DKV Trio | Hideout | Jazz | Chicago Reader

DKV Trio Early Warnings (Music) Recommended

When: Wed., Dec. 26, 9:30 p.m. and Thu., Dec. 27, 9:30 p.m. 2012

For a few years now I've referred to the annual holiday shows by the DKV Trio as reunions: formed in 1994 by drummer Hamid Drake, bassist Kent Kessler, and reedist Ken Vandermark, the group wound down in the early aughts and didn't perform at all for much of the past decade. But then the Hideout began presenting DKV concerts around Christmas, when Vandermark and Drake, both relentless road dogs, would be at home. But as terrific as those shows were, it felt like they were about nostalgia—though Drake, Kessler, and Vandermark sounded like they'd never stopped playing together, it seemed like they were just getting back together for old times' sake. Yet somewhere along the way, that changed—DKV still doesn't perform often, but the group has once again started to feel like an active band. I caught a fiery, soulful performance the trio gave last month in Krakow, Poland, in support of a terrific new seven-CD box set that testifies to DKV's enduring power: Past Present (Not Two) collects live recordings made in Chicago and Milwaukee over the past few years (plus a 2008 set from Sardinia that Vandermark says helped trigger the band's renewed activity) that cumulatively demonstrate DKV's undiminished genius for conjuring groove-oriented structures and toying with malleable motifs on the fly. Last year overflow crowds resulted in the police briefly shutting down DKV's holiday concert, so for 2012 the group has booked two nights. Here's hoping that next year we'll have even more chances to hear it. As Vandermark writes in the liner notes to Past Present, "I know there is much more music to be explored during the group's future." —Peter Margasak

Price: $12, $10 in advance

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