Dim Lighting, Tony Barba | Constellation | Jazz | Chicago Reader

Dim Lighting, Tony Barba 18+ Recommended Soundboard Image

When: Thu., Nov. 3, 8:30 p.m. 2016

When I wrote about the first album by guitar trio Dim Lighting I lamented the fact that just about every piece moved at a crawl. Guitarist Andrew Trim, bassist Kurt Schweitz, and drummer Devin Drobka created richly atmospheric, patient pieces—touching on the wide-open Americana of Bill Frisell here and the vibe of a Morricone score there—but they seemed unwilling to switch into a higher gear. That’s no longer the case with their terrific second album, Your Miniature Motion (Off), which explores a much broader range of moods and attacks as Dim Lighting settle into a sound of their own. Some of the turbulent ballads, such as “Man Cole,” make me wonder if the “motion” in the album title is a wink to the playing of drummer Paul Motian, but the hurtling title track—where Trim toggles between twangy ambience, crushing power chords, and single-note splatter worthy of Sonny Sharrock—argues against that supposition. The watery reverb of his tone on “Tributaries” is gorgeous as he delivers blurry melodic outlines occasionally punctured by the metallic splash of Drobka’s cymbals, while on “Face/Fate” Schweitz generates a furious barrage of notes a la William Parker, grounding the guitarist’s most sprawling, hard-rocking performance and the drummer’s most walloping one. The Ornette-ish “Donmai!” is a tune previously recorded by Trim’s Hanami Quartet, but here he swaps out the free-jazz explosion of that combo for a series of changing, celebratory grooves.

Peter Margasak

Price: $10

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