Josh Berman, Keefe Jackson, Jason Roebke, and Frank Rosaly; Katherine Young, Erica Dicker, Jeff Parker, and Tim Daisy | Elastic | Jazz | Chicago Reader

Josh Berman, Keefe Jackson, Jason Roebke, and Frank Rosaly; Katherine Young, Erica Dicker, Jeff Parker, and Tim Daisy All Ages Soundboard Recommended Critics' Picks

When: Thu., March 4, 10 p.m. 2010

Right from the foghorn blurt that kicks off her recent solo album, Further Secret Origins (Porter), bassoonist Katherine Young makes it plain that she's got some untraditional ideas about what to do with her conservatory training. A former Chicagoan and onetime Reader employee, she left town a few years ago to study at Wesleyan with Alvin Lucier and Anthony Braxton (she's now finished with her master's and based in Brooklyn, but still plays in Braxton's Falling River Quartet), and even when she lived here she was already pushing the limits of her unwieldy instrument in projects ranging from the pop band Roommate to the experimental trio Civil War. Young loves the bassoon's harrowing multiphonics and juddering low register, and turns the horn into an abrasive noise generator on tracks like the grinding "Patricia Highsmith," which cycles on a thick, bluesy riff that's overtaken by samples of squealing car tires and police sirens, and "Elevation," which collides acidic, spittle-flecked rumbles with feedbacklike washes. The album's range of tone colors is minimal, but Young's keen compositional ideas help each of its seven pieces come to life—"For Autonauts, for Travelers," for example, is based on a Julio Cortazar book about a road trip, and it sandwiches several disparate episodes (the stops) between reiterations of a fixed pattern (the road). For tonight's performance Young has adapted the music on Further Secret Origins for a superb quartet she's calling Pretty Monsters, with guitarist Jeff Parker, violinist Erica Dicker, and drummer Tim Daisy, so she'll have a much broader sonic palette to work with—not to mention more percussion than just the beats she built by overdubbing the unpitched thumps of her bassoon keys. She says the quartet will elaborate on the tender melody of "Some People Say That She Doesn't Exist," the album's shortest piece, and suggests that they may also play a Velvet Underground tune. Pretty Monsters open; a quartet of cornetist Josh Berman, reedist Keefe Jackson, bassist Jason Roebke, and drummer Frank Rosaly plays the second set. —Peter Margasak

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