Extraordinary Popular Delusions featuring Didier Petit; Didier Petit & Nicole Mitchell; Didier Petit | Jazz | Chicago Reader

Extraordinary Popular Delusions featuring Didier Petit; Didier Petit & Nicole Mitchell; Didier Petit Soundboard

When: Sat., Feb. 27, 9:30 p.m. 2010

On his recent Don't Explain: 3 Faces (Buda), French improvising cellist Didier Petit creates a rich sonic vocabulary, though the only instruments are his cello and his voice. Most of the material is original, but not even Petit's version of Billie Holiday's "Don't Explain" sits comfortably in anything you could call jazz or swing—he sticks mostly to sorrowfully bowed lines that alternate between elegant, patient melodies and stormy, texture-rich double stops, though there are a few detours into sparse pizzicato. Everything he does seethes with emotional tension, which is especially impressive considering that his vocals—sweet long tones, agitated yodels, wordless murmurs—are sometimes so delicate they're barely aspirated, sounding instead like a man talking to himself in a deep sleep. At this show Petit will play three times: first solo, then in a duet with flutist Nicole Mitchell, and finally as a guest of powerhouse local quartet Extraordinary Popular Delusions (better known as the Tuesday-night group keyboardist Jim Baker leads at Hotti Biscotti with reedist Mars Williams, bassist Brian Sandstrom, and drummer Steve Hunt). —Peter Margasak

Price: $15

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