Outerfest | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Jazz is the music of the young, goes the old cliche; it surely helps to have plenty of stamina and energy for the late-night, sometimes all-night Outerfest shows. But with this year's Chicago Jazz Festival severely truncated, the mostly free-jazz Outerfest assumes special importance. The music begins sometime after 10:30, when the main festival in Grant Park closes down, and along with the musicians on the program, sitters-in are welcome (Lester Bowie, Ray Anderson, Yosuke Yamashita, Chico Freeman, and Reggie Nicholson have joined the postfest jams in previous years). This year's house musicians are an uncommonly varied and intriguing crowd, beginning with explosive saxophonist Ken Vandermark on Friday night. If he doesn't blow the walls down there'll be a Saturday show with trumpeter-arranger Malachi Thompson and his Africa Brass big band; wonderful pianist Jodie Christian in a solo performance; and the A.A.C.M. Quartet, featuring iron-man tenor saxophonist Vandy Harris. On Sunday New Orleans sage Edward "Kidd" Jordan, who plays exuberant, even ecstatic alto sax, will be joined by a reunion band centered around tenorman Fred Anderson and including multi-woodwindman Douglas Ewart, bassist Malachi Favors Maghostut, and drummer Hamid Drake. The music will continue till satiation or exhaustion sets in. Friday through Sunday, 10:30 PM, Southend Musicworks, 1313 S. Wabash; 939-2848.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photos/Ted Gray, Lauren Deutsch, Kamau Kadirifu.

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