Dave Clark & The Blues Swingers | Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Dave Clark & The Blues Swingers


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Multi-instrumentalist Dave Clark is probably best known in Chicago blues as the smooth and sinewy saxist who helped resuscitate Floyd McDaniel's career in the mid-80s. But Clark originally made his name as a guitarist: a devotee of the precise, sharp-toned attack pioneered by Chicago axmen like the late Eddie Taylor, Clark joined keyboardist Bob Riedy's all-star lineup in 1976; over the years he's accompanied such Chicago blues stalwarts as Jimmy Rogers, Carey Bell, Otis Rush, and Sam Lay. In 1986 Clark and McDaniel formed the Blues Swingers, a big-band revue that melded McDaniel's suave vocals and elegant leads with Clark's sophisticated jump blues and Louis Jordan-like good-time swing. A rich vein of subtle and tasteful craftsmanship runs through Clark's work: he carefully constructs his crooning tenor-sax solos to explore all of a melody's implications, and his horn charts display great harmonic depth and timbral complexity. This may be why his present crop of Blues Swingers hasn't cashed in on the current jump 'n' jive revival: Clark is too dedicated to his artistic vision--and the Blues Swingers themselves, including bassist Chris Gorcik (a veteran of the Glenn Miller Orchestra) and alto saxist Van Kelly (who played with both Billy Eckstine and Charlie Barnet), are too seasoned and professional--to pander. Saturday, 10 PM, Smoke Daddy, 1804 W. Division; 773-772-6656. Wednesdays in September, 9 PM, Green Dolphin Street, 2200 N. Ashland; 773-395-0066. Thursday, September 10, 5:30 PM, West Tower Lobby, Hyatt Regency Chicago, 151 E. Wacker; 312-552-2000. DAVID WHITEIS

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

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