Bill MacKay and Katinka Kleijn document their dynamic duo with an album | Gossip Wolf | Chicago Reader

Bill MacKay and Katinka Kleijn document their dynamic duo with an album 

Plus: Friends band together to help Jazz Showcase founder Joe Segal with medical bills, and power-pop veteran Jeff Lescher of Green celebrates a new solo record.

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click to enlarge Bill MacKay and Katinka Kleijn performing at Experimental Sound Studio - RICARDO E. ADAME
  • Bill MacKay and Katinka Kleijn performing at Experimental Sound Studio
  • Ricardo E. Adame

Gossip Wolf has seen the remarkable duo of guitarist Bill MacKay and cellist Katinka Kleijn play all over town since 2012, and they never disappoint. Using rigorous classical phrasing, precise pizzicato, chunky noise, swooping drones, and much more, they make every set feel like an alchemical adventure—and last month they finally dropped their debut LP, Stir, on Drag City. "It's the result of our seven-year duo voyage: the two-headed flame of theme and improvisation," says MacKay. "I write themes, and we weave improvisation around them." On Friday, November 8, MacKay and Kleijn celebrate at Elastic Arts with visuals from Timothy Breen, whose striking video for album cut "Hermine" dropped in August. Also on the bill is local synth whiz Brett Naucke.

Whenever Gossip Wolf gets to feeling long in the tooth, it helps to reflect on the example of legendary Jazz Showcase founder Joe Segal, who has energetically tended to the city's jazz scene—in the process also hosting uncountable international stars—for more than 70 years. As of late, the 93-year-old Segal has required full-time medical care, placing serious financial strain on his family. On Monday, November 18, Segal's friends are throwing a benefit at the Studebaker Theater with a fittingly impressive lineup featuring singer Dee Alexander, saxophonist Ari Brown, Hammond organ maestro Joey DeFrancesco, guitarist Henry Johnson, and many others. Tickets are available at the Jazz Showcase and via its website.

Jeff Lescher, front man of underappreciated power-pop veterans Green, has been working on a solo album for a while—in early 2017, he launched an Indiegogo campaign to cover the costs of recording and pressing a CD. Last month Lescher emerged with All Is Grace, a 20-track collection of charmingly ragged rock 'n' roll. On Friday, November 8, he celebrates with a headlining set at the Outta Space in Berwyn, backed by members of Green!  v

  • Jeff Lescher and Jason Mosher of Green perform during a sound check in May 2016, when they opened for the Zombies.

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