Emily Remler | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Emily Remler

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This is pianist David Benoit's gig: it's his name in the big letters on the marquee. But Benoit's string of pseudojazz hits holds little interest for serious listeners, who may also have been underwhelmed by his recent album of more straight-ahead material. For me the drawing card is guitarist Emily Remler, who graced that last album and is now part of Benoit's band. Remler brings to the instrument the crisp immediacy found in the work of her models (Wes Montgomery is one; Kenny Burrell and the young George Benson also come to mind). She uses a fully rounded, almost extravagant tone, and she pushes it all over the map in the search for new melodies--which are most often uncluttered, propulsive, and remarkably well distilled: she doesn't waste notes, and she swings pretty hard, all of which makes her one of the brightest guitarists in the modern mainstream. Her bandmates include former Chicagoan drummer David Derge, and Chick Corea's saxophonist Eric Marienthal, who, based on his recordings, may soon attain welterweight. Tonight through Sunday, George's, 230 W. Kinzie; 644-2290.

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