Jazz Institute of Chicago

Reviews

Chicago Metropolitan Jazz Orchestra: Live and Screamin'

Chicago Metropolitan Jazz Orchestra: Live and Screamin'

Lenny King comes from the education arena of jazz and initially developed the CMO to focus on the music of Stan Kenton. Although the program has expanded to included a few non-Kenton arrangers, Stan is the model here and that's OK! Although Kenton specified that he did not want his music to linger in ghost bands, we are thankful to Lenny King for presenting this music—we still need to hear this music performed live!

Bobby Lewis: In the Forefront & Incantation

Bobby Lewis: In the Forefront & Incantation

Chicago has waited far too long for the Forefront on CD! This is a 2 CD collection of two previously issued LP's documents this original Chicago group as it sounded in the '70's.

Kick The Cat

Kick The Cat

Now that jazz-fusion is well over 30 years old, we should accept it as one of the many styles of jazz and appreciate it for its high level of art. When it emerged years ago, jazz musicians we criticized for selling out for mixing their jazz with rock rhythms. Meanwhile, Herbie, Chick, Mahavishnu developed the music, set the model and built a remarkable audience base. Fusion is popular because the masses can relate to its high energy and, although not dance music, it is grounded in the music of the dancers of the day.

The Miuymi Project Big Band: Rooted: Origins Of Now

The Miuymi Project Big Band: Rooted: Origins Of Now

The Miuymi Project Big Band: Rooted: Origins Of Now

The Miuymi Project Big Band: Rooted: Origins Of Now

Von Freeman: The Improvisor

Von Freeman: The Improvisor

As the release of "The Improvisor" almost coincided with Von Freeman's 80th birthday, it is difficult not to think of it as a birthday present. But it is also a treat for his fans who get to hear him in three different and complementing situations.

The Phil Mosberg Quartet: The New Balance

The Phil Mosberg Quartet: The New Balance

This is the second effort by the Phil Mosberg Quartet following and building on the strengths of the promising "Forest Through the Trees." Guitarist Phil Mosberg penned the nine compositions, which, for the most part, rely on simple and catchy lines or grooves. However, solid improvisation and group interaction are what the band leader aims at.

Triage: Premium Plastics

Triage: Premium Plastics

Not long after taking up the challenge of filling Mars Williams' shoes within the Vandermark 5, young saxophonist Dave Rempis initiated a project, Triage, which is now comprised of bassist Jason Ajemian and drummer Tim Daisy. What distinguishes Triage from a lot of combos that have emerged from the new Chicago improvised music scene is its versatility. Indeed, "Premium Plastics", the trio's second opus, covers a lot of ground. At times moody, abstract or passionate, the music can also settle for a nice groove.

Steve Million: Truth Is

Steve Million: Truth Is

It was a blustery January night at the Jazz Showcase in Chicago when Jeff Newell's New Trad Octet took the stage, and it wasn't long before a thoroughly warming chorus of New Orleans-inflected horns began to soothe a restless audience still jittery from the cold. Amid the fading brass, the first few chords of Steve Million's piano emerged like sunlight through the clouds and effectively captured the moment. The room fell quiet. There were smiles and nods and all ears seemed tuned in as his brief but eloquent statement unfolded.

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.

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