Umbrella Music Festival | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Umbrella Music Festival 

When the Empty Bottle Festival of Jazz and Improvised Music fizzled out a few years ago, things looked dire for anyone who wanted to see real envelope pushers. Then up stepped Umbrella--the collective behind regular jazz nights at the Hungry Brain, Elastic, the Hideout, and Gallery 37. The second annual Umbrella Music Festival is even better than the first, thanks in part to a collaboration with several European consulates that has brought in some of the continent's most exciting players for exclusive engagements.

Die EnttŠuschung (the Disappointment), the Berlin quartet that supported pianist Alexander von Schlippenbach on 2005's Monk's Casino (Intakt), a gutsy three-CD survey of every composition by Thelonious Monk, will be making their U.S. debut. The group includes the brilliant trumpeter Axel Dorner and the nimble bass clarinetist Rudi Mahall and demonstrates an exemplary conception of inside-out jazz.

The Chicago debut of Italian trombonist Gianluca Petrella's quartet is equally exciting. Their Indigo 4 (Blue Note, 2006) has the best sampling work I've ever heard on a jazz record, including a dazzling, ever-shifting patchwork of samples from Monk's "Trinkle Tinkle" that turns the pianist into a virtual fifth member of the group. Also performing are keyboardist Cor Fuhler and cornetist Eric Boeren from Holland, Swiss pianist Irene Schweizer, and Norwegian bassist Ingebrigt Haaker Flaten's superb transcontinental quintet.

See for the lineup and schedule. a November 1-5, various venues. --Peter Margasak

Support Independent Chicago Journalism: Join the Reader Revolution

We speak Chicago to Chicagoans, but we couldn’t do it without your help. Every dollar you give helps us continue to explore and report on the diverse happenings of our city. Our reporters scour Chicago in search of what’s new, what’s now, and what’s next. Stay connected to our city’s pulse by joining the Reader Revolution.

Are you in?

  Reader Revolutionary $35/month →  
  Rabble Rouser $25/month →  
  Reader Radical $15/month →  
  Reader Rebel  $5/month  → 

Not ready to commit? Send us what you can!

 One-time donation  → 

Popular Stories