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Chris Speed/Dave King/Chris Tordini Trio

  • Arts + Literature Laboratory 2021 Winnebago Street Madison, WI, 53704 United States (map)
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Multi-reed instrumentalist Chris Speed serves as an important piece of the New York scene, composing, improvising, and performing with figures such as Mary Halvorson, Trevor Dunn, and Craig Taborn. His jazz career incorporates a number of styles ranging from deconstructions of classical music to free jazz to rock-infused Downtown music. His trio, in collaboration with drummer Dave King (of The Bad Plus) and bassist Chris Tordini, communicates a take on jazz that is starkly traditional, but nevertheless avant-garde and progressive. The trio's 2014 release Really OK moves between hooky, melodic jazz tunes that suggest a standard-like, popular style, and a share of abrasively free, mathy passages. The trio ties the album together, however, through sheer expression and impassioned playing. On standout track "All Of Me," Speed establishes a meandering melody that, when reinforced by King and Tordini, finds its place in the shape of a sentimental tune suggesting a charming naivety. The trio shifts energy on "Nimble Demons", a track in which Speed, amidst jolting, spasmodic surges, reintroduces an angular motif that protrudes against the free, thick textures of the trio. —Emili Earhart

Earlier Event: December 17
All About My Mother (free)