Thinking Outside the Park
When the jazz ends in Grant Park, it's usually just starting somewhere else in the city. This year's afterfest offerings aren't as rich as they often have been in the past, but there are plenty of worthwhile options each night, from loose jam sessions to full-blown concerts. There are of course more jazz shows in town this weekend than I'm listing here; I've restricted myself to events that have some connection to the festival. See the music listings for more.
The Jazz Showcase (809 S. Plymouth, 312-360-0234, music at 9 PM Thursday through Sunday, $20) has once again brought in hard-bop veteran and multi-instrumentalist Ira Sullivan to lead its traditional afterfest jam sessions, which usually include some of best straight-ahead players from the weekend's lineup. At press time, club owner Joe Segal wasn't making any guesses on the record.
The Velvet Lounge (67 E. Cermak, 312-791-9050, music at 9:30 PM Thursday, 10 PM Friday through Sunday, $20 Thursday and Friday, $25 Saturday and Sunday) promises to have some of the best bands of the festival weekend. Legendary bassist Henry Grimes is in from New York on Thursday night to lead a trio with fellow bassist Harrison Bankhead and drummer Avreeayl Ra, and Edward Wilkerson Jr.'s 8 Bold Souls hold forth on Friday. The club's long-running fest-weekend tradition continues this year too: on Saturday and Sunday, New Orleans saxophonist Edward "Kidd" Jordan will be sparring with club owner Fred Anderson, while Grimes, Bankhead, and drummer Hamid Drake provide the grooves.
Heaven Gallery (1550 N. Milwaukee, second floor, heavengallery.com, music at 10 PM Thursday through Saturday, donation requested) hosts the annual Hereafter Fest, organized by reedist David Boykin. Parallel Process (Ben Boye, Joel Wanek, and Jayve Montgomery) and the David Boykin Expanse play on Thursday, and Friday's sets are by the Alex Wing Group and a trio called Truth or Dare (Nicole Mitchell, Renee Baker, and Sherazette Tinnin). Saturday night features a trio with Boykin, bassist Karl E.H. Seigfried, and drummer Mike Reed as well as sets from Boykin's Micro/Macrocosmic Sound Orchestra.
House of Trend (688 N. Milwaukee, music at 10 PM Friday through Sunday, $10 suggested donation) presents the Underground Fest, with trumpeter Corey Wilkes and his great band Abstrakt Pulse on Friday, Kahil El'Zabar's Ritual Trio on Saturday (with special guest saxophonist Hamiet Bluiett), and a double bill with the Ernest Dawkins Ensemble and the Experimental Band (conducted by El'Zabar) on Sunday.
Katerina's (1920 W. Irving Park, 773-348-7592, music at 6:30 PM, $5) hosts veteran pianist Willie Pickens in a combo with bassist Kurt Schweitz, pianist Bradley Parker-Sparrow, and vocalist Joanie Pallatto; admission includes a free Southport Records CD.
Last, the HUNGRY BRAIN (2319 W. Belmont, 773-935-2118, music at 10 PM, donation requested) presents Jeff Albert and Jeb Bishop's Chicago-New Orleans collective, the Lucky 7s (see the List), on Sunday. —PM