Andreas Kapsalis & Goran Ivanovic Guitar Duo, Tim Sparks | Mayne Stage | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader

Andreas Kapsalis & Goran Ivanovic Guitar Duo, Tim Sparks Soundboard Recommended Critics' Picks

When: Thu., Oct. 7, 8 p.m. 2010

Minneapolis-based Tim Sparks is a journeyman of acoustic fingerstyle guitar, a restless searcher whose curiosity has continually widened his musical scope. Over the decades he's adapted traditional jazz, postbop, classical, Brazilian music, and eastern European folk, parlaying the latter interest into a string of strong original recordings for Tzadik's cheekily named Radical Jewish Culture series. As one of three contributors to Masada Guitars (2003), Sparks locates his own sound in tunes Tzadik head John Zorn composed for his long-running quartet Masada. Unlike Marc Ribot and Bill Frisell, who take relatively faithful approaches to the source material, Sparks assimilates styles from all over the globe into his dazzling, precise arpeggios, while respecting the Jewish origins of Zorn's scales. Sparks brings that same ethos to Little Princess—Tim Sparks Plays Naftule Brandwein (2009), where he tackles the music of the brilliant and influential klezmer clarinetist in a trio session with bassist Greg Cohen and percussionist Cyro Baptista. Here too he plays against type, adding accents from as far afield as flamenco and choro and bringing out the mutant makeup of both Brandwein's exuberant work and a great majority of 20th-century music. Sparks will focus on material from these albums for his two solo sets in town this week; see also Monday. The Andreas Kapsalis & Goran Ivanovic Guitar Duo headlines. —Peter Margasak

Price: $15

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