Jason Stein, Dave Rempis, Devin Hoff, and John Herndon; Devin Hoff | Elastic | Jazz | Chicago Reader

Jason Stein, Dave Rempis, Devin Hoff, and John Herndon; Devin Hoff All Ages Soundboard Recommended Critics' Picks

When: Thu., Feb. 11, 10 p.m. 2010

During his years in the Bay Area, bassist Devin Hoff developed into a key player not only in jazz and improvised-music groups around the country—among his notable collaborators are clarinetist Ben Goldberg and trumpeter Steven Bernstein—but also in adventurous rock bands like Xiu Xiu and Carla Bozulich's Evangelista. He's probably best known for his ongoing work with guitarist Nels Cline, but no matter what the project he's functioned as a rhythmic and harmonic anchor, getting the job done forcefully and without fuss. A couple years ago he self-released Solo Bass, a collection of concise pieces—some spontaneous, some composed—where he vividly demonstrates his facility with thematic improvisation, elaborating on nubby riffs and knotty, warmly lyrical phrases with muscular pizzicato and kaleidoscopic bow technique. He can be restrained or even abstract, using extended silences and ghostly harmonics, but what really commands attention is the way he loads each performance with a strong narrative arc and inventive melodic variation. Last fall Hoff moved to Chicago, and this performance is his unofficial coming-out party. He'll open with a solo set, then join a quartet with drummer John Herndon, reedist Dave Rempis, and bass clarinetist Jason Stein. —Peter Margasak

Price: $8 suggested donation

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