Fulcrum Point | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Stephen Burns, artistic director of the iconoclastic chamber ensemble Fulcrum Point, has been trying to bring Mark-Anthony Turnage's Blood on the Floor to Chicago since 2001. The nine-part piece, which takes its title from one of Francis Bacon's grim canvases and its theme from the drug-related death of the British composer's brother, combines Stravinsky-esque elements, improvised jazz in the vein of Miles Davis's electric ensembles, and Frank Zappa-like instrumentation--just the sort of challenging cultural fusion at which Fulcrum Point excels. Turnage is typical of the composers Burns champions--passionate, ambitious, impatient with distinctions between high and low culture. He's also uniquely unafraid to confront ugly or painful aspects of life, and able to do so while maintaining a groove. Featured soloists include Jim Gailoretto on saxophone, John McLean on guitar, and Justin Emerich and John Rommel on trumpet. A professor of trumpet at Indiana University, Rommel commands one of the biggest sounds I've ever heard, second only to retired CSO legend Adolph Herseth. $20. Tuesday, June 1, 7:30 PM, Harris Theater for Music and Dance, 205 E. Randolph; 312-334-7777.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Kathy Richland.

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