J@K@L – After A Few Days

jklNext time you’re in Chicago, check out Myopic Books over on N. Milwaukee Ave. You can get there on the CTA; it’s a short walk from the Damen Blue Line stop in Wicker Park.

Besides earning top used book store rankings from both The Chicago Reader and Chicago Magazine, Myopic features a live improvisational/ experimental music night on Mondays. Julian Kirshner and Macie Stewart book the weekly gig.

If you’re lucky, Kirshner himself will be performing while you’re in town. The drummer has earned a stellar reputation on the local improv jazz scene. (No small feat given the plethora of world-class jazz talent in Chicago.)

His latest recording landed earlier this month, under the band name J@K@L. The J is Keefe Jackson, on tenor and soprano saxophone and tube (assuming that’s not a typo). The L is Fred Lonberg-Holm, on cello, tenor guitar and electronics.

The disc was recorded live almost exactly a year ago, at the Hungry Brain in Chicago. It features two deeply intense pieces: “In A Silt Of Atoms” and “Some Rows Existed.”

The performances are feverish, but hardly random. This is the kind of planned chaos that separates accomplished improv artists from the rest. The intricacy offered up on both tracks will knock you out.

Myopic’s homepage promises titles on art, architecture, film, science, philosophy, mythology and long list of other subjects. After a Few Days feels a bit like all of that squeezed into 35 minutes. This is in-your-face magnificence.

Kevin Press

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