Guillermo Gregorio, Brian Labycz, and Jason Roebke; Guillermo Gregorio & Paul Giallorenzo | Elastic | Jazz | Chicago Reader
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Guillermo Gregorio, Brian Labycz, and Jason Roebke; Guillermo Gregorio & Paul Giallorenzo 

When: Thu., Jan. 31, 9 p.m. 2013
Price: $8
The two improvising groups at this concert are celebrating new recordings on the Peira label (run by modular-synth player Brian Labycz), and veteran clarinetist Guillermo Gregorio provides the melodic center in both of them. On the new Without Titles, the second album from Gregorio and Labycz’s trio with bassist Jason Roebke, the three players meticulously maintain a constantly shifting balance, not just among their instruments but among the group’s different timbres and textures: abrasive sounds of friction coruscate over rounded dollops of sometimes almost serene melody, while dry percussive stutters or sustained acidic bursts puncture wobbly long tones and arcing whooshes. The trio shapes its quicksilver interactions with what seems like supernatural intuition, and each musician operates on both sides of every sonic spectrum that’s in play, shifting suddenly between them without telegraphing the change. Multiverse, a collection of duets between Gregorio and pianist Paul Giallorenzo, uses relatively familiar timbres (except on the prepared-piano tracks), and its sharp give-and-take phrases make it feel a bit like chamber music; overall the performances borrows more from contemporary classical than from jazz. That said, the focus isn’t on the shifting shapes and tones so much as it is on the players’ rapid, adept responses to each other. If Gregorio is playing a high-stakes game of hot potato with Labycz and Roebke, then he’s having a sophisticated conversation with Giallorenzo. —Peter Margasak Guillermo’s trio with Roebke and Labycz headlines; his duo with Giallorenzo opens.


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