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Monday, April 28, 2008

Matana Roberts

The Chicago Project (Central Control)

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Full speed ahead! That’s the rate at which alto saxophonist and Chicago native Matana Roberts and her extraordinary band push forward into uncharted sonic terrain. It’s not like we haven’t heard post-bop and free jazz in the same molds that Roberts, bassist Josh Abrams, drummer Frank Rosaly and Tortoise guitarist Jeff Parker explore here, but the quartet bends, warps and distorts the music’s existing parameters so that it sounds fundamentally altered on a microscopic level—and thus totally fresh. Meanwhile, Roberts’ radiance simply burns through the grooves, and the band keeps pace with equal determination and drive.

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