Chandeliers, Dylan Ryan’s Sand, I I’m Eye My | Burlington | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader
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Chandeliers, Dylan Ryan’s Sand, I I’m Eye My 

When: Thu., Nov. 13, 9 p.m. 2014
Price: donation suggested
Last year drummer and former Chicagoan Dylan Ryan released Sky Bleached, the debut from his nimble instrumental trio, Sand, and this fall the band followed up with Circa (Cuneiform), which shows off its new road-tested sound. On its first album, Sand interpreted Ryan’s themes with a freewheeling looseness well suited to the music’s heavy jazz influence; now the group feels much more closely knit, like a regular working band, and the material is more tightly composed. Guitarist Tim Young dominates the new record, giving much of it an unmistakable rock flavor—especially “Possession,” which sounds like Bill Frisell jamming with Tony Iommi. Devin Hoff plays an acoustic upright bass with surprisingly punchy low end, and Ryan’s drumming is usually more John Bonham than Elvin Jones. Unlike many jazz-rock hybrids, though, the music isn’t indulgent: every track on Circa runs less than five minutes, with no long solos or gratuitous asides, and the band’s sense of space, control of dynamics, and gift for improvisation distinguish it from prog-rock or fusion. Sand’s ensemble approach even extends to the handful of freely improvised tracks, whose concision and structural rigor help them double as introductions to Ryan’s originals; the group also brings a ferocious energy to Keith Jarrett’s funky “Mortgage on My Soul.” —Peter Margasak

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