Elisabeth Harnik, Taylor Ho Bynum, and Jeff Parker | Preston Bradley Hall, Chicago Cultural Center | Jazz | Chicago Reader

Elisabeth Harnik, Taylor Ho Bynum, and Jeff Parker Free All Ages Soundboard Recommended

When: Wed., Nov. 5, 6:45 p.m. 2008

Though most artists from the classical world have trouble shaking off their academy training when they play freely improvised music, Austrian pianist Elisabeth Harnik not only thrives in spontaneous settings but also maintains some of the rigor she’s developed working on the other side of the fence. On Soundog (Extraplatte, 2005) she plays clavichord, a keyboard instrument that hasn’t been popular since the 18th century, as part of an improvising quintet that moves as a unit through dense, knotty thickets of texture and color. At the piano Harnik spends nearly as much time mucking about with the instrument’s innards as she does playing its keys, and often accompanies herself with improvised vocal abstractions. For her Chicago debut—part of “European Jazz Meets Chicago,” the first night of the Umbrella Music Festival —she’s accompanied by guitarist Jeff Parker and trumpeter Taylor Ho Bynum, both of whom can certainly keep up with her when it comes to explorations of pure sound. —Peter Margasak

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