Jazz pianist Jodie Christian whistles on his new CD on Delmark; he also sang in a commercial and he recently expressed a desire to resume dancing, an interest he pursued as a preschooler. Let's hope he doesn't stop playing piano, for he's long deserved Chicago's most valuable pianist trophy for his decades of work with swing, bop, hard bop, cool jazz, free jazz, and big and small bands. Usually he appears as a sideman; tonight, for a change, he'll front the hard-bopping Green Mill All-Stars (Ed Petersen on tenor sex; Brian Sandstrom on bass; and Robert Shy on drums). At some point in the show I hope he'll offer some unaccompanied solo piano, as he does throughout most of his delightful album Experience; Christian's bop melodies, with bubbling vitality and attendant subtle harmonies and without distracting flourishes or the idiom's typical nervous qualities, are lyric music with a crystal touch, and they deserve to be heard in a pristine state as well as with a band. Tonight, 9 PM, Green Mill, 4802 N. Broadway; 878-5552.
Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Bruce Powell.