Long respected for his work in the group Oregon--where his unexpected oboe, and later his bass clarinet, quickly became that quartet's most identifiable sound--Paul McCandless has finally put together a working band for his own music. That his own music sometimes echoes Oregon's will come as no surprise. But McCandless also draws upon the Pat Metheny Group and the late lamented Weather Report for inspiration, two other outfits that deserve credit for their fusion of American jazz with world rhythm. The former link jumps up in McCandless's choice of pianist Lyle Mays--coarchitect of the Pat Metheny Group--as his frontline partner; Premonition, the band's new album on Windham Hill Jazz, includes some rousing solos from both of them. The music, less forceful than its various sources, stiff reveals the odd burst of reined power, the hidden comer of serene longing. In assembling his band McCandless has turned to three Chicagoans: the gifted bassist Steve Rodby (also of Metheny's band); keyboardist and composer Fred Simon, who provides synthesized orchestration; and the multifaceted drummer Mark Walker, whose jazz credentials mesh with his total control of rock-rhythm sensibilities. Wednesday, 7 PM, China Club, 616 W. Fulton (part of the Jazz Club Tour); 466-0400 or 466-0812.
Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Isabelle Massu.