| Jun 10, 2014
| 9:56 AM
What happens when an ace Chicago blues guitarist meets up with a scorching Chicago soul singer?
Fire meets fire.
You can hear it on the key tracks of Dave Specter's deeply satisfying, jazz-tinged new album, "Message in Blue" (on Chicago's Delmark...
| Aug 24, 2014
Jazz has been big in this city for roughly a century — ever since Jelly Roll Morton, Louis Armstrong and their New Orleans compatriots brought the music to Chicago, which launched the music globally.
As the city gears up for the 36th annual Chicago...
| Aug 19, 2014
| 7:12 AM
The jazz world does not lack for fine pianists, but those who can sustain listener interest through an extended solo set always have been in shorter supply.
These days, few pack their soliloquies with more information, drama and free-ranging thought...
| Aug 20, 2014
| 1:56 PM
For jazz lovers, it's the best week of the year: a riot of activity starting Monday, as a lead-up to the Chicago Jazz Festival, which runs Thursday through Aug. 31.
From a programming standpoint, the 36th annual Chicago Jazz Festival looks strong,...
| Aug 12, 2014
| 11:40 AM
Chicago jazz musicians have been creating exotic worlds of sound on record during the past several months, and a few stand out for inventiveness and originality.
The greatest revelation comes from Juan Pastor's "Chinchano" (ears&eyes Records), which...
| Aug 4, 2014
| 5:28 PM
It seems safe to say that there aren't a lot of 88-year-olds who listen to Lady Gaga. And only one who records with her.
That would be Tony Bennett, who celebrated his most recent birthday on Sunday, brings his apparently inextinguishable art to the...
| Jul 29, 2014
| 10:43 AM
Anyone who appreciates Chicago's position as a global hotspot of avant-garde jazz owes a thank you to bandleader Hal Russell.
The unrepentantly iconoclastic Chicago musician – who died in 1992 at age 66, just as he was achieving a degree of...
| May 23, 2014
CELEBRATED PIANIST JASON MORAN, who won a MacArthur Fellowship in 2010 and directs jazz at the Kennedy Center in Washington, walks into the band room at Kenwood Academy High School and faces a rather tough crowd.
For starters, virtually none of the...
| Jan 14, 2014
| 9:26 AM
When Chicago blues singer Shemekia Copeland began performing "Ain't Gonna Be Your Tattoo" in concert, she was startled by the response.
The song, which unflinchingly addresses violence against women, inspired more than just applause. After concerts,...
| Jan 21, 2014
| 7:25 AM
The elusive art of jazz has proven notoriously difficult to capture on film, as has been amply demonstrated by films such as Clint Eastwood's ponderous Charlie Parker biography "Bird" (1988) and Ken Burns' stultifying, multi-part documentary "Jazz" (2001)...
| Jan 23, 2014
| 9:07 AM
These are lively days – and nights – for saxophonist-clarinetist Victor Goines, who last weekend presented the world premiere of an original orchestral suite at Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York and this weekend offers new music over three...