Avant

Abbey Bowed

Abbey Bowed is the passion project of Sam Sharp and a reimagining of The Beetle's classic album Abbey Road through the skills of a string quartet. The project is three year's in the making, but is currently set to be released on April 1st.

On this is album Abbey Bowed is Sam Sharp (violin), Becca Wilcox (viola), Charith Premawardhana (violin), and Nora Barton (cello). Barton and Premawardhana are both involved with Classical Revolution Chicago. For the video below, of the quartet performing "Something", the second violin is performed by Andra Kulans.

Photo by Jacob Hand Photography

   

Chicago Underground Quartet "Good Days"

The latest album from the Chicago Underground Quartet, Good Days, is out today, March 27th, Astral Spirits. This is the blending of styles and approaches to music of Josh Johnson (synth bass, organ, piano), Rob Mazurek (piccolo trumpet, electronics, bells), Jeff Parker (electric guitar), and Chad Taylor (drums and percussion).

The album's lead single is called "Orgasm" and it is a cover of a 1969 piece by Alan Shorter. Through out the album there is a mix of group composed and improvised tracks and a couple of solo pieces. It has been a surprising nineteen years since the last album from the quartet, and the first with the addition of Johnson.

   

Forrest Management

Experimental ambient artist Forrest Management (aka John Daniel) has released two albums this month with the most recent, "Untitled", appearing just last week. Back in January, Daniel made his debut on the St. Louis label Distant Bloom with his deep exploration of Fiona Apple's "Sleep To Dream".

Perhaps his most ambitious project released in 2020 is 4 Cassavetes, which was released on March 15th. This is a four CDr album dedicated to American cinéma vérité pioneer John Cassavetes. Daniel created his own score to four Cassavetes movies "Faces" (1968), "Shadows" (1959), "Opening Night" (1977), and "Too Late Blues" (1961).

For all trapped in doors, Forrest Management is continuing to provide deep, rich soundscapes to endlessly explore.

   

Sara Zalek and Norman W. Long "Steelworkers’ Drone"

Last month Reserve Matinee released a collection of ambient drone creations from the duo of Sara Zalek and Norman W. Long called Steelworkers' Drone. For several years these artists have been conducting soundwalks, with the Midwest Society for Acoustic Ecology, where they take groups to explore areas around the city through sound.

The four tracks on the album were captured in 2018 and 2019 at two of these spaces, Big Marsh and Steelworkers Park, both of which are defunct steel mills on the South Side. These tracks are meditative explorations of the space between environment and melody, each listen is a unique journey.

   

Dustin Laurenzi "Seasonal"

Saxophonist Dustin Laurenzi (of Twin Talk) has released a new album called "Seasonal". This is a collection of home recordings the he made over the last few years using clarinet, drums, guitar, OP-1, and saxophone.

This is the Laurenzi's follow-up to last year's highly acclaimed tribute to the legendary Moondog, "Snaketime". Laurenzi is scheduled to perform at Pitchfork Music Festival at Union Park on July 17th.

Photo: Maren Celest