Extraordinary Popular Delusions with Paal Nilssen-Love | Beat Kitchen | Jazz | Chicago Reader

Extraordinary Popular Delusions with Paal Nilssen-Love Free Soundboard Recommended Critics' Picks

When: Mon., Jan. 3, 8:30 p.m. 2011

Pianist Alexander von Schlippenbach may have copped the name The Living Music for one of his records, but no jazz musicians better exemplify that weedlike refuse-to-die spirit than local quartet Extraordinary Popular Delusions. Jim Baker (piano, synthesizer), Steve Hunt (drums), Brian Sandstrom (double bass, electric guitar), and Mars Williams (saxophones) have held down a weekly gig for nearly six years, first on Tuesdays at Hotti Biscotti and now on Mondays at Beat Kitchen, and the connections between them stretch back to the late 70s, when Hunt, Sandstrom, and Williams played with Hal Russell. Their specialty is without-a-net improvisation, as loose as it comes both in what they play and who plays it. In the course of a set—as well as on their upcoming LP, Apocryphal Fire in the Warehouse, and Other Explanations (Harmonic Convergence)—they range from alien early-electronic timbres to scorching rock textures to lyrical melodies, driven by waves of rhythm that mutate organically from brisk walking swing to fields of silence punctuated with irregular metallic scrapes. Everyone in the band has other gigs, so sometimes a member won't show up for a few weeks, and on other occasions guests sit in; the telepathic responsiveness the players have forged over time has been hammered to a fine edge by these challenges. This Monday a couple of EPD's regulars return from holiday obligations and titanic Norwegian drummer Paal Nilssen-Love joins the combo. —Bill Meyer

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