Chris Dingman Quartet | Constellation | Jazz | Chicago Reader
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Chris Dingman Quartet 

When: Sat., July 6, 9:30 p.m. 2013
Price: $15
Beginning in the mid-aughts, New York vibist Chris Dingman made significant contributions to bands led by unflinching modernists, including reedist Steve Lehman and drummer Harris Eisenstadt; in 2011, though, he stepped out on his own with a splendid debut album, Waking Dreams (Between Worlds Music). An alternately meditative and hard-hitting suite written for a two-horn sextet, it’s a startling departure from the complex cross meters, rhythmic intensity, and contrapuntal tang that tend to characterize his work as a sideman—it’s far more romantic, dreamy, and lush, and rooted in slightly more traditional postbop modes. “Jet Lag” features protean front-line playing by trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire and saxophonist Loren Stillman and spring-loaded drumming by Justin Brown, but Dingman smooths over their jittery energy with serenity and patience, his instrument’s hypnotic overtones moving in slow motion relative to the horns. On ballads he locks in beautifully with pianist Fabian Almazan, and though he solos on many of the album’s 14 pieces, he’s clearly more concerned with rich harmonies and sophisticated ensemble playing. On his first visit to Chicago, Dingman leads a new quartet with guitarist Jesse Lewis, bassist Ike Sturm, and drummer Jared Schonig (from the vibraphone-fronted Wee Trio); they’ll adapt pieces from Waking Dreams and perform new material. —Peter Margasak



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