Veteran local drummer isn’t just at the head of his class, he’s a boss with glass | Concert Preview | Chicago Reader

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Veteran local drummer isn’t just at the head of his class, he’s a boss with glass

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I first wrote about Tim Daisy for the Reader 16 years ago. The occasion was a record-release concert by Triage, a trio with saxophonist Dave Rempis and bassist Jason Ajemian. “Daisy is the rare drummer who makes me look forward to his solos,” I concluded. “With his elastic sense of time and imaginative use of bells and cymbals, he makes unexpected accents sound like inevitable, even crucial gestures.” At the time, Daisy was a ubiquitous accompanist; in addition to his role in Triage, he was a steady member of Dragons 1976 and the Vandermark 5. Since then he’s come into his own as a bandleader and composer. Vox Arcana, his trio with clarinetist James Falzone and Fred Lonberg-Holm, used bristling improvisation to artfully smudge the lines between swinging jazz grooves and elegant chamber-music forms. While both Falzone and Lonberg-Holm have left town, they reunite with Daisy semiannually to form the core of Celebration Sextet, Fulcrum Ensemble, and Vox 4, each of which extends a particular aspect of Daisy’s genre-mixing aesthetic. And though I everything I wrote about his drumming in 2003 still applies, his playing has evolved too. The radios and turntables that he often sets up next to his drum kit enable him to add a dimension of collage to anything he’s playing—these days, for example, he skews toward odd records and random radio captures a la English tabletop guitarist Keith Rowe. And in Vox Arcana and its spin-offs he’s also played marimba, adding glassy harmonies and winding melodies to his tool kit. The first set of this concert features three pieces from a pair of recent solo percussion recordings issued by Daisy’s label, Relay Recordings. “Space Within Limits” (for marimba and percussion) and “Construction House” (for drum kit), both from June’s New Works for Solo Percussion, reveal how Daisy has developed his long-standing facility with sonic contrasts into a system for generating and sustaining dramatic tension for 15 minutes at a time. Engineer and electronic musician Alex Inglizian will join Daisy to execute Staklo, a composition, reminiscent of gamelan music, for intricately layered glass percussion. In the second set, Daisy will improvise with guitarist Andrew Clinkman.   v

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