Juli Wood Quintet
One of Chicago’s most versatile and curious musicians, Juli Wood is not only fluent on soprano, alto, tenor, and baritone saxophones, she’s also a terrific singer. She’s been a key force on the local scene for more than 25 years, working alongside the likes of organist Mel Rhyne and pianists Earma Thompson and Ken Chaney, as well as playing in the all-female combo She.
Today Wood will focus on music from last year’s terrific 5 4 3 2 1, a snappy, soulful quintet album steeped in the hard bop of the 60s (with tunes by Joe Henderson, Freddie Hubbard, and Benny Golson), but Wood’s sharp arrangements prove she’s not afraid of experimenting a bit—something she also does sometimes with Cameron Pfiffner’s reed sextet Adolph’S AX—delivering a wonderfully sweet-sour reading of Thelonious Monk’s “Light Blue. Her band includes trumpeter Larry Bowen, trombonist Steve Berry, organist Pete Benson, and drummer Todd Howell.