Chicago Jazz Ensemble | Cindy Pritzker Auditorium, Harold Washington Library Center | Jazz | Chicago Reader

Chicago Jazz Ensemble Recommended Soundboard

When: Thu., Dec. 15, 7:30 p.m. 2011

The Chicago Jazz Ensemble launches a new series for small ensembles with Buhaina's Delight: Art Blakey and the Message of Jazz, an evening-length tribute to the great drummer and bandleader. Only two regular members of the CJE are involved in this sextet performance—drummer and musical director Dana Hall and trombonist Tim Coffman—but the rest of the group is also superb. Locals Geof Bradfield (saxophones) and Dan Trudell (piano) are joined by two marquee out-of-towners, Detroit bassist Rodney Whitaker and New York trumpeter Derrick Gardner—whose own band's name, the Jazz Prophets, is a clear tip of the hat to Blakey's Jazz Messengers. Considering the huge size of Blakey's discography and the seemingly endless list of brilliant players who composed for the Messengers—Lee Morgan, Wayne Shorter, Bobby Timmons, Kenny Dorham—the toughest task Hall and company will face may simply be figuring out what to play. —Peter Margasak $25

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