| Jan 6, 2015
| 6:55 AM
If New Year's resolutions help us to aspire higher, Chicago jazz could use a few:
Boost the Chicago Jazz Festival, Part 1. The Chicago Jazz Festival made significant improvements in 2014, as in its belated embrace of social media, with a dramatically...
| Dec 31, 2014
| 2:05 PM
The first week of the year will be rich with jazz offerings. Following is a guide to the highlights:
Ari Brown: A magisterial saxophonist, Brown carries forward the legacy of the Chicago tenor tradition in distinctive ways. The sheer heft of his sound...
| Dec 30, 2014
| 9:34 AM
The great clarinetist Artie Shaw once told me — in characteristically provocative fashion — that at any given moment there were maybe five or six people in the world who could really play the instrument.
Buddy DeFranco was one of them....
| Dec 22, 2014
| 8:21 AM
Chicago jazz listeners heard great sounds in 2014, including:
Orbert Davis' Chicago Jazz Philharmonic, Nov. 14, Auditorium Theatre: A little more than a decade ago, the CJP was but a dream of Chicago trumpeter-composer Davis and colleague Mark Ingram....
| Dec 23, 2014
| 2:25 PM
The tempo of Chicago jazz does not slow for the holidays.
Among the highlights:
Roy Hargrove: For the past several Decembers, Hargrove – a lyrically inspired trumpeter – has played an extended residency at the Jazz Showcase to ring in...
| Dec 11, 2014
| 9:29 AM
If you didn't catch Dee Alexander performing around town this year, you need to get out more.
The protean Chicago singer was ubiquitous in clubs, concert halls and festivals, proving that her ferocious work ethic matches the nature of her virtuosity....
| Dec 16, 2014
| 7:32 AM
Who says holiday music has to be treacle?
In the hands of accomplished jazz musicians, familiar tunes become new, sugary ballads pick up spice and original compositions deepen our appreciation of the season.
Certainly that's the case this year, with a...
| Dec 2, 2014
| 7:54 AM
Igor Stravinsky's monumental ballet score "Rite of Spring" inspired many tributes during its 100th anniversary last year, but surely none quite like "Radhe Radhe: Rites of Holi."
This startling film, which will receive a preview screening Dec. 10 at the...
| Dec 4, 2014
| 7:41 AM
One of the most seductively beautiful recordings of the year came from the pen and sensibility of percussionist-bandleader Juan Pastor, who achieved startlingly original work on "Chinchano."
The album, like much of Pastor's music, intertwined the...
| Nov 18, 2014
| 8:08 AM
Earlier this month, a 27-year-old musician steeped in the ways of Chicago jazz won one of the most prestigious jazz competitions in the world.
To Marquis Hill, taking top prize in the Thelonious Monk International Trumpet Competition, which includes a...
| Nov 4, 2014
| 12:00 PM
It was a three-and-half-hour marathon of songs — some indelible, some forgettable, all sharing at least one rarefied trait: Each appeared in a Tony Award-winning musical.
That does not necessarily imply consistently great songwriting, as Monday...