DKV Trio, DJ Wristless | Hideout | Jazz | Chicago Reader

DKV Trio, DJ Wristless Soundboard Recommended Critics' Picks

When: Wed., Dec. 17, 9:30 p.m. 2008

A dozen years ago another Reader writer, John Corbett, proclaimed the DKV Trio the “best working band in Chicago jazz.” He couldn’t say that today, but not because the band’s any less incredible—it just doesn’t play here, or anywhere, often enough. In the two years since DKV’s previous local gig they’ve played only once, in Sardinia last summer. But for percussionist Hamid Drake, bassist Kent Kessler, and reedist Ken Vandermark, even a hiatus like that shouldn’t matter at all—each of them can make thrilling, provocative music out of a first-time encounter. In the trio’s early days, they sought to freely improvise sets that would hang together like compositions; by the time of their most recent release, the 2001 tour recording Trigonometry (Okka Disk), they’d started playing actual compositions (by the likes of Joe McPhee, Sonny Rollins, and Don Cherry), but their take on that material was quite freewheeling. In one performance, Cherry’s “Brown Rice” is a succinct, hushed ballad; in another, this understatement gives way to stentorian, squalling funk, which in turn segues into lithe, up-tempo swing. The DKV Trio plays two sets tonight; tenor saxophonist Fred Anderson joins them for the second. —Bill Meyer

Price: $12

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