Daniel Levin, Jeff Kimmel, and Nate McBride | Myopic Books | Jazz | Chicago Reader

Daniel Levin, Jeff Kimmel, and Nate McBride Free All Ages Soundboard Recommended Critics' Picks

When: Mon., July 6, 7:30 p.m. 2009

Cellist Daniel Levin leads a drummerless quartet that’s released three albums full of the sort of elegant melodic statements and quietly intense, carefully shaded interactions that give chamber jazz a good name. But his trio on Fuhuffah (Clean Feed)—where he’s backed by bassist Ingebrigt Haaker Flaten and drummer Gerald Cleaver—is a straight-up jazz band, no adjectives necessary. Levin fills the same role that horn players like Sonny Rollins and Ornette Coleman have in similarly stripped-down settings, boldly extrapolating from his own strong melodies over a swinging, muscular rhythm section. Even when he and Haaker Flaten bow in tandem on the folk tune “Hangman,” their earthy lyricism and haunted spirituality make me think of Charles Mingus and Albert Ayler. Though he’s based in New York, Levin has spent the past three summers in Chicago, and tonight he's playing a freely improvised trio set with bass clarinetist Jeff Kimmel and bassist Nate McBride. —Bill Meyer