New York trumpeter Roy Campbell is no one-trick pony--and if he were he'd almost certainly be more famous. Though he's best known for his avant-garde work, with Jemeel Moondoc, Cecil Taylor, Ellen Christi, and Sunny Murray, among others, he also happens to be a marvelous straight-ahead player. But since he's too old to be a young lion, doesn't favor Armani suits, and refuses to simply rehash postbop platitudes, the jazz establishment has found him easier to ignore than sell. Even when he's outright swinging--half of his discography consists of two pretty mainstream albums for Chicago's Delmark label--Campbell pulls off jagged melodic excursions, unusual rhythmic leaps, and complex harmonic twists. His more recent recordings have shown off his well-rounded daring to even better effect: on the 1996 Communion (Silkheart) he leads his trio Pyramid, with bassist William Parker and drummer Reggie Nicholson, through his lean but inventive tunes that showcase his generous sense of melody; and on the collective Other Dimensions in Music's brand-new Now! (Aum Fidelity), an ebbing and flowing free-blowing session with Campbell, Parker, reedist Daniel Carter, and drummer Rashid Bakr, he and his partners exhibit remarkable restraint in their highly intuitive interplay. Campbell, who rarely plays in Chicago, will be joined by bassist Fred Hopkins and percussionist Kahil El'Zabar. Friday, 9 and 11 PM, and Saturday, 9 and 11 PM and 1 AM, Rituals, 537 S. Dearborn; 312-922-3834. PETER MARGASAK
Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): uncredited photo.