East-West Collective | Preston Bradley Hall, Chicago Cultural Center | Jazz | Chicago Reader

East-West Collective Recommended Free All Ages Soundboard Image

When: Mon., June 17, 6:30 p.m. 2013

The French-American Peace Ensemble (see Wednesday) isn’t the only improvising group playing in town this week whose members live on more than one continent. Answering their transatlantic perspective is the East-West Collective, which spans both the Atlantic and the Pacific. The quintet’s “West” contingent consists of Bay Area saxophonist Lawrence Ochs (a lifelong member of ROVA) and two versatile French improvisers, clarinetist Sylvain Kassap and cellist Didier Petit—the latter of whom recently released Passages (Rogue Art), a musical travelogue of duo and trio improvisations made in 2011 with a wide cast of North American musicians, including Ochs. The “East” refers to adventurous Chinese improviser Xu Fengxia, who has a guttural vocal style and a nontraditional style on the traditional stringed instruments guzheng and sanxian, and for all intents and purposes it also refers to Japanese-American koto master Miya Masaoka. I’ve only heard a few lo-fi live clips of the quintet, and the music is a visceral unity rather than a riot of cultural collisions—it’s full of frictive dissonance, upper-register cries, and arcing long tones. —Peter Margasak East-West Collective also plays at Hungry Brain on Sun 6/16 at 10 PM.

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