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From Saturday - 7:00pm (ET)
May 17, 2008
To Monday - 11:00pm (ET)
June 3, 2019

Vox Populi
319 N 11th St, 3rd Floor Philadelphia PA 19107
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Josh Berman cornet
Frank Rosaly drums
Keefe Jackson saxophone
Marc Untern tuba
Chicago, IL

So this is the beast that ought not to be — a music that is jazzlike in a number of ways but also is more or less measureless, improvised from scratch and without pre-determined harmonic or structural frameworks. Oh, yes, it’s a music that works, is expressive, and gives pleasure — which ever you prefer or all those things at once. Also, it is both new and free – or perhaps that should be  and — in ways that touch upon the other good things mentioned above

The ensemble on Several Lights (cornetist Josh Berman, tenor saxophonist Keefe Jackson, tubaist Marc Unternährer and drummer Frank Rosaly) calls itself the Chicago-Luzern Exchange because Unternährer, a native of the Swiss city of Luzern, spent five months in Chicago in 2002 as part of a "sister cities" program. There, Berman (a native Chicagoan), Jackson (originally from Arkansas), and Rosaly (from Arizona but a Chicagoan since 2001) were among the musicians with whom he found common cause. The group experienced an immediate chemistry during their first meeting.

Peter Margasak writes about the CD Several Lights on Delmark Records in the Chicago Reader: So far Several Lights is holding up as one of this years finest jazz records: the players deliver feather-stroke free improvisation thats so deft and intuitive it feels almost composed, casually combining the muted tones and understated gestures of 50s west-coast jazz with thoroughly contemporary rumbles, snorts, and whinnies.

Dan Blacksberg trombne
Jon Barrios bass
Mike Szekely drums

In jazz, improvisation is mostly framed by composition: the improviser spontaneously creates new music from within or in reference to a compositional framework. This framework might be a chord progression, or a set of rhythms, motifs, gestures or any combination of the above. In this trio music, this way of organizing sound is turned on its head since the basic sonic environment of this music is free improvisation. We do play compositions and they do still give us ideas to improvise from but here they are more like anchors or stopping points within the larger open improvisation. The foundation of the music is the musical histories of musicians themselves and their engagement with the demands of the moment, not any kind of preexisting organization of sound. This way of playing music is not new. Jazz musicians and others from many styles of music that have improvisation have been exploring these kinds of possibilities for a long time. What this trio music does is give the developments made by these innovators a chance to be heard coming from the trombone as the leading force. This is a chance to push the capacities of the instrument into new territories and to look for new sonic ground to explore.

-Dan Blacksberg.

Willy Cliffton saxophone
Brandon May  keys
Josh Machiz bass
Alex Maio drums
Philadelphia, PA

Brackets & Arrows is an improvisational quartet with strong leanings to experimental jazz & rock. Hailing from the depths of Ben Schachter’s jazz theory class, part of the idea of the band is to make improvised music less about the individuals and more about the group dynamic. There is no bandleader, no magic man on the mic telling people how its gonna be. Its extremely democratic; we try to cut down on and instead have a collective improvised. wherever it goes for better or worse.

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