In what's becoming an annual tradition, Chicago-via-Boston reedist Ken Vandermark is joined by his former Beantown cohort, drummer Curt Newton (who works with the fascinating freebop guitarist Joe Morris). In years past they've presented scalding free-jazz duets in honor of pioneering saxophonists Jimmy Lyons and Eric Dolphy, and this performance expands their scope with a joint homage to the late composer/pianist/visionary Sun Ra and P-Funk guiding light George Clinton. It's easy to imagine the Clinton part: Newton's large reserve of free-floating power seems well-suited to the guttural R&Bish honk of Vandermark's tenor (witness the Vandermark Quartet's funky "Dog Cliches"). The Sun Ra portion of the program (a combination of Ra material and originals) is harder to divine: how will Ra's freedom be applied to this lean setting? Thursday, December 30, 9 PM, HotHouse, 1565 N. Milwaukee; 235-2334.
Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Marty Perez.