LUCKY 7S | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Historically the one time of year every musician in New Orleans can find work has been Mardi Gras. The fact that Crescent City trombone and tuba player Jeff Albert was in Chicago for Mardi Gras 2006, debuting this seven-piece band at the Empty Bottle, speaks volumes about the havoc wreaked by Hurricane Katrina. Albert and local trombonist Jeb Bishop conceived of the Lucky 7s as a Chicago-New Orleans partnership, but the other New Orleans musicians in the group, bassist Matthew Golombisky and drummer Quin Kirchner, moved here before the first rehearsals--only Albert is sticking it out in his hometown. (Three Chicagoans--cornetist Josh Berman, vibist Jason Adasiewicz, and reedist Keefe Jackson--round out the lineup.) Bishop and Albert wrote most of the tunes on Farragut (Lakeside Digital), recorded the same week as the Bottle show, and despite the Katrina references in titles like "504 No More . . . ?" and "Swirling," it's a lively affair, running the gamut from bold, pulsing postbop to jittery, meterless musings. Over the next week the band will record new tunes by at least four members. See also Saturday and Sunday. a 9 PM, Velvet Lounge, 67 E. Cermak, 312-791-9050, $10. --Bill Meyer

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