Frank Rosaly, PJW, Cotton Museum, Jason Soliday Agenda Member Picks Recommended Soundboard

When: Wed., Dec. 26, 9 p.m. 2012

For the past decade or so drummer Frank Rosaly has been one of the most exciting and versatile figures in Chicago’s improvised-music community, serving as a key member in load of bands—the Jeb Bishop Trio, Fast Citizens, Tres Hongos, the Jason Stein Quartet, the Nick Mazzarella Trio, the Rempis Percussion Quartet—and leading fascinating projects such as ¡Todos de Pie! and Bootstrap. Rosaly is always much more than a timekeeper—even for an improvising drummer, he’s unusually devoted to color, texture, and melody, which allows him to provide an especially wide range of interactive counterpoint to his collaborators. Some of his most interesting output, however, is solo—part of a practice he calls Milkwork. In 2009 Contraphonic released a recording under that name that mixes structured polymetrical improvisation with electroacoustic excursions where Rosaly often generates collages of pulses and textures by maintaining a different independent pattern with each limb—it’s exhilarating, heady, and visceral. Earlier this year he released Centering and Displacement (Utech), for which he edited and processed performances from a three-CD set, also called Milkwork, that he’d put out on his own Molk imprint in 2008. The 2008 set is similar to the Contraphonic release but less refined, and Rosaly intended all three discs to be played simultaneously—at the release party, he set up an installation that allowed listeners to mix all six stereo channels into a pair of headphones. For Centering and Displacement he turned the music into a two-track stereo recording and completely transformed it in postproduction, creating tightly plotted forms from edited chunks of sound—the result is rich and warm despite some violent episodes, and it’s unlike anything I’ve heard all year. Tonight Rosaly will play electroacoustic pieces in the mold of the Molk and the Contraphonic releases. —Peter Margasak PJW, Cotton Museum, and Jason Soliday open

Price: $7 suggested donation

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