Music » Critic's Choice

Scott Hall/ Bob Lark




Trumpeters Scott Hall and Bob Lark both made their names in bigger groups than the ones they'll lead for this Monday-night one-shot: Lark leads the jazz ensembles, including an impressive big band, at DePaul University, and Hall takes close to half the solos accorded the trumpet section of Bill Russo's Chicago Jazz Ensemble. But both men have also just released debut albums (on Hall's new Corridor label) under their own names, small-group affairs that attempt to convey their individual strengths. In Lark's case, that's a smooth, accomplished approach to the horn and to postbop jazz that recalls the consummately professional Bobby Shew; Hall draws clear, simple, not overly emotional lines in a bright, plangent tone. Both albums have surefire lineups: Yellowjackets saxman Bob Mintzer joins local stalwarts Larry Novak (piano) and Paul McKee (trombone) on Lark's First Steps; Hall's Strength in Numbers features Karl Montzka (on keyboards) and Dana Hall on drums. And while neither album will knock your socks off, Hall in particular has grown by leaps in the 19 months since his disc was recorded. The presence of these two solid hornmen, who make their living in Chicago even though you've probably never heard their names, testifies to the depth of the jazz scene here in the 90s. Hall and Lark perform at Corridor's official launch party, along with saxman Eddie Harrison, whose new-swing Jump!Stars ape recordings by Louis Jordan and Helen Humes on the third album in the label's catalog. Monday, 8 PM, Jazz Showcase, 59 W. Grand; 312-670-2473. NEIL TESSER

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): uncredited photos.

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