July 17, 2015

Friday night live at Transistor: jazz from Echoes, looped cello textures from April Faith-Slaker and “jazzical” Appalachian electronica from Alan Richter. Sound by Jon Monteverde.  

Echoes is a contemporary jazz quartet that formed in February 2014 at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music. The group is composed of four rising young stars in the jazz world, all of whom are just over 20 years of age. The group participated in a two-week residency at the renowned Avaloch Farm Music Institute in New Hampshire in early June, and stopped at Transistor as part of a month-long tour of the East Coast and Midwest. On this tour they graced the stage at Shapeshifter Labs, Chris’s Jazz Cafe, and NightTown, with luminaries like Jerry Bergonzi and George Garzone.

The group consists of Chase Kuesel on drums, Jordan McBride on bass, Matt Dibiase on vibes and Max Bessesen on saxophone.

Visit Echoes’ website.

Driven by looped cello melodies, April Faith-Slaker combines various genres of music and the use of technology to create a contemporary sound. Percussion and texture based on the use of pedal effects and amplified sounds enrich the layers of cello and create an ambient and experimental aesthetic. Recent music projects have included composing and performing for Omaha-based movement theater ætherplough, as well as completing a fellowship at the Union for Contemporary Art in Omaha.

Visit April Faith-Slaker’s Soundcloud page.

Alan Richter is a multi-instrumentalist currently focusing on electronic and circuit-bent devices, crystal bowls and mountain dulcimer, which he plays as a member of the Old Town School Dulcimer Ensemble. Previous groups include FLOPhOUSE, Research Defense Squad, EMG and Puke Pagans. In addition to performing at an array of Chicago dive bars, previous performance locations have included hospices, a shopping mall and flea market, a suburban park district dog-training area, the board room of the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago, and the radio stations at Northwestern University, Northeastern Illinois University and University of Chicago.

For his Transistor show, Alan delved into the style of drone power electronic trip-hop using an array of handmade electronics, bowed metal rods, bowls and electric mountain dulcimer run through a sitar emulator and accompanied by digital tabla and drone. The flickering lights of a dream machine served as a visual “backdrop” (and can be seen in photos of the set).

Poster by Kendra Hutchings

Poster by Kendra Hutchings

Find more live performance recordings on our archive page.