Pat Mallinger Quartet Member Picks Recommended Soundboard Image

When: Fri., Jan. 20, 9 p.m. and Sat., Jan. 21, 8 p.m. 2012

Though he's originally from Minneapolis, reedist Pat Mallinger is kind of a classic Chicago musician: hardworking, flexible, unflashy. The 20th birthday of Sabertooth, the quartet he cofounded for a weekly Saturday-night gig at the Green Mill back in 1992, arrives this year; he's also a longtime member of the Chicago Jazz Ensemble and the Bobby Lewis Quintet, among other groups, and earns part of his living as a music educator. But Mallinger doesn't step out in front of a band too often, so it's notable that he recently released Home on Richmond (PMJ), a fiery session recorded live at the Green Mill last March with a quartet that includes dependable locals Dennis Carroll (bass) and George Fludas (drums) and Michigan-based pianist Bill Carrothers. The album demonstrates Mallinger's interest in sophisticated yet energetic blowing rather than conceptual bombast—he and Carrothers each contribute one original piece, but for the most part the group blasts through songs by Charles Lloyd and John Coltrane and standards like "Smile." And in case the intensity of the performances doesn't make it clear that the music was recorded in front of an audience, the introductions by Green Mill owner Dave Jemilo—in his distinctive Chicago locution—drive it home. —Peter Margasak

Price: $12

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