We hear Chicago bassist Jason Ajemian
and his band Smokeless Heat, from their new CD on the Delmark
label. The album is called The Art of Dying
and refers to a beached sea lion Ajemian watched slip in and out of consciousness as it clung to life. It's a metaphor for Ajemian's moody explorations that drift in and out of a dreamlike state through the course of the album. On some tracks, Ajemian incorporates up to six musicians, but the heart of the group is Ajemian, saxophonist Tim Haldeman and drummer Nori Tanaka.
Last year, shortly after the recording sessions were completed, Tanaka was forced to return to his native Japan due to visa problems. And that makes tonight's show extra special. Tanaka is reuniting with Ajemian and Smokeless Heat for their CD release show. That's tonight at Heaven Gallery
at 1550 North Milwaukee Avenue. The music starts at 8:30.