At the Bop Shop the new year brings back an old custom, the double bill. Throughout the 40s and 50s, club owners commonly hired two bands to share the stage and play alternate sets to provide an evening of nonstop music; the Bop Shop's two stages, one at each end of the music room, make the whole process even more efficient. This twin bill of veteran jazzwomen opens with bassist Marlene Rosenberg, leading a trio that includes guitarist Dave Onderdonk and drummer Mike Raynor. Rosenberg's steady progress has been a joy to behold; she has evolved from a competent accompanist to an inspiring one, and in the last couple of years especially her solos have achieved a forceful and directed maturity. While Rosenberg's trio is fairly new, pianist Kelly Brand has maintained a regular quartet since the late 80s, featuring bassist Kelly Sill, saxist Ron Dewar, and drummer Phil Gratteau--excellent contributors all. When a band stays together this long, however, it starts to attain its own identity apart from the individuals who compose it; in this case, with a repertoire that sparkles with little-heard jazz classics, the group primarily reflects Brand's own cool clarity and unprepossessing craftsmanship. For this show she'll expand to a quintet with the addition of simpatico trumpeter Art Davis, performing at 11 and 1; Rosenberg's trio hits at 10 and midnight. Friday, Bop Shop, 1807 W. Division; 235-3232.
Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Robert Drea.