| Oct 28, 2014
| 6:30 AM
The packaging is unadorned, the artwork rudimentary, the promotion nonexistent.
Yet in an era in which artists feel liberated to produce and distribute their music in their own way — minus record-label intrusion — singer Linda Eder has...
| Oct 23, 2014
| 7:25 AM
Music lovers might not have anticipated it, but the sprawling arts center that the University of Chicago opened in 2012 has become an increasingly important player in Chicago jazz.
Last season, the Logan Center for the Arts presented several major...
| Oct 21, 2014
| 6:23 AM
Why don't filmmakers get jazz?
Why do most feature films miss the meaning of the music in attempting to depict it?
Why is the original American art form apparently so elusive on screen?
Two new films shed light on these mysteries, one peddling...
| Oct 16, 2014
| 8:38 AM
Connoisseurs already know that former Chicagoan Zach Brock stands among the most promising violinists in jazz.
But his new album with the formidable pianist Phil Markowitz, "Perpetuity," shows Brock reaching a new level of musical maturity, insight...
| Oct 14, 2014
| 7:42 AM
We often think of cabaret as a fragile art form, its emphasis on hyper-literate songwriting and jazz-tinged musicianship scuttling this music to the margins of American culture.
But when you witness a small army of singers and instrumentalists...
| Oct 9, 2014
| 8:01 AM
This will be a brisk weekend in Chicago jazz. Among the highlights:
Ahmad Jamal: It's difficult to overstate Jamal's importance as pianist, his approach to jazz improvisation sounding fresh and volatile, just as it did more than half a century ago....
| Oct 8, 2014
Without the piano innovations of Ahmad Jamal, would the breakthroughs of contemporary keyboard lions such as Jason Moran, Vijay Iyer, Matthew Shipp and others be possible?
True, none of those artists sounds quite like Jamal, but no one really does...
| Oct 2, 2014
| 8:10 AM
Chicago alto saxophone master Jimmy Ellis turned 84 in July but, remarkably, never has recorded an album as bandleader.
That finally will change on Tuesday, when Ellis' weekly quartet session at Andy's Jazz Club will be recorded live, setting the...
| Sep 23, 2014
| 8:35 AM
The fall season already has produced several memorable jazz recordings. Among the best so far:
Tammy McCann: "Love Stories" (JTMusic). At last, Chicago singer McCann has released a recording worthy of her remarkable instrument. "Love Stories" takes on...
| Sep 25, 2014
| 9:12 AM
It's the most magical weekend of the year, venues large and small, familiar and novel lighting up a single Chicago neighborhood.
No jazz soiree in Chicago, and perhaps none in the country, embraces its environment as effectively as the Hyde Park Jazz...
| Jul 15, 2014
| 9:59 AM
The voice on the phone was practically unrecognizable and difficult to understand, but the name was unmistakable.
Charlie Haden, one of the most revered bassists in jazz history and a musician I had covered for decades, was calling.
Of course I...