Chicago Reader listing by Bill Meyer


DARREN JOHNSTON On Wednesday, Bay Area trumpeter Darren Johnston will lead a band of locals through tunes from his swell new album, The Edge of the Forest (Clean Feed). Tonight he’ll demonstrate his versatility in a freely improvised set with bassist Jason Roebke and Nate McBride. They’ll play first, followed by Mind vs. Target, aka guitarist Shane Perlowin, bassist Joe Burkett, and drummer Michael Libramento. 10 PM, Hungry Brain, 2319 W. Belmont, 773-935-2118, donation requested. —Bill Meyer

wednesday12 DARREN JOHNSTON Darren Johnston is a consummately versatile trumpeter who sounds just as comfortable wrapping grainy ribbons of sound around a funk groove as he does steering perfectly pitched bop phrases through a landscape of swing or Latin beats. He’s recorded New Orleans-style parade music and Angolan protest songs with the United Brassworkers Front and free improvisations with Fred Frith and Larry Ochs, but it’s his original compositions, which both challenge and reward his sidemen with their elaborate rhythmic and harmonic settings, that make his new album, The Edge of the Forest (Clean Feed), so great. On “Broken,” Johnston uses the aforementioned combination of coarse blowing and heavy grooves to set up a series of thrilling contrapuntal exchanges with clarinetist Ben Goldberg and tenor saxophonist Sheldon Brown, then resolves with a fearsomely intricate but immaculately executed unison coda. Tonight he’ll lead four local players—trombonist Jeb Bishop, vibraphonist Jason Adasiewicz, bassist Nate McBride, and drummer Frank Rosaly—through two sets that will include material from The Edge of the Forest. McBride will DJ before and after. See also

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