Bik Bent Braam (Chicago version); John Tchicai; Elisabeth Harnik, Matt Bauder, and Jason Roebke | Elastic | Jazz | Chicago Reader

Bik Bent Braam (Chicago version); John Tchicai; Elisabeth Harnik, Matt Bauder, and Jason Roebke All Ages Soundboard Recommended Critics' Picks

When: Fri., Nov. 7, 9 p.m. 2008

Danish-born reedist John Tchicai hasn’t been well served by history, despite maintaining a rare level of artistry and curiosity for more than four decades. He was a member of seminal mid-60s free-jazz combos like the New York Art Quartet and the New York Contemporary Five and played on classic large-group sessions like Coltrane’s Ascension and Albert Ayler’s New York Eye and Ear Control, but he’s still relatively unknown—and his own large-group project, Cadentia Nova Danica, has been criminally overlooked. Though he’s just as adventurous as his old colleagues, he prefers lucid, elegant expression to the over-the-top blowing commonly associated with free jazz—he allows his phrases to pile up in wonderfully tense bunches, then opens them out into long tones and silence. He continues to work regularly with both veterans and young talent, and this summer appeared on Coltrane in Spring (ILK) in a quartet with emerging trumpeter Jonas Müller, engaging in sharp, poignant dialogue that seamlessly closes the generation gap. On this rare visit Tchicai performs three times as part of the Umbrella Music Festival. Tonight he plays solo; the Chicago version of Bik Bent Braam headlines and a trio of pianist Elisabeth Harnik, saxophonist Matt Bauder, and bassist Jason Roebke opens. a Elastic, 2830 N. Milwaukee, second floor, 773-772-3616, $15 suggested donation. A —Peter Margasak

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