The Whistler, Chicago, IL
Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Carplet and guests

Story by Brad Walseth, Photos by John Broughton, Copyright 2010

The Whistler at 2421 N Milwaukee Ave was the scene last Friday night for the "Return of Carplet." The crowd - including many members of the music community, packed the cozy nightclub in support of Carplet - a group consisting of singer Leslie Beukelman, vibraphonist Katie Wiegman and saxophonist Caroline Davis.

This evening's performance offered a contrast between sets. The first set featured the trio presenting ethereal atmospheric chamber jazz - complete with effected worldess vocals, effected saxophone and electronics and bowed vibes. The music was very well-rehearsed and the interplay among the three was sister-like. Haunting songs like "Church Bells and Aeroplanes" and "Dionysis" contained as musch shadows as light, and although there are no records of what ancient Greek music sounded like, this primal and feminine music may be as close as we can get in the modern age.

The second set brought guitarist Jim Tashjian, bassist Dan Thatcher and drummer Tim Daisy on stage with the ladies, and as was to be expected things got a bit more... agrressive. With Daisy and Thatcher providing the propulsion, and the spider-fingered Tashjian burning up the frets with some angular riffing, the band came out in full force. Davis' blusey love song - "You Have Said to Me" followed and displayed a new side to this talented musician. A strong and also bluesy Beukelman tune ("A Timely Entrance") followed - and the singer impressed with vocal command and emotion. Davis again surprised everyone with her vocal debut on the funky "Let Go" and the two singers meshed well on vocal harmonies here and on "What You See." I hope they will continue to do more in this vein in the future. Meanwhile, Daisy was featured with an outstanding solo on the latter song which ended this truly enjoyable musical "return."

Katie Wiegman

Leslie Beukelman

Caroline Davis

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