Timeless All-Stars | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Timeless All-Stars

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In the name Timeless All-Stars, the "Timeless" part refers to the Dutch record label that originally brought this sextet together; the "All-Stars" themselves are vibist Bobby Hutcherson, tenor saxist Harold Land, trombonist Curtis Fuller, pianist Cedar Walton, bassist Buster Williams, and drummer Billy Higgins, and you won't get me to quibble over their best-of-the-best designation. Any of these guys would be worth hearing on his own--most of them have led their own groups--and their presentation ensures that each owns the spotlight at some point of the night. But they have been together for several years now, giving them a cohesiveness, and even a repertoire, several cuts above your usual collection of soloists: they really are a band. (This unity rests on a framework of internal musical relationships: for instance, Land and Hutcherson led a band together in the 70s, Fuller and Walton were stablemates in Art Blakey's early-60s band, and so on.) Of special interest will be Walton, who shines in the company of such high-talent peers, and Fuller, the demon technician who dropped out of the music for over a decade. And Hutcherson rarely disappoints; an incontestable giant of his instrument, he demands to be heard every time he comes to town. Tuesday through next Sunday, October 8, Joe Segal's Jazz Showcase, Blackstone Hotel, 636 S. Michigan; 427-4300.

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