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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.

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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.

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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

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Matt Piet "Tobacco Monogamy"

Improvisational Pianist Matt Piet has released a new album called Tobacco Monogamy. This collection was recorded live back in 2017 at Elastic Arts and is completely improvised. Piet will be donating all sales of the album to one of three charities and is giving the listener the choice between National Alliance on Mental Illness, American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, or The Trevor Project.

This album is the follow-up to 2018's well-received album City In A Garden.

Photo by Matthew Schwerin

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