For followers of the local jazz scene, the faces will no doubt be familiar--even if you can't place the name. Pianist Marcin Januszkiewicz has assembled a sextet of established Chicago players and supplied them with a sprightly mainstream repertoire drawn from his own compositions. That repertoire helps distinguish this band from the many others in which these musicians regularly appear; so does the composition of the band itself. Hornmen Jerry DiMuzio (saxes) and Ryan Schultz (bass trumpet) both play with professional spirit, but Marcin brings their sounds into sharper focus by bouncing them off the sound of Jim Cooper's vibraphone. In the same vein, percussionist Alejo Poveda adds as much tonally--with the piquant slap of congas and cuica--as he does rhythmically. Bassist Nick Tountas and drummer Charlie Braugham complete the rhythm section, along with Marcin, who proves himself an unassumingly good pianist: he doesn't flash a lot of unnecessary technique, but you don't have to remind yourself to applaud at the end of his solos. That description would apply across the board here: you won't find much new or radically unexpected--just a strongly swinging, consistently gratifying band providing the right amount of heat on a winter's night. (About that name, though: so generic. Who among us wouldn't really prefer the Marcin Chronicles?) Friday, 9 PM, Green Mill, 4802 N. Broadway; 878-5552.
Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Yael Routtenberg.