CRAIG TABORN | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Judging from his discography, keyboardist Craig Taborn is pretty well in control of his ego. In almost 15 years, he's released only three albums under his own name--he prefers collectivism and collaboration, and they keep him extremely busy. Two recent ECM releases demonstrate his knack for catalyzing radically different projects: with Roscoe Mitchell's Transatlantic Art Ensemble, he sticks to piano and splits the difference between jazz and contemporary classical, while on Prezens, from guitarist David Torn, his Hammond B-3 and Fender Rhodes flow and churn like lava through the post-Agartha Miles-style maelstrom. Even Taborn's own Junk Magic--a heavily electric band with violist Mat Maneri, Bad Plus drummer David King, and saxophonist Aaron Stewart--forgoes front-line solo action in favor of viscous swirls of sound. (Their appearance should be a highlight of the upcoming Pitchfork fest.) This weekend Taborn will improvise on acoustic piano with drummer Mike Reed and bassist Josh Abrams--expect anything from sophisticated swing to dark torrents of Cecil Taylor-esque tone clusters. Both shows will be recorded for a possible live album; trombonist Jeb Bishop will join the trio for its second set tonight. See also Saturday. a 9 PM, Velvet Lounge, 67 E. Cermak, 312-791-9050, $15.

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