Local Concert Preview for Chicago:
March 15-21, 2009
First Appeared in The Music Box, March 2009, Volume 16, #3
Written by John Metzger
Fri March 20, 2009, 06:30 AM CDT
3/20 - The Blue Note 7 - Chicago Symphony Center - Chicago - 8:00 p
Many, if not all, of the jazz world’s most venerated artists have crossed paths with Blue Note Records at some point in their careers. To celebrate the label’s 70th anniversary, pianist Bill Charlap assembled a stellar cast of musicians for a worldwide tour. Dubbed the Blue Note 7, the ensemble — which also features guitarist Peter Bernstein, saxophonists Ravi Coltrane and Steve Wilson, trumpeter Nicholas Payton, drummer Lewis Nash, and bass player Peter Washington — will make a stop at the Chicago Symphony Center for a performance on March 20. Following in the footsteps of its new album Mosaic: A Celebration of Blue Note Records, the outfit will spend the evening redefining classic works by Joe Henderson, McCoy Tyner, and Thelonious Monk.
3/21 - Roger McGuinn - Hemmens Cultural Center - Elgin - 8:00 p
In a career that now spans nearly 50 years, Roger McGuinn has come full-circle. Heeding Pete Seeger’s call, the one-time student at Chicago’s Old Town School of Folk Music has returned to his roots to do everything in his power to keep traditional American fare alive. He routinely unearths long-forgotten chestnuts, offering his interpretations for free through the Folk Den arm of his website. To many, his approach might seem overly academic, but he has a distinctive knack for making the material sound remarkably timeless. In concert, McGuinn still performs many of the hits that he had with The Byrds, and the way in which he intermixes them with an array of anecdotes is as humorous as it is charming.
3/21 - Ari Hest - Schuba's - Chicago - 7:00 p and 10:30 p
Ari Hest’s partnership with Columbia Records may have come to an end, but he steadfastly has refused to let it stop him from advancing his agenda. In January 2008, he unveiled his latest gambit, a project he dubbed 52, which forced him to write and release a new song every week over the course of the entire year. Fans were asked to vote for their favorite tracks, and Hest selected 12 of the tunes for his independently issued set Twelve Mondays. With so much fresh material from which to draw, it’s hard to imagine that Hest won’t take advantage of the opportunity to perform two dramatically different shows when he visits Schuba’s on March 21.
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