the 7th at the Hideout: the 10th anniversary of the Chicago Tentet ended with understandable intensity. First up, the trio that released, “The Fat Is Gone,” on Smalltown Superjazz: Peter, Mats, and Paal. Somehow, after a blistering hour of music with that lineup, Peter was able to dig into another energy reserve and lay forth an incendiary set with Joe McPhee, Kent Kessler, and Michael Zerang- surely one of the best quartets working in improvised music today and easily proving the fact that night in Chicago.
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