When: Thu., June 18, 10 p.m. 2009
Pianist Michiel Braam, bassist Wilbert de Joode, and drummer Michael Vatcher not only play as TRIO BRAAM DE JOODE VATCHER but also as the core of Braam’s radically democratic big band, Bik Bent Braam, which has forged a combustible chemistry in its 23 years together. The last time the three of them came to town, it was as part of a wild gamble: their plan was to assemble a version of Bik Bent Braam with local players and try to re-create that chemistry in just two days. Braam must like shaking things up, because for Trio Braam de Joode Vatcher’s 20th-anniversary tour he’s adding a wild card: for a handful of dates the group will be joined by a fourth player, but never the same one twice. Braam writes splendidly varied tunes for the group—their most recent record, Change This Song (BBB), veers from sprightly Herbie Nichols swing to pensive, molasses-slow balladry—and because any musician can redirect a song at any time, every performance has a thrilling bit of entropy around its edges. Tonight’s guest is Swedish trumpeter Magnus Broo, who’s played here frequently with the quintet Atomic; with his spirited virtuosity and unabashed lyricism, he ought to fit right in. —Bill Meyer Here’s an ad hoc group with a lot of promise. Norwegian pianist HAAVARD WIIK (Atomic, Free Fall) has a lyrical style with a mile-wide romantic streak, absorbed from studying icons like Keith Jarrett and Bill Evans; Dutch bassist WILBERT DE JOODE (Trio Braam de Joode Vatcher) plays terse, hard-swinging lines with a woody, muscular snap. Trombonist JEB BISHOP and bassist JOSH ABRAMS, as model Chicago improvisers, can do it all—they should be able to bridge the gap between Wiik and de Joode, whose musical insticts are very different even though they share a venturesome curiosity. I expect to hear a pleasant tug-of-war between free-bop drive and melodic introspection, salted with bracing blasts of collar-grabbing abstraction. Wiik is in town with trumpeter and Atomic bandmate Magnus Broo to record a live album with the Vandermark 5 this Friday and Saturday at the Green Mill. —Peter Margasak Trio Braam DeJoode Vatcher headlines; Wiik, DeJoode, Bishop, and Abrams open.
Price: $10 suggested donation