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John Corbett, co-owner of the Wicker Park art gallery Corbett vs. Dempsey, has a substantial history with the German free jazz saxophonist Peter Brötzmann. Back when Corbett was still booking jazz at the Empty Bottle he brought the horn player to town often, allowing Brötzmann to establish the kind of fervent following that’s exceedingly rare in his field, especially for someone so uncompromising. Corbett label has reissued many of the Brötzmann's key recordings for FMP Records through his Unheard Music Series imprint, and he’s also writing a Brötzmann biography.
Brötzmann also happens to be a fine visual artist. Back in March of 2003, before he opened his gallery, Corbett organized an exhibition of Brötzmann's early work at 1926 Exhibition Studies Space, a small gallery owned by the School of the Art Institute, where Corbett teaches. Recently he’s been busy curating another Brötzmann show, this one devoted to new work. The show features “large format works on canvas and small scale assemblages, as well as an assortment of older pieces.” Corbett vs. Dempsey has also produced a 96-page catalog, 200 copies of which include a CD of previously unreleased music by Brötzmann and bassist Harry Miller. The exhibit opens on Friday, October 26, with a reception from 5-9 PM; it runs through November 30. Then on Saturday at 2 PM Brötzmann will give a brief solo concert on alto saxophone and clarinet; it's free.
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