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The Bill McKemy Quartet

Thursday, May 15, at the Blue Room.

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In the seven months since the release of his solo debut, Duende, area jazz artist and former Malachy Papers bassist Bill McKemy has continued to grow. Whereas his previous effort was a moodily sentimental affair that featured a fistful of concise cuts, a sort of waking dream of ideas and notions shared among confidants in quiet conversation, his current Om Nidrah features a quartet of expansively ethereal tunes that allow for the sort of free breathing and free wheeling his compositions deserve. McKemy entered the studio with mere sketches of three of the disc's tracks, relying on the technical prowess and capable chemistry of bandmates Brian Baggett and Jake Blanton on guitars and Tom Morgan on drums. The disc's fourth tune, "Constant Conflict (Constant Evidence)," was a set-break sketch that arose from a jam-session gig this past December with the group and served as the impetus for McKemy's latest foray into the studio. Incidentally, Om Nidrah also marks McKemy's maiden voyage with the newly formed Spoonbender Labs label, a creative co-op recently founded by local musicians to promote Kansas City's quietly burgeoning art-music scene.

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