This week’s Halloween Jazz Playlist offered one way to get into the spirit(s) of the season. Another is to simply spend your dark-hallowed weekend at the night spots, where several bookings offer a mild nod to the holiday, even as they present music that would sound just as good on the 4th of July.
At Elastic Sound & Vision Gallery (2830 N. Milwaukee), the evening will throw some paint at the walls, some food coloring onto the projection system, and some well-chosen words from student poets – before and during a set from the Artet, a trio led by saxist and flutist Hanah Jon Taylor. It’s one in a welcome series of appearances that have begun to re-integrate Taylor into the Chicago jazz scene over the last two years.
Taylor, who lives and works primarily in Madison, WI, was born in Chicago, and he developed his music here in the 70s, working often with members of the AACM. He doesn’t restrict himself to stereotypically avant-garde sounds, however. While he can certainly send his saxes into the stratosphere of squawks and squeals, he also indulges a kinder and gentler sensibility – primarily on flute and wind synthesizer – marked by soulful balladry, a hard-earned cool, and even some intimations of new-age healing music.
The music begins at 8, but the doors open at 6 to accommodate some unexpected tricks and treats. Poets from Young Chicago Artists will present some of their work before the music starts; before that, audience members are invited to finish work on a “group painting” started last week at Elastic. (The gallery will provide canvas, brushes, and paint.) Which means that the night before Halloween, you can costume yourself as an artist.
Throughout the evening, artist Alpha Bruton will use projected images and water-color transparencies to produce pieces in her “Vibrational Sound Narrative” series, which she creates in response to music and poetry. Cover is $10, $5 for students – and that includes appetizers from Friendship Chinese Restaurant (one floor below the gallery space).
The entire evening is part of Chicago Artists Month, the loosely connected October-long series of events around the city, of which the recently concluded Loop Art Crawl competition has probably received the most publicity. (Other events include the anything-goes “Mischief Weekend” at the Hyde Park Art Center