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.

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.

BLUE: The Murder of Jazz

BLUE: The Murder of Jazz
by Eric Nisenson
St. Martin's Press, $22.95
262 pp.
Reviewed by Don Rose

To paraphrase my friend Garry Wills, I'm willing to believe a dozen bad things about Wynton Marsalis before breakfast, but this hysterical, sloppily written, badly argued, error-ridden, self-contradictory rant almost makes me want to join his defense team.

MILES BEYOND, The Electric Explorations of Miles Davis, 1967–1991

MILES BEYOND, The Electric Explorations of Miles Davis, 1967–1991
By Paul Tingen
Billboard Books, 352 pages, $24.95
reviewed by Don Rose

Magical, mystical, mysterious Miles!

SOUTHPORT Records: The Life and Saga of An Independent Label

SOUTHPORT Records:
The Life and Saga of
An Independent Label
by Bradley Parker-Sparrow

When I was five or six my father gave me a small portable reel-to-reel tape recorder that had a circular clip-on microphone. Sundays were always lazy days and I would often tape the Ed Sullivan show, playing back my early bootleg recordings underneath my sheets, late at night.
...glancing into the future little did I know that there would be digital CDs, and that I would be a composer-engineer-label owner.

THE OXFORD COMPANION TO JAZZ

THE OXFORD COMPANION TO JAZZ
Edited by Bill Kirchner
852 pages, Oxford. $49.95
reviewed by Don Rose

There's something for everyone in this fat volume of jazz writing, from sophisticates like you and me to the newcomer just getting interested in the music. It's the latest in Oxford's notable "companion" series on history and the arts and a welcome addition it is.

Luiz Ewerling and A Cor Do Brasil: Our Earth

Luiz Ewerling and A Cor Do Brasil: Our Earth

Greg Fishman and Paulinho Garcia: Two for Brazil Plays the Standards

Greg Fishman and Paulinho Garcia: Two for Brazil Plays the Standards

On this session one of Chicago's favorite duos continues implementing their multi-CD master plan with their third recording and gives us a huge 16 tune set of standards, jazz standards, and a couple of bossa novas for good measure.

Scott Rosenberg: IE

Scott Rosenberg: IE

Originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, reedist Scott Rosenberg relocated to Chicago a couple of years ago, and has been very active in promoting his music since. "IE" is an ambitious project for a 27-piece orchestra which focuses on Scott Rosenberg as a composer (as an instrumentalist, he is only featured on contrabass clarinet on the opening track).

Judy Roberts: Circle of Friends

Judy Roberts: Circle of Friends

Judy Roberts is a Chicago treasure. She plays great piano, has an innovative approach to singing and has the charisma that everyone enjoys and wishes they had some too. Judy's consistently draws listeners to her gigs; it seems that there is no end to Judy's energy. A friend of mine once told me that if Judy gets on a bus, the bus would fill with friends and fans!

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