BOAT | Constellation | Jazz | Chicago Reader

BOAT 18+ Recommended Soundboard Image

When: Sat., May 21, 8:30 p.m. 2016

Led by versatile Belgian drummer Teun Verbruggen, this knotty transcontinental sextet bridges not only an ocean but many styles as well. The combo’s latest album, Hapax Legomena (RAT), deftly moves between free jazz, postbop, and a kind of in-the-red jazz-rock fusion powered by Icelandic guitarist Hilmar Jensson and New York electric bassist Tim Dahl. While the leader focuses on corralling an eclectic cast and propelling the music forward with a muscular thrust that toggles between fat back beats and scrabbling, hyperactive, proggy accents, everyone else in the group contributes tunes to the record. The disparate styles reflect their varied backgrounds: trumpeter Nate Wooley and reedist Andrew D’Angelo both come from New York and bring fearless, inventive spontaneity and a monster technique, while keyboardist Jozef Dumoulin, who hails from Belgium, has developed a striking approach to playing the Fender Rhodes that effectively renders the instrument a homemade synthesizer with a dazzling timbral range. Within each tune the group moves between passages of cool serenity, rumbling grooves, and controlled chaos with exhilarating energy and impressive concision, particularly considering its members convene only sporadically. For the Chicago debut of BOAT (Bureau of Atomic Tourism) Verbruggen brings a different but still superb front line, with Russ Johnson and Jon Irabagon subbing for Wooley and D’Angelo.

Peter Margasak

Price: $10

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