FAREED HAQUE QUARTET
I don't think you can play the guitar much better than Fareed Haque. On both electric and classical instruments he strikes each note with perfect attack and timing no matter what the speed--and damn the genre. His music contains plenty of genres, from flamenco to jazz-rock fusion, Indian music to pure American finger-style blues, Middle Eastern wails to South American multitudinous rhythms. Haque's eclecticism has emerged as the dominant aspect of his music, along with his ability to illuminate each idiom with the appropriate mixture of power and grace. But in touching so many bases he often begs the question of what lies beneath the surface spectacle. Even when he reaches down deep enough to reveal some artistic truths, the audience may be too busy following the travelogue to notice. Still, you can count on each set having moments that'll drop your jaw with sheer byzantine artistry, as well as compositions flavored not only by the world's cultures but also by Haque's musical intelligence. And he always moves the feet--even when he hasn't quite stirred one's inner being--and few musicians can promise even that. On recent CDs Haque has used overdubbing to create music for more than one guitar; onstage he's enlisted a simpatico and challenging guitarist in Dave Onderdonk, and the exchanges between the two should provide a highlight reel of their own. Saturday, 8 PM, Green Mill, 4802 N. Broadway; 878-5552. NEIL TESSER
Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Jay Gullixson.