Sapropelic Pycnic, Haley Fohr, Jim Baker & Carol Genetti, Tar Pet | Elastic | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader

Sapropelic Pycnic, Haley Fohr, Jim Baker & Carol Genetti, Tar Pet All Ages Recommended Soundboard Image

When: Fri., Jan. 8, 9 p.m. 2016

Multi-instrumentalist Kathleen Baird, a former Chicagoan, moved from Madison to New York last year but has maintained strong local connections. Her long-running midwest-based psychedelic-folk group Spires That in the Sunset Rise continue to perform sporadically, and they just released an expansive collaborative album with veteran Chicago percussionist Michael Zerang called Kata Physin (out on the new Chicago cassette imprint No Index). That trippy effort pushes the combo’s warped folk sounds into the realm of improvisation, which makes Baird’s new solo effort for the same label a bit less surprising. A Love Supreme takes its title and inspiration from the classic 1965 John Coltrane album of the same name. On opener “Elation, Elegance, Exaltation,” beneath overdubbed sax fantasias played by Spires bandmate Taralie Peterson, Baird chants a poem Coltrane wrote and included in the original album’s liner notes; on the following track she recites Gil Scott Heron’s Trane tribute “And Then He Wrote Meditations” over turbulent, moody piano accompaniment. The highlight, though, is the closer, “A Love Supreme,” on which Baird’s wordless quasi-operatic vocals, Troy Schafer’s strident violin scrapes, and Andy Ortmann’s curdled electronics form a captivating homage that feels the most heartfelt and genuine of the three pieces. For tonight’s performance Baird will play solo piano. Her headlining set is preceded by Haley Fohr of Circuit des Yeux, the duo of Jim Baker and Carol Genetti, and Tar Pet (Peterson’s solo project).

Peter Margasak

Price: $10 suggested donation

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