Necks | Hungry Brain | Jazz | Chicago Reader

Necks Soundboard Recommended

When: Sun., Sept. 18, 10 p.m. 2011

The modus operandi of this long-running Australian trio is well established. One member—drummer Tony Buck, pianist Chris Abrahams, or bassist Lloyd Swanton—kicks off each performance with a terse, spontaneous motif, and then the group spends the better part of an hour building on it, engaging in highly refined interaction as they pull it apart and re­assemble it. On paper this might seem insanely limiting, but for more than two decades the Necks have proved just how wide a range they can cover—in terms of dynamics, melody, and rhythm—while abiding by such a strict set of rules. The group is about to release Mindset (ReR), a studio album that augments their onstage approach with generous overdubs—electric keyboards, electric guitar, bowed bass, extra percussion—all of which blend so organically with the core tracks that it can be difficult to tell which were added later. The first of its two relatively short pieces, "Rum Jungle," juggles a churning groove (built from Buck's incessant cymbal patter and a tightly coiled, almost percussive plucked line from Swanton) with hydroplaning, billowy midrange flourishes that Adams plays with an almost regal grace. Within the Necks' thicket of sound, you can soak in gentle, slow-moving washes, thrill to a meaty grind, or just get wonderfully lost. —Peter Margasak

Price: $12 donation requested

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