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.

JAZZ FOR DUMMIES: A Reference for the Rest of Us

JAZZ FOR DUMMIES:
A Reference for the Rest of Us
By Dirk Sutro
IDG Worldwide, 358 pages (paper), $24.99
Reviewed by Don Rose

It was inevitable, I suppose, that the remarkably successful and widely imitated "... for Dummies" series—which began with computers and quickly got to sex—would eventually get around to jazz. A good thing it is, because I'm for anything that helps promote understanding of the music—as long as it doesn't prostitute in the guise of simplifying.

The Antioch Review—Special Jazz issue

The Antioch Review—
Special Jazz issue
Antioch University, Summer 1999
442 pages, $8.50
reviewed by Don Rose

The Antioch Review, one of the nation's leading literary magazines, published a special issue this summer devoted entirely to jazz—with a special focus on the music's relationship to and effects on the other arts. This is apparently the first time any journal of comparable stature has given jazz this extended attention, and the editors have come up with some genuine winners among the 14 wide-ranging pieces it gathered.

Jazz Joke Gallery, Part 1

Jazz Joke Gallery, Part 1
[Thanks to Bill O'Connell and Rich Corpolongo for forwarding these on to us—and yes, and there will be more where these came from.]

A young child says to his mother, "Mom, when I grow up I think I'd like to be a musician." She replies, "Well honey, you know you can't do both."

Q: What's the difference between a guitar player and a large pizza?
A: A large pizza can feed a family of four.

Q: What do you call a beautiful woman on a trombonist's arm?
A: A tattoo.

Q: What do you call a drummer in a three-piece suit?
A: "The Defendant."

Aoki/Hunsinger/Jarman: Trio

Aoki/Hunsinger/Jarman: Trio

What do Robbie Hunsinger, a classically trained musician, Joseph Jarman, a founding member of Chicago’s Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians, and Tatsu Aoki, a bassist raised in Japan, have in common? Well, they share a taste for Eastern music that they acquired following different paths and that they convey to us on this demanding album. This is also the magic of improvised music, to unite artists from different backgrounds with the hope that they can communicate at a high level and produce some great music.

Frank Catalano: Live at the Green Mill with Randy Brecker

Frank Catalano: Live at the Green Mill with Randy Brecker

Frank Catalano, about 23-years-old, plays the tenor sax like no one else and seems to have the energy of a nuclear power plant at his fingertips. This live session, recorded earlier this year, confirms that Catalano has total command of modern straight-ahead jazz as it has been applied to the tenor sax. It is apparent that he has been influenced from most of the hard driving tenors, from Coleman Hawkins and Coltrane to Gato Barbieri and Pharaoh Sanders.

Eric Roth Trio: Program 16

Chicago has a lot of new talents who are working hard to get heard. This is the first release of a trio led by a young and versatile drummer, Eric Roth.

Corky McClerkin: Island of Dreams

Corky McClerkin: Island of Dreams

Corky McClerkin is one of Chicago's great pianists capable of nearly anything in music. He is a tremendous asset to any sized band, any style, electric or acoustic and plays fine solo piano, too.

Jo Ann Daugherty Trio: Debut

Jo Ann Daugherty Trio: Debut

Pianist Jo Ann Daugherty, along with bassist Shawn Sommer and drummer Ryan Bennett left Kansas City a couple of years ago to play their music in Chicago. Although some club date successes have already passed us without any real public notice, this CD may help change their lives. Very simply, this is a great trio!

Joan Hickey: Soulmates, featuring Buster Williams

Joan Hickey: Soulmates, featuring Buster Williams

This is an interesting album from pianist Joan Hickey with two equally strong trios and trumpeter Jeff Helgesen rounding it out to a quartet on two tracks. Dennis Carroll and George Fludas on bass and drums respectively open the program. NYC bassist Buster Williams guests on five of the eleven tracks along with Joel Spencer on drums.

School Days: Crossing Division

School Days: Crossing Division

Taking its name from a famous record by the Steve Lacy/Roswell Rudd Quartet from the early sixties, School Days is one of reedist Ken Vandermark's latest projects. "Crossing Division" is remarkable on several counts.

The session features originals penned by Vandermark and long-time collaborator Jeb Bishop (tb) as well as two compositions by Roswell Rudd, including the truculent and swinging "Keep Your Heart Right". However, a great sense of unity and cohesion transpires. Moreover, the material is quite memorable.

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