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: Episode 8, Risk

JAZZ: Episode 8, Risk
a jazz documentary by Ken Burns

reviewed by Walt Davis

As part of the Doubletake Documentary Film Fest held in Durham, NC on April 6-9, Ken Burns gave a sneak preview of one two-hour segment of his upcoming documentary, Jazz, scheduled to air on PBS in January, 2001. This episode is titled "Risk" and covers the years 1945-55. JIC website editor Paul Baker read a review I had posted to a jazz newsgroup, and asked me to revise it for publication here.

The New Black Music Repertory Ensemble: 2001-2002 Season Opening

The New Black Music Repertory Ensemble:
2001-2002 Season Opening
reviewed by Rahsaan Clark Morris

How the Chicago Jazz Festival Began

How the Chicago Jazz Festival Began
by George Spink

This is the story of how the annual Chicago Jazz Festival began under Mayor Jane Byrne's administration, in 1979.

About a year before Byrne was elected, Karen Conner, Paul McGrath's former wife, phoned me to ask for a few plugs on my radio show for a dance at the Aragon she was publicizing for a charity. I said I'd be happy to do so. After Byrne was elected in 1979, she made Karen her Special Events Director.

Isaac "Redd" Holt: 1999 Arts Midwest Jazz Master

Isaac "Redd" Holt:
1999 Arts Midwest Jazz Master
by Steve Reinfranck

Isaac “Redd” Holt was born May 16th, 1932, in Rosedale, Missisippi. The Holt family migrated to the west side of Chicago when Redd was eight years old. His interest in drums and percussion originated in the south when his father took him to see a traveling minstrel show featuring the dancer “Peg Leg” Bates and a drummer whose name has vanished in the mist. The moment that Redd witnessed the act featuring trap drums, his future was decided.

My Time with Al Haig

My Time with Al Haig
by Kenny Fredrickson

In the early '60s Al Haig and I were working for a couple of weeks in the same Manhattan night club, playing solo piano and accompanying chick singers. One of the singers was a Mexican-American girl who spoke perfect English and sang her butt off.

Elvin Jones at Yoshi's, April 2003

Elvin Jones at Yoshi's, April 2003
reviewed by Rahsaan Clark Morris

Elvin Jones brought his Jazz Machine to Yoshi’s in Oakland for six nights of shows starting Tuesday, April 15. I figured as long as I was there to catch some of the SF Jazz Spring Season, I might as well avail myself of a chance to hear a band whose music I hadn’t heard in a long time.

Clark Terry, Part 1

Clark Terry, Part 1
with Steve Voce

Live the Spirit at Hothouse: June 2002

Live the Spirit at Hothouse: June 2002
reviewed by Rahsaan Clark Morris

I had been hearing about Ernest Khabeer Dawkins’ Live The Spirit Band and, in fact, I had seen various combinations of the group at places like Fred Anderson’s Velvet Lounge and of course, Hothouse. But, earlier this summer there was a CD release set thrown by the Hothouse for the band’s last project—a recording of a live concert from late 2001, after 9-11.

The Perfecto—Chicagoland's Loft

The Perfecto—Chicagoland's Loft
by Jerry DiMuzio and Isidro B. Perez
with an addendum by Mike West

In the 1970s the Chicago Jazz Scene was taking on a new look as boomer players started to assert themselves. This was evident in the success of the club scene in the Lincoln Park/Lincoln Avenue area. Some of the clubs includeed The Bulls, Collette’s, Orphans, Ratso’s and Wise Fools. What drove this success was the jazz player's need to perfect one's craft and keep their creativity moving.

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