When: Sat., Dec. 5, 8:30 p.m. 2015
In 2007, while preparing for a course she was teaching at Northwestern on the history of Chicago jazz, saxophonist Caroline Davis was faced with a lack of documentation about the mainstream scene between 1980 and 2000. She then took it upon herself to interview some of the figures most active during that period, including many that offered her guidance when she moved here in 2004. She was so entranced with stories from the likes of drummers George Fludas and Ted Sirota, guitarists Bobby Broom and Mike Allemana, and saxophonists Eric Schneider and Pat Mallinger that she decided to integrate them into her new Doors: Chicago Storylines (Ears & Eyes). Snippets from interviews with 15 folks appear in thematic bunches: included are discussions about the mentorships of saxophonists Lin Halliday and Von Freeman, shuttered jazz clubs, and the no-bullshit aesthetic of the city’s music scene. The album is mixed so that Davis’s originals emerge from the voices in filmic fashion. Some material is much different than what we’ve heard previously from Davis: on “Lin,” for example, she plays a meditative duet with guest pianist Ron Perrillo and adds some wordless singing. But elsewhere she delivers a familiar strain of driving postbop with precision and soulfulness, and though she moved to New York in 2013, she’s skillfully supported by the regular members of her Chicago quartet. For this gig she’s joined by Allemana, bassist John Tate, drummer Jeremy Cunningham, and the great Milwaukee trumpeter Russ Johnson, who also plays on much of the new record.