Flippomusic Globaljazz | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Flippomusic Globaljazz

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Once you know the name of this quintet's leader--Dave Flippo, playing piano and synths--the rest of its odd designation falls into place. Of course at this point the whole idea of "world music" carries little novelty, either as a self-contained genre or as the most widespread new influence on every idiom from classical to rock; the phrase itself attained buzzword status back in the 80s. Most groups concerned with world-beat rhythms tend to attach themselves to a single culture--Brazilian, say, or West African or Middle Eastern--or to blend aspects of them all into a purportedly "universal" melange. But Flippo has done neither; instead his repertoire includes separate tunes that specifically explore Arabic, African, Latin American, and Indian music. The trick is to avoid cliche among all this eclecticism, and Flippo does this to an acceptable extent. His compositions have enough bite to elevate them from mere vehicles, and his group really seem to inhabit their dizzying musical travelogue; they play each piece from the inside out rather than merely imposing the appropriate rhythms when called for. For that you can place no little credit with Hamid Drake, the master percussionist whose expertise with rhythms from around the globe has attained locally legendary stature. Globaljazz performs Friday as part of this weekend's University of Chicago Jazz Festival, headlined by Malachi Thompson's sextet (Friday) and the New Horizons Ensemble (Saturday). Friday, 8 PM, Ida Noyes Hall, University of Chicago, 1212 E. 59th; 702-7300. Thursday, 8 PM, Southport Records Jazz Fest, Bop Shop, 1807 W. Division; 235-3232.

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