Lucky 7s | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Lucky 7s 

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Trombonists Jeb Bishop and Jeff Albert could both use some good luck. Bishop quit the Vandermark 5 and Peter Brotzmann's Chicago Tentet more than a year ago after developing problems with his hearing, and throughout 2005 took only the occasional gig, using the time off to let his ears heal and reassess his musical direction. Albert is from New Orleans, and I don't need to tell you what Hurricane Katrina did to that place. Last fall they decided to join forces and assembled the Lucky 7s, which includes musicians from both their hometowns: reedist Keefe Jackson, cornetist Josh Berman, and vibraphonist Jason Adasiewicz are the Chicagoans, bassist Matthew Golombisky and drummer Quin Kirchner the Crescent City contingent. Though the band's two leaders come from radically different backgrounds--Bishop jumped straight from indie rock to free jazz, while Albert's a longtime journeyman whose CV includes jobs with the New Orleans Opera, Chaka Khan, and Ronnie Milsap--both are adroit soloists whose compositions build on the melodic and harmonic freedom of postbop jazz. Bishop often gravitates to the fractured rhythmic terrain of free improvisation, but Albert, who only began playing more adventurous music in the late 90s, steers clear of irregular meters on his recent quartet date, One (Lakefront Digital). It'll be interesting to see how they challenge each other here. Albert and Bishop play together with different lineups on Monday and Thursday; for details see the Treatment items on those days under Albert's name. The Lucky 7s have two more gigs next week: Saturday, March 4, at Enemy and Sunday, March 5, at the Hungry Brain. Tue 2/28, 9:30 PM, Empty Bottle, 1035 N. Western, 773-276-3600 or 866-468-3401, $6.

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