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.

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.

Nat King Cole

Nat King Cole
by Daniel Mark Epstein
Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1999 364 pages, $27.00
reviewed by Terence M. Ripmaster

Born Nathaniel Coles in Montgomery, Alabama, in 1919, Nat King Cole lived only 46 years, but packed in a couple of lifetimes. Epstein's biography, which reads like a narrative novel, details the life and times of the school boyish, velvet-voiced singer/ pianist.

Birth of a Band

Birth of a Band
Notes on the Gestation
and Infancy of
Bradley Williams
and his Original
21st Century Review
By Bradley Williams

I. Setting the stage

Visions of Jazz: The First Century/The Playboy Guide to Jazz/The Chronicle of Jazz

Visions of Jazz:
The First Century
By Gary Giddins
Oxford, 690 pages, $35

The Playboy Guide to Jazz
By Neil Tesser
Plume, 288 pages (paper), $13.95

The Chronicle of Jazz
By Mervyn Cooke
Abbeville, 256 pages, $45
Reviewed by Don Rose

Bob Dogan: Salishan

Bob Dogan: Salishan

Right Together; Redd Holt Sings; The Young Holts

Right Together; Redd Holt Sings; The Young Holts

Redd is the master drummer Chicago the world has loved for over 40 years. All jazz listeners are familiar with his work with Ramsey Lewis and Young/Holt Unlimited but need to pick-up on his independent Chicago releases.

Nicole Mitchell/Black Earth Ensemble: Afrika Rising

Nicole Mitchell/Black Earth Ensemble: Afrika Rising

The very much anticipated follow-up to Vision Quest does not disappoint and shows growth and maturity with, this time, a focus on orchestration. She succeeds in shaping a full-bodied and luxuriant sound. In the process, the Black Earth Ensemble seems larger than its actual size.

Joanie Pallatto and Marshall Vente: Two

Joanie Pallatto and Marshall Vente: Two

Joanie and Marshall present an eclectic collection of pop tunes, standards and jazz compositions that highlight their musical versatility as performers. Thoughtfully fashioned with a mix of planning and spontaneity, the selections run the listener through a range of emotions, from bright to dark. The ballads, especially, let both performers ably tap the well of their feelings. On the more rhythmic cuts, the groove is always comfortably relaxed with both performers hitting a nice laid back pocket.

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