Cedar Walton Trio | Jazz Showcase | Jazz | Chicago Reader

Cedar Walton Trio Recommended Soundboard

When: Thu., Sept. 15, 8 & 10 p.m., Fri., Sept. 16, 8 & 10 p.m., Sat., Sept. 17, 8 & 10 p.m. and Sun., Sept. 18, 4, 8 & 10 p.m. 2011

Once upon a time artists like Cedar Walton represented jazz's mainstream. In the early 60s the pianist was a member of Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers, and he was and remains a forceful, nuanced improviser and soulful composer, with deep ties to the generation that put hard bop on the map. These days little has changed in Walton's music—his recent The Bouncer (HighNote), flush with buoyant new tunes, sounds warmly familiar—but because so few of his peers are still thriving, jazz like this is a much scarcer commodity and hence more precious. It's easy to luxuriate in his exceptionally well-proportioned songs: with inexorable logic, he builds long, insinuating phrases into beautiful melodies that make perfect vehicles for improvisation. The Bouncer is a quintet record, but for this visit Walton leads a trio—with longtime bassist David Williams and staple Chicago drummer George Fludas—which means more of the pianist's own resourceful soloing. —Peter Margasak

Price: $20

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