All ears (and eyes)

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This weekend's Ears & Eyes Festival at the Hideout, which begins tonight, has a pretty impressive lineup--and notwithstanding the presence of some strong out-of-town bands (like tonight's headliner, Parts & Labor), Chicagoans provide the bulk of the fest's substance.

Perhaps more than any other Chicago festival I've seen in two-plus decades living here, this one zeroes in on the local scene's proclivity for knocking down stylistic walls and disrupting genre hierarchies. The program includes a diverse slate of jazz and rock and lots of stuff in between, but more telling than the variety of acts is the approach of the individual musicians--from one project to the next they routinely cross back and forth between idioms, making an orthodoxy out of playing whatever they like.

While I can't say I'm a fan on everything on the schedule, there sure are a lot of good bands booked. On Saturday I plan to catch Silences Sumire (pictured), the duo of saxophonist Charles Gorczynski and drummer Thomas Faulds, who released their engaging debut album, Return Is Selective (Ropeadope Digital), back in May. I've heard Gorczynski play in the Leaves, a relatively straight postbop quartet, and in Colorlist, a duo with drummer Charles Rumback, but Silences Sumire is far more concerned with electronics and sound processing. The melodic, instrumental pieces are rich in color, shimmering with an ebb and flow of sound produced via the sampling of live instruments, and though Gorczynski has a tendency to get bogged down nailing the loops--it sounds like he creates them on the fly--instead of focusing on improvising (a problem in Colorlist too), I admire him for working out an unusual methodology.

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