Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for 1,000 backers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

10

Chicago: Westbury, NY, May 26, 2013

Mike Perciaccante By

Sign in to view read count
Chicago
NYCB Theatre at Westbury
Westbury, NY
May 26, 2013

During the initial phase of its career, Chicago was considered the preeminent Jazz-rock fusion outfit, its musical mix considered quite revolutionary for its time. By the late 1970s, its music had become iconic. Tragedy struck, however, with the death of guitarist Terry Kath in 1978. Though it took a little while for the band to again find its way, in the 1980s Chicago cemented its place among platinum recording outfits by slightly altering its sound and focusing more on ballads. Over the years, the band has continued to release new material and tour while maintaining a core of original members along with longtime alumni and the occasional new face. Chicago remains one of the most diverse and successful bands of the rock era.

Starting promptly at 8PM, the nine-piece band whose career has spanned decades (formed in Chicago, IL in 1967, releasing its first debut, Chicago Transit Authority (Columbia) in 1968) thrilled its fans in this intimate Long Island venue with a career-spanning two-set performance. Shortly after the opening numbers, co-founding trumpeter/singer/songwriter Lee Loughnane announced that the crowd should feel free to take as many pictures as it liked, much to the delight of the sold-out audience.

The small venue, a standard annual tour stop for Chicago, is a theater in the round featuring a slowly rotating stage that makes every seat an excellent vantage point. The band featured Loughnane and three other original members—keyboardist/guitarist/vocalist Robert Lamm, saxophonist/flautist Walter Parazaider and trombonist/songwriter/singer Jimmy Pankow—as well as bassist/singer Jason Scheff, drummer Tris Imboden, guitarist Keith Howland, keyboardist/vocalist Lou Pardini and percussionist Walfredo Reyes Jr., and treated the crowd to an evening of exactly what they came for—a show loaded with classic hits beginning with "Questions 67 & 68," "Dialogue (Parts 1 and 2)" "Alive Again," and "(I've Been) Searchin' So Long."

Scheff then came center stage and commandeered the keyboard for an acoustic version of "Will You Still Love Me?" This was the first of three acoustic love songs, followed by Robert Lamm's "Another Rainy Day In New York City" and "Look Away," which featured Paradini. The show's first half then wrapped up with "Ballet for A Girl in Buchannon."

After a short intermission, the band wowed the crowd with a killer version of "Old Days." The second set was dominated by signature classics such as "Street Player," "Beginnings," "Just You 'N' Me" and "Saturday In The Park." Additionally the second set was highlighted by a ferocious call-and-response drum solo from Imboden and Reyes during "I'm A Man."

The band, led by ringleader Pankow, spent the entire evening smiling while playing, pointing to old friends in the crowd and generally mugging for the many cameras that took pictures through the performance. Each member possessed and demonstrated an energy that fed off of their band mates; it was so contagious that the liveliness and vigor among the audience members appeared to grow with each song and every passing moment. The evening ended on a high note with "Feelin' Stronger Every Day," from Chicago VI (Columbia, 1973). The encores—"Free," from 1971's Chicago III (Columbia) and the Lamm-penned "25 or 6 to 4," from Chicago II (Columbia, 1970), worked the mostly older crowd into even more of a frenzy.

Even now, almost fifty years removed from its first release, Chicago's music continues to excite and (thankfully) thrill audiences. Without showing any signs of slowing down, Chicago remains a vital and strong musical force.

Photo Credit

Christine Connallon

Additional article contributions by Christine Connallon.

Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read We Jazz: Moveable Feast Fest Theory Live Reviews We Jazz: Moveable Feast Fest Theory
by Josef Woodard
Published: December 16, 2017
Read We Jazz Festival 2017 Live Reviews We Jazz Festival 2017
by Anthony Shaw
Published: December 16, 2017
Read Anat Cohen Tentet at SFJAZZ Live Reviews Anat Cohen Tentet at SFJAZZ
by Harry S. Pariser
Published: December 16, 2017
Read Mary Ellen Desmond: Comfort and Joy 2017 Live Reviews Mary Ellen Desmond: Comfort and Joy 2017
by Victor L. Schermer
Published: December 15, 2017
Read Jazztopad Festival 2017 Live Reviews Jazztopad Festival 2017
by Henning Bolte
Published: December 13, 2017
Read Vivian Reed at Feinstein's/54 Below Live Reviews Vivian Reed at Feinstein's/54 Below
by Tyran Grillo
Published: December 12, 2017
Read "Pharoah Sanders at SFJAZZ" Live Reviews Pharoah Sanders at SFJAZZ
by Harry S. Pariser
Published: October 5, 2017
Read "Willie Nelson's Outlaw Festival" Live Reviews Willie Nelson's Outlaw Festival
by Christine Connallon
Published: September 30, 2017
Read "Crispell-Fonda-Sorgen Trio Live at The Falcon" Live Reviews Crispell-Fonda-Sorgen Trio Live at The Falcon
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: November 29, 2017
Read "Siena Jazz International Summer Workshop" Live Reviews Siena Jazz International Summer Workshop
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: August 8, 2017
Read "Mary Ellen Desmond: Comfort and Joy 2017" Live Reviews Mary Ellen Desmond: Comfort and Joy 2017
by Victor L. Schermer
Published: December 15, 2017
Read "Hermeto Pascoal at SFJAZZ" Live Reviews Hermeto Pascoal at SFJAZZ
by Harry S. Pariser
Published: April 21, 2017

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!