Michael Weiss | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Sign up for our newsletters Subscribe


As the pianist in Johnny Griffin's quartet, Michael Weiss has never failed to impress, exhibiting a powerful technique, a sure familiarity with music written before he was born, and an ability to interpolate musical quotations that almost matches that of his boss. But last year, Weiss stayed in town to lead a trio on his own; the results were revealing--and spectacular. The different setting and repertoire produced a more expansive player, a more graceful melodist: a more developed musical persona. (On his own, Weiss proves an imaginative orchestrator, one who manages to make the musical texture itself into an element of swing--as if texture had its own rhythmic weight.) When he approaches the pop standards and classic jazz tunes that are his canvas, he combines the wonder of spontaneity with a workmanlike acknowledgment of his materials: art and craft in delightful balance. The piano trio, by virtue of its economy and precision, has long held a special place in jazz; Weiss knows this, and you can hear it in every phrase. Tonight and Saturday, Pops for Champagne, 2934 N. Sheffield; 472-1000.

Support Independent Chicago Journalism: Join the Reader Revolution

We speak Chicago to Chicagoans, but we couldn’t do it without your help. Every dollar you give helps us continue to explore and report on the diverse happenings of our city. Our reporters scour Chicago in search of what’s new, what’s now, and what’s next. Stay connected to our city’s pulse by joining the Reader Revolution.

Are you in?

  Reader Revolutionary $35/month →  
  Rabble Rouser $25/month →  
  Reader Radical $15/month →  
  Reader Rebel  $5/month  → 

Not ready to commit? Send us what you can!

 One-time donation  → 

Add a comment