Lina Allemano's Titanium Riot | Constellation | Jazz | Chicago Reader
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Lina Allemano's Titanium Riot 

When: Wed., May 20, 9:30 p.m. 2015
Excellent Toronto trumpeter Lina Allemano has rolled through Chicago a couple of times in the past with her agile postbop quartet Lina Allemano Four, but for this latest visit she’s showing off a much different side of her playing and aesthetic with her Titanium Riot quartet. The group’s all-improvised recent album, Kiss the Brain (Lumo), features gnashing, lopsided grooves meted out by bassist Rob Clutton and drummer Nick Fraser (who also works in the Four) while analog synthesizer player Ryan Driver produces fractured melodic patterns, dive-bombing smears, and abstract squiggles—usually favoring a lower register that intersects with the bass. Allemano’s muscular, biting lines command the spotlight, at once more brittle and turbulent than in her other ensemble—she summons the volatility of the electric Miles Davis as well as the piercing energy of Wadada Leo Smith. Here and there the trumpeter employs a sputtery, split-toned extended technique (she studied with the influential German trumpeter Axel Dörner), but for the most part she sticks to conventional blowing, using pure, manic energy to push the music’s abstract shapes into something visceral and thrilling. —Peter Margasak



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