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 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.

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!

Eddie Higgins: Speaking of Jobim

Eddie Higgins: Speaking of Jobim

Pianist Eddie Higgins has been in Florida for many years but a great deal of his career was spent in Chicago. He still returns, most every year, to play for those that he touched at London House and numerous other Chicago clubs. This album showcases the compositions of Antonio Carlos Jobim, sans “Ipanema” and the other well-known hits. The point is that although Jobim composed hundreds of tunes, the masses only remember one or two of the hits and most musicians only a few more.

Paul Wertico Trio: Don't Be Scared Anymore

Paul Wertico Trio: Don't Be Scared Anymore

A versatile drummer, Paul Wertico summarizes his various musical experiences on "Don't Be Scared Anymore", a trio date with guitarist John Moulder and bassist Eric Hochberg. Despite the variety of styles and the fact that compositional duties are shared, Mr. Wertico must be credited for making a coherent record with a unique sound. Paying tribute to the power trios of the late sixties-early seventies was surely on Mr. Wertico's mind, but he manages to avoid the pitfalls of the genre: no purposeless solo or battle of the egos.

BRIGHT MOMENTS: The Life and Legacy of Rahsaan Roland Kirk

BRIGHT MOMENTS:
The Life and Legacy of Rahsaan Roland Kirk
by John Kruth
Welcome Rain, 404 pages, $28.95
Reviewed by Don Rose

There was always the initial suspicion that this stocky black dude, Roland Kirk, honking away on three saxophones at once, his sightless eyes covered by oversized black shades, was some kind of carnival act. But anybody with even one open ear was quickly disabused of the idea. The man made music. Serious, creative, innovative music. The difference was he was a whole saxophone section all by himself.

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.

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