Peter Van Bergen | Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Music » Critic's Choice

Peter Van Bergen




Dutch reedist Peter Van Bergen's recorded work is all about lean precision. Both his participation in the Maarten Altena Ensemble, a marvelous group practicing a singular, Stravinsky-derived chamber jazz, and his leadership of Ensemble Loos, a new-music ensemble with an interest in improv and Morton Feldman-esque electronically enchanced fields of sound, testify to his sense of economy; he doesn't squander a note or gesture on sax or clarinet. Not that Van Bergen's mired in head music, a soulless clinician: his thoughtful improvisations almost always threaten to explode the meticulous architectures he works in. In local live performances with Altena's group, he's delved deep into his solos, with rich, jagged lines and a concentrated fury. On Comite Imaginaire (FMP), a beautiful new recording with fellow reedists Wolfgang Fuchs and Hans Koch, his playing is more reserved but equally compelling, as the trio weaves an elaborate web of sound. This performance will be Van Bergen's first as a leader in Chicago. He's here to record a solo CD for the local Okka Disk label, but though he'll play some solo pieces, for most of the evening he'll be backed by the very able DKV Trio (Hamid Drake, Kent Kessler, and Ken Vandermark). Wednesday, 9 PM, Empty Bottle, 1035 N. Western; 773-276-3600. PETER MARGASAK

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): uncredited photo.

Get our free weekly Early Warnings newsletter 💌

It’s Chicago’s essential months-ahead music calendar straight to your inbox.

Support Independent Chicago Journalism: Join the Reader Revolution

We speak Chicago to Chicagoans, but we couldn’t do it without your help. Every dollar you give helps us continue to explore and report on the diverse happenings of our city. Our reporters scour Chicago in search of what’s new, what’s now, and what’s next. Stay connected to our city’s pulse by joining the Reader Revolution.

Are you in?

  Reader Revolutionary $35/month →  
  Rabble Rouser $25/month →  
  Reader Radical $15/month →  
  Reader Rebel  $5/month  → 

Not ready to commit? Send us what you can!

 One-time donation  →