The festival closed out at The Hungry Brain with another triple-bill. The young quartet Head With Wings (two reeds, bass and drums) demonstrated a post-Dolphy aesthetic that was reasoned and mature, always looking to get quieter instead of louder. Sakata was back with his working trio of bassist Darin Gray
and drummer Chris Corsano
. This reviewer saw this band in Sweden in March and any worries about second-kiss letdown were quickly dispelled across their 40-minute set. It is hard to tell in this band who is inspiring who but with music this bombastic, it hardly matters. The final performance of the Umbrella Music Festival was Topology: trombonist Jeb Bishop
, Vandermark, Rempis, vibraphonist Jason Adasiewicz
, Lonberg-Holm, bassist Kent Kessler
and Daisy with guest Joe McPhee
. An outgrowth of an earlier small ensemble concert in Milwaukee, Vandermark arranged several of McPhee's compositions for this expanded group. McPhee, who turned 70 just a few days before, seemed buoyed by the chance to revisit his compositions, some not played in 30 years, with this inspired bunch of players. The 70 minutes encapsulated the openness and self-determination that make the avant-garde music scene in Chicago a very healthy patient in a sick world.