Bill Frisell, Ikue Mori, Jim Staley | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Bill Frisell, Ikue Mori, Jim Staley 

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No matter what I tell you, and probably even if you've heard their recorded collaboration (which makes up one-fourth of the double-LP Mumbo Jumbo on the entirely obscure Rift label)--whatever your preparation--you're bound to be surprised. Frisell plays guitar and electronics, Mori is a drummer and composer, and Staley, who conceived the project, stretches the trombone into challengingly fluid sonic continua. And you still can't imagine the results without blurring and often removing the lines between composition and improvisation, between acoustic and electronic sound, and between the percussive counterpoint posed by Staley's trombone to the weird lyricism Frisell manages to achieve with gutturally synthesized blocks of sound. Frisell, the best known of this trio, almost defines the subconscious component of improvisation; his music contains an obvious logic that nonetheless defies verbal analogy. (Come to think of it, that's not a bad description for the whole band.) Everyone talks about being on the cutting edge, but these folks seem to have arrived from the other side. Saturday, 9 PM, Link's Hall, 3435 N. Sheffield; 281-0824.

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