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.

Support Independent Chicago Journalism: Join the Reader Revolution

We speak Chicago to Chicagoans, but we couldn’t do it without your help. Every dollar you give helps us continue to explore and report on the diverse happenings of our city. Our reporters scour Chicago in search of what’s new, what’s now, and what’s next. Stay connected to our city’s pulse by joining the Reader Revolution.

Are you in?

  Reader Revolutionary $35/month →  
  Rabble Rouser $25/month →  
  Reader Radical $15/month →  
  Reader Rebel  $5/month  → 

Not ready to commit? Send us what you can!

 One-time donation  → 


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Renaldo Migaldi

Agenda Teaser

Performing Arts
February 08
Performing Arts
February 22

Popular Stories