Pharez Whitted, Bobby Broom, Ron Perrillo, Eddie Bayard, Dennis Carroll, and Greg Artry | Room 43 | Jazz | Chicago Reader

Pharez Whitted, Bobby Broom, Ron Perrillo, Eddie Bayard, Dennis Carroll, and Greg Artry Soundboard Recommended Critics' Picks

When: Sun., May 30, 7:30 p.m. 2010

Trumpeter Pharez Whitted, an Indianapolis native, moved to Chicago in 2001 to take a job as director of jazz studies at Chicago State University, and he's been active on the local scene ever since—most notably as a member of the Chicago Jazz Ensemble and in various pickup groups with the likes of Ari Brown and Kobie Watkins. He hasn't spent much time leading his own bands, though, and previous to the release of the new Transient Journey (Owl Studios) he hadn't released a record under his own name for 14 years. Back then he was signed to Motown's smooth-jazz subsidiary, MoJazz, and the last record he put out, Mysterious Cargo, was glib and toothless background music. Since then he's righted the ship, working within the tradition of soulful postbop that his family has surrounded him with—both his parents were professional musicians and trombonist Slide Hampton is his uncle. On Transient Journey he plays with a muscular sextet that includes guitarist Bobby Broom, saxophonist Eddie Bayard, pianist Ron Perrillo, bassist Dennis Carroll, and drummer Greg Artry, presiding over a crackling session of coolly swinging hard bop. He knows how to depart from time-tested models without foundering, whether with the contemporary electric gloss of "The Truth Seeker" or the sleek funk of "Until Tomorrow Comes," but to my ears his band sounds best when he sticks just a little closer to jazz tradition—showing off his high-powered post-Freddie Hubbard chops on a bluesy Art Blakey-style stormer like "Brother Thomas," for instance, or revealing a fragile vulnerability on a beautiful ballad like "Plicky." —Peter Margasak

Price: $10 suggested donation, $5 for students and children

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