Lotte Anker, Craig Taborn, and Gerald Cleaver | Hungry Brain | Jazz | Chicago Reader

Lotte Anker, Craig Taborn, and Gerald Cleaver Soundboard Recommended

When: Sun., Sept. 11, 10 p.m. 2011

This superb improvising trio performs as part of the ongoing tenth-anniversary celebration for the Hungry Brain's Transmission Series—each month all year, one of the best acts to play the series during the past decade returns for an encore. What's funny about this one is that the group never actually played here: they were scheduled for October 2004, but Danish saxophonist Lotte Anker had visa trouble, forcing pianist Craig Taborn and drummer Gerald Cleaver to carry on as a (riveting) duo. Since the early 90s Anker has been a hugely important figure in Denmark, leading a break with the bebop orthodoxy of the Danish jazz scene and pushing toward distinctive and original explorations of free jazz, electronics-augmented improvisation, and daring genre hybrids. Many of her albums, and others like them, have been released by the ILK label—which is also responsible for 2009's Floating Islands, the third and latest recording by her long-running trio with Taborn and Cleaver, multifaceted players who are both among the strongest and most curious on the New York scene. It's a live performance, dominated by a 48-minute improvisation that builds from a slowly intensifying rumble—with Anker unleashing astringent, snaking soprano lines over an almost static, brooding patter—into a relentlessly driving, practically airless stomp, then segues into full-bore energy playing as Taborn hammers out head-clearing clusters and dissonant, lightning-fast runs. The piece's epic scope is typical for this galvanizing trio—and I expect they'll at least equal it at their long-delayed Chicago debut. For more on Taborn, see Artist on Artist. —Peter Margasak

Price: $15 donation requested

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