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Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Building up a Sunday: Jazz, Ennui, Portraits and Silhouettes

Last week I wrote about an excellent jazz show, featuring Jimmy Bennington and Julian Priester, that I witnessed at the Velvet Lounge on the southside of Chicago (see Night time is the rite time for Jazz). Today I got some good news: Jimmy has invited Julian to sit in on his regular Colour and Sound gig at the Ennui Café right here in the neighborhood.

Maybe it's the collaborative nature of the genre, but my experience has been that jazz musicians are some of the most generous folks on the planet, and Mr. Priester is certainly displaying a grand level of graciousness in allowing us locals an opportunity to witness his trombone play. It's not often that you'll get the chance to see a musician of such renown play in such an intimate setting. Here's an excerpt from an article on Mr. Priester from All About Jazz:

... Julian Priester was born and raised in Chicago. His musical education was steeped in his study of bebop, but was seasoned by his exposure to the blues and the music of Sun Ra. Spontaneous improvisation was the focal point of Sun Ra's music, and it planted a seed of creative exploration that has stayed with Priester throughout his career. It took some years for Priester to truly understand what he had learned from his Sun Ra experience, but it was valuable indeed in the musical situations in which Priester would soon find himself. ...

Read the full article
Of course we in Rogers Park have gotten spoiled by the weekly sessions of free jazz (in price and style) that Jimmy has been arranging at the café every Sunday between 7 and 9pm. Jimmy's career has already covered a lot of territory and his expertise on the kit demonstrates that experience. All About Jazz did a nice interview with Jimmy a couple years back (see Meet Drummer Jimmy Bennington), and here's a snippet from the intro to that article:

... Having spent two years between 2000-2002 working as a drum tech for Elvin Jones touring the United States and Europe, Bennington is a drummer with a distinctive playing style and he has had the opportunities to work with a diverse array of artists from the jazz and improvised music communities including Gordon Lee, Art Resnik, and Michael Vlatkovich. ...
If you're going to be in Rogers Park on Sunday, make sure you get over to the Ennui Café (located at 6981 N. Sheridan Rd.) at 7pm to be a part of this event. If you're not, find a way to get here. As an added bonus, you'll be able to purchase their new CD — Portraits and Silhouettes.
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