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Michael Brenneis And The Plutonium Players (free)

  • Central Library 201 East Mifflin Street Madison, WI, 53703 United States (map)

A veteran Madison jazz drummer showcases his ambitious original compositions. Info

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Drummer Michael Brenneis has more than 20 years of improvisational music under his belt and has played a key role in Madison outfits that range from the straightforward to the avant-garde, including The New Breed Jazz Jam, Major Vistas, and the Active Percussion Duo. Prolific as he is, Brenneis doesn't often get a chance to share his ambition as a composer and bandleader, so his 2018 album Plutonium was something of a revelation. It finds him leading an eight-piece band on seven largely through-composed tracks, and stringing the six members of the horn section into tense, dissonant, and sometimes playful arrangements. Tracks like "Coal Wars" scratch more at the abstract edge of things, but for the most part Brenneis is crafting sophisticated melodies with a cracked, upside-down charm, especially on "The Second Billion," "Plastic Revenge," and the sprawling "Titans." Brenneis will perform his original compositions here with all the players on the album: Tony Barba (clarinet, soprano sax, tenor sax), Jonathan Greenstein (tenor sax), Greg Smith (clarinet, baritone sax), Paul Dietrich (trumpet), Mark Hetzler (trombone), David Spies (tuba), and John Christensen (bass). —Scott Gordon

Earlier Event: March 21
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Later Event: March 23
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