Daniel Levin, Jim Baker, and Frank Rosaly | Hungry Brain | Jazz | Chicago Reader
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Daniel Levin, Jim Baker, and Frank Rosaly 

When: Sun., July 20, 10 p.m. 2014
Price: $7 suggested donation
Some improvisers love to make their instruments speak in tongues utterly unrelated to their conventional vocabularies. New York-based cellist Daniel Levin works well with such folks—especially trumpeter Nate Wooley, a member of Levin’s well-documented quartet—but he’s not one of them. His ringing double stops, stark pizzicato gestures, and swooping bowed phrases will never make you think you’re hearing anything other than a cello. He’s a commanding presence, whether he’s playing bold, lyrical lines in front of a jazz rhythm section, carefully plotted polyphonic excursions with his relatively abstract quartet, or spontaneous bursts of dark, woody sound on his solo CD Inner Landscape (Clean Feed). Levin used to hold a de facto residency here every summer, and he’s played with many of the city’s best improvisers over the years; this month is the first time he’s performed in Chicago since 2011, though, and this Sunday will be his first trio date with veteran ARP synthesizer player Jim Baker and drummer Frank Rosaly. Levin also plays Wednesday, July 16, at the Hideout, first in a duo with drummer Tim Daisy, then in a quartet with Daisy, bass clarinetist Jason Stein, and bassist Joshua Abrams. —Bill Meyer



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