David Torn's Cloud About Mercury | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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David Torn's Cloud About Mercury



"I consider myself more of a multi-instrumentalist than strictly a guitarist," says David Torn, whose only instrument is the guitar--albeit a guitar outfitted with enough peripheral devices to fill a small wing at General Electric. Torn, who plays with the Everyman Band and last hit Chicago as part of Jan Garbarek's group, is the kind of guitar colorist that the purists decry for his rock roots, and the kind of open-ended improviser the solid rockers can't fathom. Which is all for the best: his music resists categorization, employing unusual structures, dense sonic textures, and as often as not, the moaning lyricism of Eastern music. The mostly unadulterated sound of open trumpet balances the high-tech sound of synth-drums in Torn's quartet; that the drums are played by Bill Bruford, the near-legend of Crimson and Genesis and Yes fame, greatly enhances their role in this band. Torn himself sets the moods, from darkly popping rock rhumbas to spaceflights worthy of early Weather Report. Tonight, 7:30 PM, Vic Theatre, 3145 N. Sheffield; 472-0449.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Jon Crispin.

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