Jasmine | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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"Women's music" artists are generally unfairly stereotyped as politically preachy feminist folkies; the jazz-rock trio Jasmine is anything but. Recently reformed as a trio after years of plugging away as a duo, Jasmine makes music that rocks the body and brightens the heart without insulting the intelligence--eclectic, sophisticated, dynamically diverse, and infectiously swinging, with a tough, assertive edge under its harmonic lushness. On record--its new LP, Wild Strings (Icebergg), is produced by rock veteran Terry Garthwaite--Jasmine stands out for its superb group vocals; live, singer-saxophonist Michelle Isham grabs attention with her gutsy clarion vocals and high-energy strutting. If Isham and her colleagues--pianist Carol Schmidt and guitarist/synthesizer player Lydia Ruffin--were willing to sell out and slip into a little spandex, they'd probably be big stars by now. Instead, they're just artists and damn entertaining ones. Tonight, Paris Dance, 1122 W. Montrose; 769-0602.

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