| 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...
| Sep 9, 2014
| 8:03 AM
For the Romanian cimbalom virtuoso Nicolae Feraru, who has lived in Chicago since 1993, life changed last September.
That's when he traveled to Washington, D.C., to receive his adopted country's highest honor for folk arts, the National Endowment for...
| Sep 3, 2014
Back in 2000, a very talented Chicago cabaret singer-pianist decided to try his luck in New York and soon found himself touring the globe with Liza Minnelli.
It's the kind of story that aspiring stars dream about, but it happened to Johnny Rodgers,...
| 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...