When: Sun., Jan. 11, 10 p.m. 2009
Ever since fusion rode vacuous technical flash up a blind alley and into a wall, any band that tries to combine jazz and rock has provoked the inevitable question: Are these guys going to do it right, like Miles Davis’s guitar bands in the mid-70s and James “Blood” Ulmer a decade later, or will they just smack right into that wall? In recent years outfits like Ken Vandermark’s Powerhouse Sound have flourished in this treacherous territory by going for the hard stuff, in both senses of the word: they combine rock’s raw textures and heavy rhythms with the open-ended fluency and informed spontaneity of jazz improvisation. Local drummer Tim Daisy took that example to heart when he formed the NEW FRACTURE QUARTET with trumpeter Jaimie Branch, bassist Nate McBride, and guitarist Dave Miller. Not to imply that anyone’s slacking here, but it’s Miller’s fluid shifts between acid distortion and restrained, propulsive accompaniment that make the band’s debut album, 1,000 Lights (Multikulti), so persuasive. Vox Arcana, Daisy’s chamber ensemble with clarinetist James Falzone and cellist Fred Lonberg-Holm, opens. -Bill Meyer
Price: Donation requested.