Paul Hartsaw, Kristian Aspelin, Damon Smith, and Jerome Bryerton | Heaven Gallery | Jazz | Chicago Reader

Paul Hartsaw, Kristian Aspelin, Damon Smith, and Jerome Bryerton Recommended All Ages Soundboard

When: Sat., Sept. 19, 10 p.m. 2009

For the 2007 release Ausfegen (Balance Point Acoustics), this transcontinental quartet—bassist Damon Smith and guitarist Kristian Aspelin from the Bay Area and saxophonist Paul Hartsaw and drummer Jerome Bryerton from Chicago—set out to pay homage to German conceptual artist Joseph Beuys. But as Smith explains in the liner notes, they weren’t sure it was worthwhile to simply claim they were inspired by Beuys, so they decided to make the connection more explicit. For the art piece he called Ausfegen, Beuys swept Berlin’s Marx-Engels-Platz, then encased the broom and all the detritus he’d collected in a vitrine. On the album Ausfegen, the cuts have titles like “Garbage,” “Sand,” and “Paper,” and for one track Aspelin laid his guitar flat and played it with a broom. Of course that’s not to say the listener needs to know any of this to appreciate the group’s tensile and tactile free improvisation. The clanging and clattering commotion is daubed with terse, fluid phrases—a postbop gesture by Hartsaw, a rumbling arco flurry by Smith—and each player manipulates fast-flying extended technique in carefully calibrated communication. —Peter Margasak

Price: donation requested

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