Andrew D'Angelo | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Andrew D'Angelo 

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One of the most mercurial musicians in New York's jazz scene, reedist Andrew D'Angelo has made a virtue of unpredictability. He knows how to play it (relatively) straight--he's done stints with Boston groups like Either/Orchestra and Orange Then Blue--but since moving to New York in 1986 he's expanded his range. He can still swing like a mofo alongside someone like drummer Matt Wilson, but in his work with Icelandic guitarist Hilmar Jensson he pursues an interest in electronic music and noise. Still, I wasn't prepared for the maelstrom he kicked up with his trio Morthana on last year's self-titled disc. Backed by two Norwegian musicians, electric guitarist Anders Hana and drummer Morten Olsen, D'Angelo tears into a scalding upper register on both bass clarinet and alto saxophone, wielding the instruments like scythes over the band's assaultive rhythms and slashing chords. Morthana wouldn't sound out of place on a bill of brutal prog, but the group is less interested in anal-retentive precision and showy virtuosity than in drawing blood. For this show on the closing night of the annual Phrenology Fest (see sidebar, page 44), D'Angelo will be joined by a less confrontational local trio: keyboardist Jim Baker, bassist Anton Hatwich, and drummer Frank Rosaly. But the intensity, if not the volume, of their improvisations ought to be just as powerful. Opening are Mwata Bowden with Darius Savage and Avreeayl Ra and local group Herculaneum. Tue 10/4, 9 PM, Hungry Brain, 2319 W. Belmont, 773-935-2118, donation requested.


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