This adventurous, shape-shifting sextet includes some of Chicago’s most incisive and fearless players, all of whom are truly citizens of the bold music making universe. Since the group formed in 2003 they’ve made three albums, each one under the compositional leadership of a different member. Following recordings that focused on the writing of saxophonists Keefe Jackson and Aram Shelton, last year’s marvelous Gather (Delmark) saw cellist Fred Lonberg-Holm take the leader’s baton.
This ingenious formula has kept the group unpredictable and thrillingly peripatetic, but not without a definite sonic identity. Thanks to the diverse scope, abilities, and interests of its members Fast Citizens breathlessly covers a huge range, with flashes of free jazz, bebop, and trad flavors, without ever settling down within any single sound. Lonberg-Holm, Jackson, Shelton (who’s now based in the Bay Area after cutting his musical teeth in Chicago) are joined by bassist Anton Hatwich, drummer Frank Rosaly, and cornetist Josh Berman.
Photo credit: www.kellyweime.com