Boneshaker; Dave Rempis, Albert Wildeman, and Ryan Packard | Elastic | Jazz | Chicago Reader
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Mars Williams

Mars Williams

Peter Gannushkin

Boneshaker; Dave Rempis, Albert Wildeman, and Ryan Packard 

When: Thu., Jan. 7, 9 p.m. 2016
Price: $10 suggested donation
Though saxophonist Mars Williams and bassist Kent Kessler have a long history together—they played for years alongside singular multi-instrumentalist Hal Russell—the genesis of their trio Boneshaker came within Peter Brötzmann’s Chicago Tentet, where they worked with explosive Norwegian drummer Paal Nilssen-Love. As heard on Boneshaker’s second recording, Unusual Words (Soul What), the trio of Williams, Kessler, and Nilssen-Love make an unholy racket via paint-peeling free improv that rivals what they produced under the muscular German reedist. But I like them most when they pull back and share a more jazz-oriented sound—because they’re all of that lineage, even if it isn’t always apparent in the music they make now. The opening track, “Preantepenultimate,” is a full-on body blow in which ferocity rains down for a steady seven and a half minutes. “Oculoplania” is a different beast: the track may not sound like a conventional ballad but, tender in its restraint and delicate in its interplay, it kind of behaves like one. “Mallemaroking” conveys a brisk energy, the trio sticking to a steady, swinglike pulse that embraces jazz foundations more than rips them apart. Boneshaker rarely perform these days, so this promises to be something special.
— Peter Margasak



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