Moye/Barefield/Wilkerson Trio | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Moye/Barefield/Wilkerson Trio


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Unwieldy though it may be, the name of this trio tells the whole tale. In fact, it suggests context, likely themes, and a welter of plot possibilities for those already familiar with the individual work of percussionist Famoudou Don Moye, guitarist Spencer Barefield, and reedman Edward Wilkerson. All share a gratifyingly inclusive approach to modern American music that encourages them to roam knowingly throughout the jazz tradition, incorporating elements as diverse as swing-beat rhythms, postbop expressionism, and the wild cries introduced in the 60s and honed in the decades since. And each of them tells stories in his music--even Moye, whose percussion discussion, as heard in the Art Ensemble of Chicago and a dozen other settings, can range from high drama to impressionistic fables. It would be hard to ignore the similar intrigue in the music of Barefield, who lives in Detroit; he relies on a formidable finger-style technique and concepts equally grounded in jazz, new classical music, and the stringinstrument tradition of West Africa. Wilkerson's breadth-generously displayed to Chicagoans in his own 8 Bold Souls and the Ethnic Heritage Ensemble-allows him to traverse and sew together far-flung chapters of jazz history in an instrumental voice of power and warmth. Best of all, this is no let's-jam hootenanny; the trio will preview works to appear on a CD due later this year, guaranteeing a well-considered approach to this unusual assemblage of instruments. Friday, 9 PM, HotHouse, 1565 N. Milwaukee; 235-2334.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Barbara Barefield.

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