This is a past event.

Eli Kezler; Ashley Paul; Weasel Walter, Mike Forbes, and Andrew Scott Young; Wummin 

When: Fri., July 31, 9 p.m. 2009
Price: $5 suggested donation
Since Weasel Walter split for the Bay Area in 2003, his output has exploded. Though he’d largely abandoned free jazz during his final years in Chicago, since the move it’s clearly energized him: he’s made blistering recordings with a continent-spanning crew of top-notch musicians that includes Peter Evans, Marshall Allen, Lisle Ellis, Marc Edwards, Mary Halvorson, Greg Kelley, and Henry Kaiser. (In a 2006 interview with Paris Transatlantic, he described leaving Chicago by saying “I felt like sandbags had been lifted from my psyche.”) Though Walter has certainly matured—he’s gotten much better at the give-and-take that’s necessary in collaborations, for instance—that’s done nothing to soften the violence in his music. One recent case in point: his scalding new album American Free (UgExplode), cut this March with young Chicagoans Mike Forbes (saxophone) and Andrew Scott Young (bass). Though the kids bring some impressive firepower—Forbes spits furious barrages of split tones and upper-register squeals with an intensity that reminds me of early Peter Brötzmann, and Young roils and grinds with both power and cogency—Walter’s drumming is what turns the music into something more than neo-free jazz. His high-velocity clusters of kick-drum impacts and nearly incomprehensible across-the-kit flurries make him sound almost inhuman, but despite its blinding speed his playing not only makes sense but expertly complements the rest of the trio. Eli Keszler headlines; Ashley Paul, Walter’s group, and Wummin open. Walter will also improvise with cellist Fred Lonberg-Holm and trombonist Jeb Bishop on Tuesday at Elastic. —Peter Margasak

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