Mar 24th 2023

RAWL is a free-playing quartet consisting of Jack Wright (saxophones), Evan Lipson (double bass), Zach Darrup (guitar), and Ben Bennett (percussion). These four constitute a Philadelphia-centered collective that for the past several years has been touring across North America and Europe in various configurations and monikers: Wrest (Wright/Lipson/Bennett), Roughhousing (Wright/Lipson/Darrup), Never (Wright/Darrup/Bennett), Virtual Balboa (Darrup/Lipson/Bennett), Durian Brow (Darrup/Bennett). They are drawn together by an approach to playing characterized by a twisted flux of bizarre sounds and morphing relationships, where exuberance, terror, gravity and comedy collide in a bewildering manifold of perspectives.

Jack Wright is a veteran saxophone improviser based mainly in Philadelphia. Since the early 1980s he has been touring through the US and Europe, finding interesting partners and playing situations. Now at 78 he is still touring widely, engaged with players outside music school careerdom and mostly unknown to the music press. His influence has extended through writings, most recently The Free Musics, published in 2017. As for his playing, he possibly has the widest vocabulary of any saxophonist, an expert at leaping pitches, punchy, precise timing, sharp and intrusive multiphonics, surprising gaps of silence, and sounds often animalistic and obscene. A reviewer for the Washington Post said, “In the rarefied, underground world of experimental free improvisation, saxophonist Jack Wright is king.”
Website: Spring Garden Music

Living with the incurable disease of music since early adolescence, bassist Evan Lipson seeks the liminal realms in which intellect and instinct, history and myth, and creative and destructive force intersect. Drawn towards aberrant perspectives at an early age, his formative experiences were primarily rooted in extreme and discordant forms stemming from various traditions of “underground” and ancient musics.

“Lipson easily stands among the best bassists I’ve heard lately, his terrifically strapping tone epitomizing the decision to really learn how an instrument works.” -Massimo Ricci (Touching Extremes)

Zach Darrup is an improvising guitarist currently living in Philadelphia. During his early teenage years in the rural coal region of Pennsylvania a strange boy appeared like an angel, carrying a large cd booklet of wild musics of all sorts. This chance meeting at a pizza shop, plus tumultuous relationships with his home turf, school teachers, and other agents of law and rule enforcement led Zach to drop out and skip town, devoting himself to following music wherever it would take him–somewhere else. His techniques are informed by the musical possibilities of film language, jovial mockery and mimicry of plants, animals, and audience members, thoughtful room listening, word play, colors, and culinary experiments.

Ben Bennett is a Philadelphia-based percussionist. He usually plays a compact pile of self-made drums, stretched membranes, and other objects which are continually rearranged in the course of playing, and sounded with techniques of the hit, rub, and blow varieties. A branching path of musical de-materialization has led to other forms of performance, including self-vitiating monologues, and the long and repetitive YouTube series, Sitting and Smiling and Walking and Talking. His work tends toward themes of pointlessness, paradox, and stupidity.

“The enigmatic musician and artist Ben Bennett has a mind-bogglingly wide variety of fascinating work that covers both poles of extremes. As a percussionist, his improvised performances are wild, exciting and constantly changing, using an arsenal of drums, cymbals, homemade instruments and found objects that are struck, rubbed or vibrated using air from his lungs, unlocking hidden universes of unfamiliar sounds.” -Ernie Paik

Never (Wright/Darrup/Bennett):

Virtual Balboa (Darrup/Lipson/Bennett):

Durian Brow (Darrup/Bennett):

Wrest (Wright/Lipson/Bennett):
Masks required. Please stay home if you’re sick.
This is our home, please be respectful.

Friday, March 24, 2023
8:00p doors, 8:30p start
$10 suggested donation

1550 N Milwaukee Ave Fl3
Chicago, IL 60622

Official Website

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