String Trio of New York/Horace Tapscott | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

String Trio of New York/Horace Tapscott 

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I'm always surprised by the range of sounds, textures, and moods evoked by the String Trio of New York; one wouldn't think that a jazz group bereft of piano, horns, and drums could be so versatile, let alone could sustain the rhythmic drive expected of so much jazz. But with just guitar (James Emery), bass (John Lindberg), and violin (Regina Carter), the trio manages to obviate the need for other instruments. Their arrangements and interplay reveal the most sophisticated musicality, while their improvisations attain a raw physicality, and the instrumentation itself echos the elemental sound of the world's folk cultures. Certainly among the least orthodox ensembles in jazz, the String Trio of New York have also evolved into one of the most accesible new-music groups--especially in the last couple of years as their repertoire has come to include trad-jazz classics; bebop tunes; surprising versions of compositions by Mingus, Satie, and Ornette Coleman; and their own adventurous originals. The program also includes pianist Horace Tapscott in what is possibly his first Chicago-area appearance. A legendary west-coast performer, bandleader, and teacher, Tapscott uses a stark, dense technique (analogous to the solo work of Jaki Byard or Mal Waldron); with it he creates music of dark, rough, almost forbidding beauty. Tonight, 7:30 PM, Bennett Hall, Ravinia Festival, Green Bay and Lake Cook Rds., Highland Park; 728-4642.

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

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