Trumpeter Jaimie Branch returns to Chicago to celebrate the release of her first LP | Concert Preview | Chicago Reader

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Trumpeter Jaimie Branch returns to Chicago to celebrate the release of her first LP


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Jaimie Branch may have moved away from Chicago in 2012, but she’s never severed her roots here. They go so deep on the trumpeter’s first album, Fly or Die, that they could wrap a few times around the Deep Tunnel: not only is it being released by local imprint International Anthem, but everyone who plays on the record is a present or former Chicagoan. The music has a narrative flow that encompasses a series of ongoing exchanges. There’s robust sparring between Branch’s rhythmically adroit lines and Chad Taylor’s intricate drumming, while bassist Jason Ajemian and cellist Tomeka Reid navigate closely attuned shifts between pizzicato chatter and bowed whale song. Plus the core quartet alternates between elaborations on a series of bold, memorable themes, with some punctuating interludes by guitarist Matthew Schneider and a brass chorus that includes Branch and cornetists Joshua Berman and Ben LaMar Gay. In addition to playing with Branch, Gay will play short ambient sets in the Hideout’s front room before and after a performance in the back room by Wei Zhongle.   v

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