Trombonist Ryan Keberle puts up political resistance on Find the Common, Shine a Light | Concert Preview | Chicago Reader

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Trombonist Ryan Keberle puts up political resistance on Find the Common, Shine a Light

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When New York trombonist Ryan Keberle and his band Catharsis performed at the Hungry Brain in March 2017, it was clear that he had the intolerant policies and posturing of the Trump regime on his mind. Though his group was supporting the 2016 album Azul Infinito (Greenleaf)—a reflection of Keberle’s appreciation of and engagement with the music of South America—they also played several new pieces from their then-forthcoming album of protest songs, June’s Find the Common, Shine a Light (Greenleaf). There’s no missing the cynical bite in the band’s take on the Beatles classic “Fool on the Hill,” and their cover of Bob Dylan’s “The Times They Are a-Changin’” seems more hopeful than prophetic—given how rarely jazz expresses a political viewpoint, these might as well be explicit statements of disillusionment with the country’s current leadership. Catharsis’s lineup includes agile, sweet-toned Chilean singer Camila Meza, who also plays guitar in the band, laying down chordal support rather than extended improvisation. She deepens the group’s connections to South American music on their cover of Uruguayan pop singer Jorge Drexler’s “Al Otro Lado del Rio,” and her melodic sensibility, phrasing, and warmth add to the lyricism and protest-song feel that some of their original material shares with nueva cancion. While the band’s recordings reflect a poplike polish and concision, their Hungry Brain performance found the group stretching out and injecting improvisational fury into the material—I expect the same will hold true during this return visit. The rhythm section of drummer Eric Doob and bassist Jorge Roeder couldn’t be more elastic, though Matt Clohesy will fill in for Roeder at this performance. It’s also a drag that trumpeter Mike Rodriguez, who plays on both albums, won’t be with the group, but his sub, reedist Scott Robinson, proved an excellent front-line partner at their previous Chicago appearance.   v

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