Tuesday, March 4, 2008

The Best Jazz CD's NOW!!!

Here is a partial listing of my favorite discs of recent weeks. I'll update each list in the next couple of days and they fall in no particular order...
1. Adam Shulman-On Second Thought-Kaboucha/ Infectious tunes with the soulful, tender tenor of Dayna Stephens. A great recording!
2. Ben Jansson-Sweetie Pie-PKO/ Newcomer out of Ann Arbor, Mich. is a bonified heavyweight player and writer. He will make an impact on the jazz world.
3. Nick Vayenas-Synesthesia-World Culture Music/ A recording with plenty of surprises. From Miles, to Zawinul to straight ahead.
4. Salim Washington & The Harlem Art Ensmble-Harlem Homecoming- Ujam Records/ Raucous little big band that is quirky and packs a kick.
5. Billy Bang-Above and Beyond-Justine Time/Recorded 'live' in Canada might be the final recording of tenorist Frank Lowe.
6. Ari Brown-Live at the Green Mill-Delmark/ Chicago tenorman makes a giant step with this recording.
More tommorrow....

Nightmare on Hubbard Street

It's been a while since I'd been down to Andy's jazz pub. It's always been a nice, congenial jazz room with not a bad seat in the house. In fact, I used to live just two blocks west at 109 west Hubbard from 1979 to 1981 at which time I operated a jazz loft, Aziza Artist Space. I was a regular at Andy's then.
I have not been to Andy's in some years when I went down to check out reedist Juli Wood and legendary organist Mel Rhyne back in 2002. So I was excited when new tenor sax star Ben Jansson invited me down two weeks ago. It was his Chicago debut and he was a guest on my radio program a week prior.
Much to my chagrin I was rudely turned away upon arriving at Andy's front door. The person at the door, acting much the storm trooper dominatrix told me there were no guests on the list! I politely insisted even with my Chicago police media issued ID clearly visible. No soap.
Perhaps Andy's does have a 'no guest policy' I certainly wasn't going to argue with the lady.
Let me take that back she wasn't no 'lady'.
In fact she completely ignored me once two other patrons entered the lobby. So I just slinked away from her 'top of the mountain' presence, banished never to return again.
And now that I think about it...I can't see me going back to Andy's again. And this upcoming week I'll let my listeners know. Watch out for the guardians at the jazz door of Andy's.