Brackets | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader
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While Chicago boasts a slew of excellent local jazz musicians, most of them toil away in a variety of fairly anonymous settings. So when they rearrange themselves into an unexpected configuration such as Brackets, and the spotlight shifts, the rest of us are grateful for the prod to sit up and take notice. Drummer Mike Raynor is fairly new on the city scene, but bassist Dan DeLorenzo is a busy veteran; together they provide a slightly prickly, bare-bones-jazz-cellar backdrop for the unorthodox front line of trumpet and bass trumpet. The trumpeter is Jeff Beer, a savvy but virtually unknown player and thought-provoking tunesmith; the bass trumpet (which sounds in the range of a trombone) is in the virtuoso hands of Ryan Schultz. This odd and satisfying quartet was assembled to explore the open spaces inherent both in its instrumentation and in the compositions of Ornette Coleman, Steve Lacy, and Thelonious Monk: it's not about lush harmonies, but rather sharp angles and the brilliant interstices of nonparallel lines. (Besides, what were you planning to do the night before Thanksgiving? Psych for the football game?) Wednesday, Bop Shop, 1807 W. Division; 235-3232.

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