Gregg Bendian Project | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Gregg Bendian Project 

Sign up for our newsletters Subscribe

Usually, to call a percussion improviser "busy" is a put-down; it implies excess, too many notes, and perhaps an immature need to impress through flashy technique at the expense of coherence. But Gregg Bendian is "busy" in a wholly different, and far more interesting, sense: he has a lot going on in his head, and this translates to the abundance of sonic information in his playing. He can certainly swing with the best of them, but he can also shift to a wonderfully multidimensional manner of sculpting noise that invites us to really taste the sound of sticks hitting things and at times he seems to forsake entirely the feeling of forward movement. A Bendian solo contrasts foreground with background, harsh with soft, sweet with bitter; this tremendously textural approach veers unpredictably from aching lyricism to a bright, disciplined stridency reminiscent of the ways in which percussion is used in some parts of Southeast Asia. Bendian, who recently performed and recorded as a member of pianist Cecil Taylor's ensemble, visits this weekend with his own unit, comprising bassist Johannes Widenmueller and reedman Randy McKeon. Saturday, 8:30 pm, HotHouse, 1565 N. Milwaukee; 235-2334.

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


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Renaldo Migaldi

  • The List: July 22-28, 2010

    The List: July 22-28, 2010

    Critics' Choices and other notable shows: Terry Adams Rock & Roll Quartet, Juana Molina, Struck by Lightning, David Dondero, Natacha Atlas, and more
    • Jul 22, 2010
  • A Son of Sun

    A Son of Sun

    It's been 50 years since he recorded at Sam Phillips's legendary studio and more than 30 since he quit music to drive a limo, but rockabilly pioneer Hayden Thompson is getting back into the business.
    • Nov 29, 2007
  • Thomas E. Ricks

    • Sep 28, 2006
  • More »

Agenda Teaser

Performing Arts
Incomplete Conversations Tapestry Fellowship Church
October 25
Performing Arts
Sugar in Our Wounds Den Theatre
October 19

Popular Stories