| Apr 25, 2013
| 2:22 PM
When singer-pianist Diane Schuur headlined at the Jazz Showcase last week, she wasn't the most commanding player on stage.
At leat not whenever Chicago saxophonist Pat Mallinger stepped up to solo. Each time he brought the mouthpiece to his lips,...
| Apr 16, 2013
| 11:16 AM
In 1994, Orchestra Hall — home of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra — took a gamble. The grand old institution for the first time launched a jazz subscription series, betting that Chicagoans would commit to a season of such events, albeit a short...
| Apr 4, 2013
| 9:53 AM
We're about to begin a remarkably lively jazz weekend, even by Chicago standards. Among the highlights:
The Engines: This enterprising ensemble has been offering a stylistically free-ranging music for nearly a decade, but this weekend's engagement...
| Apr 11, 2013
| 9:50 AM
In 1959, Astor Piazzolla – a genius of tango composition and performance – released "Take Me Dancing," an album he later deemed an artistic "sin."
The jazz-inspired recording, which Piazzolla had hoped would enable him to break through to...
| Mar 25, 2013
| 5:45 AM
The brawny, brainy music that Ken Vandermark presented over the weekend at the Green Mill Jazz Club appealed to many sensibilities.
For starters, the very sight of nine instrumentalists crowded onto the tiny stage of the Mill — each a force in his...
| Mar 21, 2013
| 11:44 AM
Last June, Chicago reedist-bandleader Ken Vandermark convened a high-powered band for a specific and daunting purpose.
Colleague Dave Rempis had asked Vandermark to think of something special he wanted to do to celebrate innovative programming by...
| Jun 13, 2013
| 11:50 AM
On Jan. 16, 1938, clarinetist Benny Goodman shook up the music world by bringing jazz unapologetically into a shrine of highbrow culture: Carnegie Hall.
That concert, with its spectacular solos and thrilling ensemble playing, has long since acquired...
| Jun 6, 2013
| 12:49 PM
If jazz listeners ruled the world, saxophonist-composer Wayne Shorter's forthcoming 80th birthday – on Aug. 25 – would be deemed a national holiday.
That doesn't seem likely at this point, so Chicago will celebrate the occasion a bit early...
| Jun 2, 2013
| 7:58 AM
Three of the world's leading jazz experimenters – each with ties to Chicago – returned here over the weekend, playing for audiences that listened intently to their work.
The music-making proved tumultuous and intensely challenging at some...
| May 28, 2013
| 11:40 AM
The great flutist-composer Nicole Mitchell moved to Chicago – and launched her international career here – in 1990.
More than two decades later, in August of 2011, she left the city for California, yet it's still impossible to think of...
| May 31, 2013
| 1:28 PM
As opening night glitches go, this was a good problem.
The back room at Lakeview gastropub The Dog's Bollox was jammed with people squeezing in for the debut of Story Sessions, yet another yarn-spinning event to add to Chicago's already-packed...