Jazz Institute of Chicago

Welcome to the Jazz Institute of Chicago Journal, an archive of jazz writing. You'll find incredible articles about the history of Jazz in Chicago, as well as interviews with a variety of musicians and jazz related figures and reviews of recordings and live shows.

Mingus Big Band Rocks Hancher—Preserves Legacy

Mingus Big Band rocks Hancher— Preserves Legacy
concert review by Dr. William S. Carson

Unlike classical music, jazz is an art form with the emphasis primarily upon the performer, rather than upon the composer. The rise of be-bop in the 1940s increased the emphasis on improvisation, and further diminished the importance of the composer. It should come as no surprise, then, that only a handful of the most significant jazz musicians are known as great composers. Three names stand above the rest: Duke Ellington, Thelonius Monk, and Charles Mingus.

Sarah Vaughn

Sarah Vaughn
by Stuart Nicholson

Sarah Vaughan
Sassy Swings the Tivoli (Complete Version)
+Emarcy (J) 832 788-2.
Vaughan (vcl); Kirk Stuart (p); Charles Williams (bs); George Hughes (d).
Copenhagen, 18–21 July 1963.

The Chicago Daily Blues

The Chicago Daily Blues
by Bob Koester

Several years ago the editors of Blues Unlimited in England got wind of a 45-rpm record on the Bluestown label. Wanting to learn more about the firm, they asked friends going to the United States for summer vacations to try to locate the manufacturer in Chicago. They were surprised to find that the firm was located in the Boston area. Their first assumption was natural--because blues fans the world over do think of Chicago as Bluestown. It's been the major center for contemporary blues activity for decades.

A Farewell to Joe Williams

by Jeff Lindberg

Artistic Director, The Jazz Members Big Band of Chicago

Ernie Wilkins

Ernie Wilkins
By Steve Voce

This article first appeared in The Independent of London.

The trumpeter Clark Terry was responsible for Ernie Wilkins’s success as a musician and then for lifting him up when he fell upon bad times.

Michel Petrucciani

by Steve Voce

My philosophy is to have a really good time and never to let anything stop me from doing what I want to do.
—Michel Petrucciani

Charlie Parker

Charlie Parker
by Stuart Nicholson

The Complete Charlie Parker on Verve Vol 4
Verve 837146-2
Parker (alt); Mitch Miller (ob, possibly eng h); Bronislaw Gimpel, Max Hollander, Milt Lomask (vln); Frank Brieff (vla); Frank Miller (cel); Myor Rosen (hrp); Stan Freeman (p); Ray Brown (bs); Buddy Rich (d); Jimmy Carroll (cond, arr).
New York City
30 November 1949
Just friends. Everything happens to me. April in Paris. Summertime. I didn't know what time it was. If I should lose you.
Parker (alt); Hank Jones (p); Ray Brown (bs) Buddy Rich (d).
New York City
Early April 1950


by Warren Leight
directed by Anna D. Shapiro
currently at Steppenwolf Theater

review by Steven Hashimoto

Blues for Big John's

Blues for Big John's
by George Spink

September 2001 will mark the 35th anniversary of the closing of Big John's, a legendary blues club in Old Town during the mid-1960s. George Spink worked at Big John's for two years, after he finished college. Unless otherwise noted, he has supplied all the photographs.

Accompanying Ira Sullivan

Accompanying Ira Sullivan
by Kenny Fredrickson

The author, a pianist, is a Chicagoan who worked with many of the big names in jazz during the '50s and '60s.

Ira Sullivan, the quintessential be-bopper, burst upon the Chicago jazz scene during the late '40s like a comet from the far-off reaches of outer space.


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