Some of the tracks on Dave Gordon's new album, Faux Real (Southport), are recent, others date back to the early 90s, but musically they're all true to the ideas that informed the Chicago pianist and composer's first recordings in the early 80s--though opinions may differ as to whether this shows admirable consistency or arrested development. The acoustic opener, "X20," recorded in 2001, draws equally on Weather Report's "Birdland" and Herb Alpert's 007 theme "Never Say Never Again." With its programmed keyboards and bass guitar, the 1990 "Fingers and Toes" is a more bombastic expression of Gordon's rock-influenced taste for clean, simple melodies. Gordon's day gig (as a technician for WLS-TV) has kept his recordings few and far between, and I regret that he hasn't been able to push his compositional concepts further. As a Berklee music student in the late 70s, Gordon absorbed the electric sound then dominant in jazz; he also ventured into the acoustic fusion championed by innovators like Oregon and Keith Jarrett, and down the middle path blazed by Gary Burton and Eddie Harris. All of these currents still influence his compositions, including his piano work. Gordon will lead the quintet responsible for the album's newest tracks, a brawling two-tenor band starring Dave Zielinski and Brian Gephart (a Gordon collaborator since the early 80s), with bassist Anthony Brock and veteran drummer Robert Shy. Saturday, July 19, 9:30 PM, Andy's, 11 E. Hubbard; 312-642-6805.
Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Michael Lapin.