Through his work with such bands as Sabertooth, whose late-night gigs at the Green Mill have become as much a part of Uptown lore as Al Capone's hangs at that historic club, Dan Trudell gained a reputation as one of the best Hammond B-3 organ players on the scene.
Mwata Bowden has so distinguished himself as an educator, in settings as diverse as the University of Chicago, the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians, the Ravinia Festival and Chicago Public Schools, it's surprising he has the time to lead so many quality bands.
When tenor saxophonist Eric Schneider and longtime co-leader and alto saxophonist Pat Mallinger are trading soul-bopping riffs, it's difficult not to think of the great Chicago saxophone pairing of Gene Ammons and Sonny Stitt.
In the wake of such groundbreaking bands as the World Saxophone Quartet and ROVA, jazz and contemporary classical music have seen plenty of all-saxophone bands. But it's difficult to find one with quite the reach, or outsize personality, of Chicagoan Cameron Pfiffner's Adolphe's Ax.
Today's jazz boasts a host of second- and third-generation artists, including Ravi Coltrane, Joshua Redman, Nasheet Waits, Petra Haden and, of course, the Marsalis clan. None of them has carried on the family tradition with more devotion than Maggie Brown and her sister Africa Brown, daughters of the late Oscar Brown, Jr.
A newly-commissioned piece entitled Soul Migration by Chicago trumpeter, composer and bandleader Orbert Davis will trace the route of the people who made the trek northward with a suite that takes listeners on a moving journey of their own