Georg Grawe | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Georg Grawe 

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German pianist Georg Grawe is a fascinating study in the impact of Cecil Taylor on European sensibilities. GrŠwe discovered Taylor through fellow German Alexander von Schlippenbach, the influential free-jazz pianist Grawe grew up listening to, and this filtration process has yielded a particularly invigorating approach. Like most post-Taylor pianists, Grawe blurs the line between composition and improvisation, wielding a thorough knowledge of both jazz and classical music. Best known for his astonishing trio with Dutch cellist Ernst Reijseger and American percussionist Gerry Hemingway, Grawe can retool his approach to fit any context--say, for example, his terrific large ensemble GrubenKlangOrchester or his highly intuitive duets with performers like pianist Marilyn Crispell and reedman Frank Gratkowski. In long, sometimes abstract lines, Grawe investigates the possibilities of deconstruction, breaking down and reconfiguring a particular kernel of music for all it's worth. Although conversant in all manner of post-Taylor techniques--from dense, whirling-dervish clusters to darkly muted string plucks--he tends toward delicate restraint, mixing his sensitivity with lyrical poignancy. This gig, which marks Grawe's Chicago debut, comes on the heels of his performance at the prestigious Vancouver Jazz Festival. Friday, 10 PM, Lunar Cabaret & Full Moon Cafe, 2827 N. Lincoln; 327-6666.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Francesca Patella.

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