Rajiv Halim Recommended Soundboard Image

When: Sun., Dec. 6, 7:30 p.m. 2015

This young Chicago saxophonist has already made himself a fixture on local bandstands, but his recent self-released debut, Foundation: Rajiv Halim, demonstrates his skills as a leader, even if it does occasionally show off too many ideas (a common occurrence with jazz debuts). Though his sound is rooted in complex, hard-hitting postbop, Halim makes a bunch of stylistic detours: “Slim” includes bracing Afrobeat grooves, the duet with electric pianist Kevin Kozol called “Hailm’s Dream” is a slightly watery ballad, and “Pasatiempo,” which features guest trumpeter Marquis Hill, has a decided bossa nova feel. Halim’s excellent working band—Kozol, guitarist Scott Hesse, trumpeter Victor Garcia, bassist Junius Paul, and drummer Michael Piolet—provides versatile support throughout, demonstrating ease in traveling wherever the leader might map out a path. The group interplay is at its most heated and confident during the brisk updated bebop stuff, including a hyperactive reharmonization of Charlie Parker’s “Donna Lee” and a slashing original, “Baby Bop.” Halim will lead his regular sextet tonight, though Xavier Breaker will sub for Piolet.

Peter Margasak

Price: $10, $5 students

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