Arts & Culture » Theater Critic's Choice

Rick Hollander Quartet

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It's not exactly a new story--local musician heads to Europe, gains recognition, returns home to thunderous applause--but that's OK, because it's not exactly drummer Rick Hollander's story either. He is sort of local (born in Detroit), and he has spent a good deal of time in Europe gaining experience and reputation as a respected sideman. In fact, Europe was the birthplace of his quartet, which is making its Chicago debut this week. But the "thunderous applause" part is thus far a little tenuous. That's OK, too, because Hollander's music doesn't aim for the crotch or the jugular. Instead, his quartet is an unruffled and often dynamic outfit capable of both sweeping statements and the small but telling details of Hollander's own attractive compositions. The saxophonist, Tim Armacost, is American and plays with a meaty tone; pianist Walter Lang makes his home in his native Germany (after having lived in Boston), and the anchoring bassist, Jos Machtel, hails from Holland. Tonight and Saturday, Bop Shop, 1807 W. Division; 235-3232.

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