When: Sat., Nov. 12, 8:30 p.m. 2016
Another iteration of the French-Chicago improvisational music exchange called the Bridge, now in its fourth year, the sextet Vent Fort stands apart from other groupings in part because two of its U.S. members don’t live in Chicago (though trombonist Jeb Bishop was a resident for many years). Parisian bassist Frédéric B. Briet met Bishop and the remarkable New York drummer Tyshawn Sorey during a trip to the U.S. in 2012 courtesy of trombonist, musicologist, and Chicago native George Lewis, under whom Sorey studied. The sextet—which also includes Chicago spoken-word artist Khari B., French flutist Magic Malik, and saxophonist Guillaume Orti—came together for a French tour in early 2015, where it performed the mostly improvised material on its new album in the Bridge Sessions series. Together the band carves out deep, simmering grooves thanks to a strong bond between Briet and Sorey, who also adds bass trombone here and there. Malik alternates between probing, richly melodic flute solos and wordless vocal accents, like the lilting figures he drops behind Khari B.’s declamatory lines (a la Amiri Baraka) on “Start a Riot.” The setting offers Bishop and Orti lots of space, and they take full advantage of it.