Old Time Musketry | Whistler | Jazz | Chicago Reader

Old Time Musketry Free Soundboard Recommended Image

When: Tue., Aug. 13, 9:30 p.m. 2013

Pianist JP Schlegelmilch, who recently rolled through town backing drummer Carlos Costa in the trio Minerva, tackles the compositions of guitarist Bill Frisell on his new solo album, Throughout (Steeplechase), taking their Americana essence and adapting it for a 19th-century parlor—his improvisations and harmonic choices are thoroughly contemporary, but the overall feel sometimes evokes an era well before the advent of jazz. Schlegelmilch is also a member of young Brooklyn quartet Old Time Musketry, which plays with a similarly old-fashioned touch, imbuing the elegant melodies of its postbop tunes with a rusticity borrowed from American and eastern European styles. On last year’s Different Times (Steeplechase), Schlegelmilch augments his piano with contributions on accordion and Wurlitzer, resulting in a wide range of textures and moods, and the arrangements consistently create a homey tunefulness with almost rocklike concision. The keyboardist’s delicate “Cadets,” featuring his own synth plinks and Adam Schneit’s sinuous clarinet, recalls the Bad Plus at their most serene; “Parade,” written by Schneit, ties together New Orleans second-line rhythms and funky soul-jazz; and a stormy version of the Henry Cowell piano piece “Anger Dance” gives it an unexpected klezmer vibe. The band, which also includes bassist Phil Rowan and drummer Max Goldman, always sounds organic in its eclecticism—I noticed how diverse the elements were only after I started to break down the music consciously. —Peter Margasak

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