Brad Goode & Louis Smith | Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Music » Critic's Choice

Brad Goode & Louis Smith


Sign up for our newsletters Subscribe



In the mid-80s, when baby-faced trumpeter Brad Goode graduated from college and arrived in Chicago, his easy command of the instrument and facility with mainstream styles made him a golden boy. By the time he left town nearly 15 years later, his music had become a little quirky, sometimes unpredictable, and even a bit baffling--side effects of a systematic method he'd developed to avoid the kind of riffy routine that can stunt an improviser's growth. Jagged bop lines suddenly give way to legato phrasing more suited to a 1930s society band; an especially motile passage accumulates notes from outside the scale until it morphs into something Schoenberg could've written; an antic rhythm suited to one of Raymond Scott's compositions pops up in the middle of a ballad. Though Goode employs some of the same historical models that the neoclassicists do, his open-minded approach (he's described it as seeking "adventure in creativity") stands in direct opposition to their ossified style--he's the anti-Wynton. Even before Goode left Chicago, his quest to play with like-minded artists had led him to become a modern "territory player"; now a professor at the University of Cincinnati, he works in regular bands based all over the midwest. He's been underrepresented on disc, but that situation is about to change: Goode's new label, Steeplechase, recently released his Toy Trumpet, a studio date featuring Ira Sullivan, and plans to put out a series of discs starring Goode and saxist Von Freeman, all recorded in the 90s at the Green Mill. Goode's partner here, sweet-toned trumpeter Louis Smith, emerged in a dramatically different climate for jazz--born decades earlier, he joined Horace Silver's popular band of the late 50s--but he and Goode still have a few things in common besides their horn of choice. They've both lived in Chicago and worked extensively with pianist Jodie Christian, and with the December release of Smith's lively The Bopsmith, recorded last April, they both have new discs on Steeplechase--a fact they'll celebrate by coleading a quintet this weekend, with Christian on piano. Friday, March 16, 9 PM, and Saturday, March 17, 8 PM, Green Mill, 4802 N. Broadway; 773-878-5552.


Support Independent Chicago Journalism: Join the Reader Revolution

We speak Chicago to Chicagoans, but we couldn’t do it without your help. Every dollar you give helps us continue to explore and report on the diverse happenings of our city. Our reporters scour Chicago in search of what’s new, what’s now, and what’s next. Stay connected to our city’s pulse by joining the Reader Revolution.

Are you in?

  Reader Revolutionary $35/month →  
  Rabble Rouser $25/month →  
  Reader Radical $15/month →  
  Reader Rebel  $5/month  → 

Not ready to commit? Send us what you can!

 One-time donation  → 

Add a comment