Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Chicago Reed Quartet at The Hideout

I was at The Hideout on Wednesday evening for the Immediate Sound Series. This week they were presenting the Chicago Reed QuartetMars Williams (tenor/alto/soprano/sopranino saxes) Ken Vandermark (baritone/tenor saxes, clarinet/bass clarinet) Dave Rempis (baritone/tenor/alto saxes) and Nick Mazzarella (alto sax). Earlier this year the quartet had a weekly spot at Elastic which, due to school, I was unable to attend so I was keen to check them out this time around.

The two sets were comprised of about a dozen original compositions evenly spread between the quartet's members. The pieces sounded well rehearsed with nice tight ensemble passages and the countless combinations of instrumentation provided plenty of colour and textural variety. There was plenty of rapport during improvised sections too as evidenced in the solo trading section of Mars Williams' "Inner Circle" (I tried scribbling down the song titles but missed a few… apologies if I got them wrong) with brief solos getting "passed" around the quartet. I also noted the smooth transitions between the written and improvised sections and the overall balance of composition and improvisation.

ken vandermark nick mazzarella mars williams dave rempis saxophone quartet

I was a little surprised that the audience wasn't larger (at a quick glance it looked to be between 20-30). Perhaps late nights mid-week put off those that need to rise early for work (I live relatively close and I usually don't get home until around 1am). For those that would like to catch them a bit earlier, The Chicago Reed Quartet will be playing at the Museum of Contemporary Art on Tuesday evening (August 12) from 5.30-8pm.

During the set break I hit the merchandise table and picked up a copy of Vandermark's recent release from his group Audio One - The Midwest School. This group will be playing at Constellation on August 22 & 23. I heard them at the Green Mill last year and it's a group worth checking out.

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