Gordon Grdina Trio with Jeb Bishop, Gordon Grdina Trio | Hideout | Jazz | Chicago Reader

Gordon Grdina Trio with Jeb Bishop, Gordon Grdina Trio Recommended Soundboard Critics' Picks

When: Wed., Sept. 2, 9:30 p.m. 2009

Vancouver guitarist Gordon Grdina explores gritty, aggressive free improvisation in Box Cutter, his quartet with the great clarinetist Francois Houle, and plays patiently expansive, hushed postbop in a sublime trio with drummer Paul Motian and bassist (and key mentor) Gary Peacock. He’s a member of Sangha, a quartet that mixes traditional Indian, Arabic, and Persian music, and he shows off his art-rock chops on Dark Blue World’s new The Perilous Beauty of Madness (Drip Audio). His gorgeous chamber ensemble East Van Strings, with cellist Peggy Lee, violinist Jesse Zubot, and violist Eyvind Kang, brings together some of those threads on the brand-new The Breathing of Statues (Songlines)—post-Bartok writing and Arabic modes provide a spooky, pensive setting for spells of improvisation that are woven judiciously into the evolving shape of each piece. But the group Grdina brings to town for his Chicago debut tonight—a muscular, agile trio with bassist Tommy Babin and drummer Kenton Loewen—might cover more bases than any of the others. On the superb . . . If Accident Will (Plunge) the wild, bruising energy of “The Monk” suggests one of Joe Morris’s delirious rushes of notes; the spacious “Cobble Hill/Renunciation” spotlights Grdina’s sharp oud playing, which reflects Arabic tradition while flouting it; the gorgeous closer, “Yellow Spot Into the Sun,” glides through a melancholy, Radiohead-worthy melody. For its second set the trio will be joined by local trombonist Jeb Bishop. Josh Abrams spins. —Peter Margasak

Price: $7

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