The Bridge | Elastic | Jazz | Chicago Reader

The Bridge All Ages Recommended Soundboard Image

When: Thu., May 12, 9 p.m. 2016

A creative collaboration between jazz improvisers from France and Chicago, the Bridge wraps up its latest iteration this week with a fifth lineup, the Sync (the visit began May 5 with a performance at Constellation). The French component of the combo consists of flutist and vocalist Sylvaine Hélary and pianist Eve Risser; representing Chicago are cellist Fred Lonberg-Holm and drummer Mike Reed. During their debut and subsequent tour in France in 2014, the quartet made a lovely recording, Sonic Communication, released last year by Bridge Sessions, that well demonstrates the players’ impressive rapport over the course of three extended group improvisations. Reed holds down a pulse that rises and falls with great subtlety, while Risser serves a similar function, carpeting the performances with jagged runs using both prepared techniques and conventional playing. Hélary plays with gossamer fragility but underlines her flute lines with wordless vocals that swoop and hector, and Lonberg-Holm uses various effects to generate wonderfully acidic, guitarlike splashes that inject an electric dissonance into the proceedings. Still, the combo consistently privilege a deep ensemble sound in which individual contributions are secondary to what’s generated as a whole.

Peter Margasak

Price: $10 suggested donation

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