Chicago Jazz Festival 2009
's, and what's wrong with that?
On a night devoted largely to avant-gardesorry, but I've tried and failed to get satisfaction from sounds that lack melody and harmonyMadeline Peyroux was a pleasant change of pace. More folk singer than jazz diva, she sang originals about finding and mostly losing love, backed by a first-rate rocking quartet. Her voice often echoes Billie Holiday
's and backed by a fine big band. She seems poised to make a splash on the national and international jazz scenes.
Chicagoan Dee Alexander wowed the crowd on the final night, singing originals all about her beloved hometownin a voice that compares to Sarah Vaughan
Chicago has a limited yet robust club scene, and I got to Joe Segal's long-running Jazz Showcase and to Andy's for two successive nights of post-fest jam sessions.
was in charge of mixing and matching more than a dozen eager players at the Showcase, and ended up with a trio of top-tier tenor playersChris Potter, Eric Schneider and Scott Burnsbattling it out. Then Sullivan showed his tender side, picking up his flute for his traditional benediction, "Amazing Grace," in remembrance of the several jazz stars who have passed on this year. Johnny O'Neal sat in on gospel-rooted piano.
Crusty multi-instrumentalist and Chicagoan Ira Sullivan