Earlier today Monica Kendrick mentioned a CD-release party by Sabertooth this weekend, and I just found out about another release celebration this Sunday night--fellow Delmark artist Ari Brown will play three sets, beginning at 7:30 PM, at the New Checkerboard Lounge at 5201 S. Harper Court. A few months ago Brown, one of the sturdiest and most flexible saxophonists in the city, put out a live CD and DVD cut at the Green Mill--no idea why that venue wasn’t chosen for this occasion--and it ably captures his range, from Coltrane-style soprano workouts to blues-rich Chicago hard bop and modal balladry. The album also paints a warm portrait of Brown’s unfussy skill and charismatic humility: for much of his career he’s worked as a sideman, supporting everyone from Elvin Jones to Kahil El’Zabar (this is only his third work as a leader since the 90s), and I’ve always had the sense that he isn’t interested in the spotlight. He just loves to play the horn.
Keith Rowe, The Room (Erstwhile)
Mostar Sevdah Reunion & Ljiljana Buttler, Legends of Life (Trade Root)
Ethan Winogrand, Tangled Tango (Clean Feed)
Sofia Gubaidulina, And: The Feast Is in Full Progress & Ten Preludes (Col Legno)