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.

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.

Joel Brandon: Haven't We All...?

Joel Brandon: Haven't We All...?

Joel Brandon holds a unique place in the music world. Not only is he a whistler, but he does so by inhaling. However, he should not be considered as a novelty act. Joel Brandon does not rely on cheap tricks; he uses his gift as a real instrument. And he does not let it eclipse his talent as a flautist either.

Famoudou Don Moye/Tatsu Aoki: A Symphony Of Cities

amoudou Don Moye/Tatsu Aoki: A Symphony Of Cities

Percussionist Famoudou Don Moye's claim to fame comes from his long tenure with the Art Ensemble of Chicago. Although not a founding member, his contributions grew more substantial over the years as the last AEC performances in Chicago bore witness. Unfortunately, he has rarely been given the opportunity to record under his own name, which makes the release of A Symphony Of Cities all the more welcome.

Future Jazz

Future Jazz
By Howard Mandel
Oxford University Press,
235 pages, $26
reviewed by Don Rose

The revolutionary era of modern jazz began during the early years of World War II. A startling, complex new music called bebop heralded the age and remains a central force in jazz today—even though it was followed by a quarter century of innovation and radical change.

Shelly Manne: Sounds of the Different Drummer

Shelly Manne:
Sounds of the Different Drummer
by Jack Brand and Bill Korst
Percussion Express
P.O. Box 1731
Rockford, Illinois 61110.
190pp. $60.00
Reviewed by Bill Moody

This LP-size labor of love is a comprehensive biography of one of the most well-liked, busiest jazz and studio drummers in music. Manne's voluminous recorded history is traced from his first efforts on 52nd Street to the Hollywood film studios.

Week Twelve: Sitting In (Excerpt from Fakebook)

Week Twelve: Sitting In
Excerpt from
Fakebook: Improvisations on a Journey Back to Jazz
by Richard Terrill

Frank Portolese: Last Call

Frank Portolese: Last Call

Chicago is blessed with several magnificent jazz guitarists and Frank Portolese has been a leader of this six-string fraternity for over 20 years. On this outing, his second release for Southport, Frank gives us five wonderful original tunes, the standard These Foolish Things, and five modern jazz classics.

Eldee Young & Marshall Vente: Step Up To The Mic

Eldee Young & Marshall Vente: Step Up To The Mic

Lasting partnerships are as hard to come by in jazz as they are to explain. The clash of egos and economic considerations tend to prohibit them, and even as one scans the sweep of jazz history, few come to mind: Brubeck and Desmond; Bird and Diz; Stephane and Django; Thad and Mel, et al. One such partnership has flourished in Chicago jazz for over 15 years in Young and Vente, and this new CD is their best display to date.

Marshall Vente/Project 9, Sextet and Big Band: Marshall Law with Eldee Young, Howard Levy and Anna Dawson

Marshall Vente/Project 9, Sextet and Big Band: Marshall Law with Eldee Young, Howard Levy and Anna Dawson

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