Moire Music | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Moire Music 

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Let's see, now. We've got two Chicago jazz organizations sponsoring a British octet that offers avant-garde improvisations on extended patterns derived from South African street music--so where else would you expect to find them but at one of the city's newest blues clubs? Moire Music was hatched in the brain of saxophonist Trevor Watts; like his UK colleague and predecessor Chris MacGregor, he has adopted and altered the music of those South Africans--such as Dudu Pukwana, Mongezi Feza, and Johnny Dyani--who emigrated to London in the 1960s. (Since the Africans' music was itself a concoction of American swing-era jazz and their own high-living kwela music, it all comes almost full circle.) The band's name clues you to their method. A moire is "an independent . . . shimmering pattern seen when two geometrically regular patterns are superimposed"; by layering musical patterns, Moire Music creates a densely polyrhythmic weave that's often mesmerizing. And give it a 90, because you can really move to it: the night is billed as a "summer dance party," and it should qualify on all counts. Sunday, 7 and 9 PM, B.L.U.E.S. Etcetera, 1124 W. Belmont; 525-8989 or 283-0531.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Peter Symes.

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