Peter Brotzmann, Nasheet Waits, and Eric Revis | Chicago Cultural Center, Claudia Cassidy Theater | Jazz | Chicago Reader

Peter Brotzmann, Nasheet Waits, and Eric Revis Recommended Free All Ages Soundboard Critics' Picks

When: Sat., May 2, 3 p.m. 2009

German free-jazz legend Peter Brötzmann, who blows the saxophone with the force of a cannon, likes his drummers as flexible as they are explosive: Han Bennink, Louis Moholo, Ronald Shannon Jackson, Andrew Cyrille, and Hamid Drake, some of the greatest jazz drummers in the music’s history, have all worked extensively with him. On the recent Black Hole (Atavistic), Brötzmann turns to Swiss percussionist Michael Wertmueller, who manages to spread the beats around the kit even as he discharges staccato barrages; on the new Hairy Bones (Okka Disk), a quartet outing that includes Italian bassist Massimo Pupillo (of Zu) and Japanese trumpeter Toshinori Kondo, he calls on the mind-blowing Norwegian drummer Paal Nilssen-Love, who can practically do calculus while working a jackhammer. New Yorker Nasheet Waits might be the best young drummer currently playing jazz qua jazz, and since his first performance with Brötzmann at the Empty Bottle in 2005 they’ve become regular compatriots. Though Waits is best known for playing tunes—often with pianists like Jason Moran, Andrew Hill, and Fred Hersch—he has no problem going head-to-head with the free-improv giant. Bound to make these performances even more exciting is bassist Eric Revis, a ten-year vet of the Branford Marsalis Quartet—a context that doesn’t always allow his monstrous energy to shine through. The lineup might inspire a little head scratching, but it just goes to show that a sign of a good musician is his willingness to be pushed outside his niche. —Peter Margasak

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