Larry Noval Trio | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Larry Noval Trio

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I don't know if it bothers Larry Novak that he's not more famous; I know it bothers me. Oh sure, there are plenty of Chicagoans--and touring performers--who remember Novak's many years as house pianist at Mr. Kelly's, and he's busy enough with various composition projects that he doesn't need to be playing the nightclub circuit these days. But if Novak were more famous, he'd have to acknowledge that attention by playing more gigs, and that would suit my selfish desires just fine. It's hard to name a mainstream pianist who plays with more intelligence or wit while riding along on that honed and tempered verve unique to jazz. Years of being the consummate accompanist made him a careful soloist, and his light, crisp touch--which belies the power he can draw from the keyboard--doesn't hurt either. Novak will provide the keynote for "Great Pianists Month" at Joe Segal's joint (in fact only a three-week event); he'll be followed by Evanston native Junior Mance and then John Campbell. Tuesday through next Sunday, July 14, Joe Segal's Jazz Showcase, Blackstone Hotel, 636 S. Michigan; 427-4300.

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