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We're now five years or so into the laptop era of improvised music, during which ever greater numbers of players have attempted to incorporate electronic elements into their improv work. Some use a computer as an extra tone source, setting a preprogrammed pattern of notes in motion, then picking up another instrument and playing along; some perform in teams in which one player's output is electronically augmented or manipulated by another. Since forming the duo Grey Ghost in early 2002, reedist-laptopper Aram Shelton and drummer-keyboardist Johnathan Crawford have been developing their own methodology; listening to their debut album, How to Create Words (482 Music), it's clear they're onto something. Through his work in groups like Dragons 1976, Arrive, and Rapid Croche, Shelton has established himself as one of the finest young saxophonists in town--his tart alto tone and melodic generosity show strong signs of Ornette Coleman's influence--and the organic-feeling synthesis of horn and laptop he's created here is testament to his abilities as both composer and improviser. While Shelton occasionally uses computer-generated bass lines as structural nuggets to improvise around, a la Chicago Underground Duo, most of the sonic elements in play come from terse samples of his own saxophone. On a track like "Spitzacolli" he starts with a succession of breathy alto licks, samples them in real time, and tweaks the samples on his computer until they fit together in an endless self-reflecting grid; then Crawford snaps out of a gentle cymbal wash into a hard-hitting circular groove and Shelton solos over the hall-of-mirrors framework. The sax samples on "Hand Down" are percussive pops and harmonic squeaks repeated ad infinitum while Crawford taps out a spare, stuttering beat, giving Shelton plenty of room for a moody solo, while "Unheard, Other Bands Practice" is a loose assemblage of percussive clatter, dyspeptic melodica puffs, striated columns of breath, and bell-like electronic tones. Crawford, who also plays in the orchestral-pop band Head of Femur, can be distractingly heavy-handed in the quiet passages, but generally he gets the job done on percussion and adds some melodic parts on synthesizer. TV Pow opens. Tuesday, November 11, 9:30 PM, Empty Bottle, 1035 N. Western; 773-276-3600.

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