Free Monday-night music: Cave and Ramon Lopez | Bleader

Free Monday-night music: Cave and Ramon Lopez


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  • Cave
Last month I wrote at length about Chicago instrumental four-piece Cave, who've made one my favorite rock albums of the year, Neverendless. The group is also responsible for one of my favorite live shows too. Their fat-free set at the Hideout on October 15 was fantastic—they were back from more than a month on the road and they seemed to be levitating. They're about to hit the road for the second leg of their U.S. tour, and they're warming back up with a free show tonight at the Empty Bottle, headlined by former Chicagoans Bird Names.

Speaking of great performances, on Thursday night Spanish drummer Ramon Lopez and Chicago keyboardist Jim Baker turned in a fantastic, wide-ranging set at the Chicago Cultural Center as part of this year's Umbrella Music Festival (which ended with a bang last night at the Hungry Brain, thanks to a fabulous set by the Mary Halvorson Quintet that showed off a dazzling collection of new compositions). Baker alternated between piano and ARP synthesizer, weaving from postbop abstraction to rigorous free improv and back, and for a well-deserved encore he ripped unexpectedly into a version of the Clifford Brown classic "Daahoud." Tonight at 9 PM Lopez will sit in with Baker's collective Extraordinary Popular Delusions for its free weekly set at the Beat Kitchen. Regular reedist Mars Williams will miss tonight's gig, but the other EPD regulars—brilliant drummer Steve Hunt and bassist Brian Sandstrom—will be present.

photo: Jill Wait

Today's playlist:

Macaco, Puerto Presente (Mundo Zurdo/EMI, Spain)
Toshi Ichiyanagi, Music for Tinguely (Omega Point)
Chrissy Zebby Tembo & Ngozi Family, My Ancestors (Hummingbird Songs)
Jamie Saft, A Bag of Shells (Tzadik)
Soft Boys, A Can of Bees (Yep Roc)