Sunday, November 7, 2010
The Outskirts @ The Hungry Brain, Chicago, IL
Dave Rempis: saxophones
Ingebrigt Haker Flaten: bass
Frank Rosaly: drums
Set 2: Touch the Earth II @ The Hungry Brain, Chicago, IL
Wadada Leo Smith: trumpet, thumb piano
Gunter "Baby" Sommer: drums
The Umbrella Music Festival settled into the Hungry Brain for its final night of 2010. Drawing to a conclusion with contrasting sets that showed off both the explosive and introspective sides of the musical offerings for this year.
The Outskirts is a hard hitting ensemble that mines the aggressive free improvisation found along the Peter Brotzmann vein. Ingebrigt Haker Flaten brings a forceful, fist full of bass strings approach to his instrument that stretches his intonation into a rubber band elasticity. Which completely fit the sound for this scorched Earth set. Dave Rempis opened up like a fire hose on the saxophones while Frank Rosaly kept up on percussive battery. As is often the case with music that explores this kind of high intensity material, it's the moments when the group pulls back from the brink that reveal the humanity and inner workings of an emotionally raw creativity.
Wadada Leo Smith and Gunter "Baby" Sommer followed with something completely different. With no less intensity, the trumpet and drums duo explored an other worldly space built from a percolating tranquility. Both of these musicians tapping into an invisible force that moves them along a higher plane of creativity. The result was enthralling. A fitting final expressiveness that draws out what is possible through creative improvised music as an international collaboration.