Edward Wilkerson Jr., Ari Brown, Harrison Bankhead, Ken Chaney, and Ernie Adams | Millennium Park | Jazz | Chicago Reader

Edward Wilkerson Jr., Ari Brown, Harrison Bankhead, Ken Chaney, and Ernie Adams Recommended Member Picks Free All Ages Agenda Soundboard

When: Thu., July 19, 6:30 p.m. 2012

One common gambit in bebop was the tenor duel: two saxophonists would face off to see who could blow the strongest and hottest. When Blue Note made the 1957 album Blowing in From Chicago with Clifford Jordan and John Gilmore, the label might have thought it was getting such a battle, but instead it tapped into another tradition. Chicago is a tenor town, with a lineage of big-voiced, indefatigable saxophonists that stretches from Gene Ammons and Johnny Griffin to the two men onstage tonight. Jordan and Gilmore were also part of that line, and though they subsequently took very different paths—Gilmore traveled the spaceways with Sun Ra, while Jordan became a mainstream journeyman with the likes of Horace Silver (the pianist on Blowing in From Chicago), Max Roach, and Dizzy Gillespie—their work here feels more collegial than competitive, with immaculate unison statements that sound as impressive as the solos. Ari Brown and Edward Wilkerson Jr., who leads 8 Bold Souls, have worked extensively with virtuoso bassist Harrison Bankhead, and all three are fluent with the innovations of postbop jazz; their partners in the quintet playing tonight, pianist Ken Chaney and drummer Ernie Adams, have impeccable straight-ahead bona fides. This same band revived the material from Blowing in From Chicago for a concert at the Hamilton Park Cultural Center in Englewood in December, and tonight they bring it downtown for the first concert of this summer's Made in Chicago series. A group of high school musicians from the Jazz Institute of Chicago's Jazz Links Student Ensembles program opens. —Bill Meyer


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