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Sandro Perri - Turner Hall Ballroom - Milwaukee

Touring in support of his latest release, “Impossible Spaces”, (Constellation Records) Sandro Perri performed Tuesday night at Turner Hall in Milwaukee.  Perri began his recording career under the name Polmo Polpo, releasing quiet electronic music.  Since 2007, he has recorded under his own name, mixing minimal techno, with folk tinges and jazz fusion instrumentation (which, reminded me of several recent Radiohead experiments).  Adding Perri’s quiet vocals, fundamentally low key and delicate, made listeners quite not sure if he should be singing over the light funky groove in the background.  Wednesday night’s opener was slow and steady, building a slow groove progression ready to take off, but not quite taking us to the big finish.  The organ providing the rhythmic backbeat, along with tight guitar riffs and Perri’s subtle and plain spoken vocals set the tone for the evening, at times reminding me of Andrew Bird.  The music slowly pulled you in and took you for a ride.  At times the music and the vocals didn’t seem in sync creating a sound almost appearing as improvisation but really was quite complex and ambitious.  One of the evening’s highlights was “Changes” off the latest album.  Perri was not afraid to bring out the extended jam, mixing dub funk with a breezy tropical jazz fusion sound reminiscent of the 1970’s.  It was almost as if Perri was channeling the spirit and groove of Jay Ferguson’s “Thunder Island”, delivering a classic AM radio vibe throughout Turner Hall.