Jazz Institute of Chicago

Reviews

Joel Spencer + Mike Kocur: Interior Window

Joel Spencer + Mike Kocur: Interior Window

John Burnett: Swingin’ in the Windy City

John Burnett: Swingin’ in the Windy City

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.

Fred Simon: Dreamhouse

Fred Simon: Dreamhouse

Fred Simon is one of Chicago’s treasured pianists and a fine composer. He has an original defined approach to the piano, perhaps a cousin or extension of Keith Jarrett, and a nice touch. His compositions seem to have something for everyone and although express a full range of emotion, they are uplifting to the spirit. No matter how you feel, you will feel better after listening to this album.

Joanie Pallatto and King Fleming: The King and I

Joanie Pallatto and King Fleming: The King and I

Joanie Pallatto loves to sing and collaborate with others. This project, enhanced by the legendary King Fleming and his trio, along with guests Von Freeman, Bobby Lewis and Rich Fudoli, is close to a Chicago Superbowl win! All of the prized elements of originality, swing, sound and pacing make this a beautiful album. It has the perfect title too.

Jo Ann Daugherty Trio: Debut

Jo Ann Daugherty Trio: Debut

Pianist Jo Ann Daugherty, along with bassist Shawn Sommer and drummer Ryan Bennett left Kansas City a couple of years ago to play their music in Chicago. Although some club date successes have already passed us without any real public notice, this CD may help change their lives. Very simply, this is a great trio!

Jeff Marx Quartet: The Great Unknown

Jeff Marx Quartet: The Great Unknown

Markos Tomaras: Too Much Too Late

Markos Tomaras: Too Much Too Late

Markos Tomaras is a bassist and arranger from Greece who now calls Chicago his home. Just when you think that you have heard it all another world influence meets jazz and produces another interesting hybrid.

Laksar Reese and Chuchito Valdes Jr.: Encantado

Laksar Reese and Chuchito Valdes Jr.: Encantado

I had just heard about a session at Steve Yates Studio with Chuchito, the son of famed Cuban pianist Chucho Valdes, then Laksar found me and gave me this CD for review!

With such a pianist on board it is safe to assume that this is a burning Afro-Cuban jazz CD! The program gives us mostly originals by Chuchito and/or Reese, Coltrane's "Giant Steps," and "Tres Lindas Cubanas." The music here is simply wonderful, very articulate, strong and clean.

Scott Hall: Strength in Numbers

Scott Hall: Strength in Numbers

Scott Hall is the Hall in Hallway Records and represents the latest generation of musicians that owns and operates a recording label.

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