An all-star sextet of improvisers from the Chicago, Boston and Amsterdam creative music scenes revive the music of the late saxophone iconoclast Steve Lacy.
The Whammies (named after a Steve Lacy tune) bring together musicians from three cities, united by an interest in creating adventurous improvisational forms. Originally from Amsterdam, saxophonist and bandleader Jorrit Dijkstra has long lived in Boston, where he has found common musical ground with pianist and co-founder Pandelis Karayorgis. Former Bostonian Nate McBride and trombonist Jeb Bishop are stalwarts of the Chicago jazz community, noted for their tenures alongside Ken Vandermark in projects such as Powerhouse Sound and the Vandermark 5. Dijkstra and Karayorgis have both collaborated extensively with Chicago musicians in groups such as The Flatlands Collective, Pillow Circles, Duo Karayorgis/Vandermark, and the PK Quintet. The éminence grise is legendary 70-year-old Dutch drummer Han Bennink, who played with Lacy in the 1980s. Bennink’s bandmate from the Instant Composer’s Pool (ICP), violinist Mary Oliver, appears on a selection of the tunes. The Whammies focus on Lacy’s earlier, more experimental repertoire from the 1970s.