A Polish native who moved to Chicago when he was 11, trombonist Luke Malewicz has been absorbing the sounds of this city ever since. As he shows on his album, Green Ruins, a set of originals including a warm tribute to trombone giant Curtis Fuller (via a resetting of Kenny Dorham's "Blue Bossa"), Malewicz knows his way around hard bop.
The 2014 winner of the DownBeat Award for Best Collegiate Vocal Jazz Soloist, and a top finisher in other competitions, Alyssa Allgood is one of jazz's most promising young singers. A devotee of classic Blue Note recordings, she isn't timid about coining new lyrics to them or crafting new arrangements.
As the leader of the quartet you'll hear tonight (and can hear on its new album, Vortices), Lepine offers a buoyant take on free jazz in improvising over structured harmonies and taking the chord-liberating "time, no changes" approach patented by Miles Davis's quintet.
The popular young saxophonist Chris Greene is an artist with a lot of get up and go. Since studying with the sadly departed David Baker at Indiana University, the Evanston native has insinuated himself into all kinds of styles and sounds, linking up with such artists as rapper Common, acid jazz band Liquid Soul and free jazz genius Steve Coleman.
Tenor saxophonist JD Allen's ongoing series of recordings with Gregg August on bass and Rudy Royston on drums have been so strong, you wonder if they can get any better – or do more to raise the bar for tenor trios, all of which hark back to Sonny Rollins' great late-'50s efforts.
What do you do when you love the burn and churn of an organ-driven combo and the harmonic colors of a big band? For trumpeter Victor Garcia, who led a quartet with organist Dan Trudell and co-led the Chicago Afro Latin Jazz Ensemble, the solution was simple: Split the difference between formats by forming an organ septet.
The Jazz Journalists Association couldn't have made a better choice in naming Tatsu Aoki a Jazz Hero for his oversized contribution to this city – as a musician, bandleader, founder of the Chicago Asian American Jazz Festival, ethnomusicologist, community organizer and teacher.
Not so long ago in places like Chicago, where one of his proudest mentors was Von Freeman, Eric Alexander was recognized as one of the future standard-bearers of the tenor saxophone tradition. More than most players his age, Alexander connected on a deep level with that tradition, which he strove to serve rather than overhaul.
In speaking a universal language, jazz has proven to be among the most mobile of musical genres, as witness the impact Israel's Cohen siblings, Anat, Avishai and Yuval, have had on the American scene during their relatively short time here.
The Bad Plus with special guests, alto saxophonist Tim Berne, cornetist Ron Miles and soprano saxophonist Sam Newsome play the music of recently departed jazz iconoclast, Ornette Coleman from his groundbreaking 1972 album, Science Fiction.