Rudy Linka | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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On his latest album the guitarist Rudy Linka displays a musical history nearly as crowded as the political annals of his native Czechoslovakia. The opening number, a New Orleans-inspired march, calls up stylistic aspects of John Scofield's music; two tunes later he shows the influence of Pat Metheny's rhythm and phrasing, before honoring John Abercrombie's blasted lyricism and the pointillistic acoustic technique of Ralph Towner on subsequent pieces. That Linka can call to mind all these players and more, and still create a unified body of attractive music, says much about his command of these idioms and his own musicality. He manages to utilize these musical models without succumbing to mere imitation; more than that, he plays with plenty of assurance and no little fire. (The album, by the way, is Czech It Out [Enja], and whether you blame the title on the eastern European sense of humor or the sensibilities of the label's American advisers is entirely a personal choice.) No matter where he looks for initial inspiration, Linka follows his own yearning for clear-cut improvised melody--the overriding quality that binds up his eclectic approach. Linka has never played Chicago before, but he'll make up for that with a concentrated weekend tour comprising a series of one-night stands--giving you ample opportunity to hear him

and in a variety of neighborhoods too. Saturday, 9 and 10:30 PM, Bop Shop, 1807 W. Division; 235-3232. Sunday, HotHouse, 1565 N. Milwaukee; 235-2334. Monday, the Bulls, 1916 N. Lincoln Park West; 337-3000.

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