David Whiteis

David’s Contributions

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09/18/11    Concerts

The 2011 Chicago Jazz Festival: Ambitious Programming

Randy Weston, Lovano/Coltrane/Liebman Summit, Cassandra Wilson among the highlights

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09/06/11    Albums

Circle of Three
David Friesen

The “Three” are bassist-composer Friesen, tenor saxophonist John Gross and pianist Greg Goebel. The “Circle” represents their intricately wound musical interplay, of course, but it’s obvious that there’s also a higher significance—this is music of spiritual...

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08/15/11    Albums

Beautiful as the Moon
Bobby Matos Afro Latin Jazz Ensemble

Percussionist Bobby Matos is the leader, but this is a full ensemble outing featuring equivalent contributions from Pablo Calogero (tenor sax and flute), Danny Weinstein (trombone and violin) and Theo Saunders (piano), along with Matos (timbales) and conguero...

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08/04/11    Albums

Colors From a Giant’s Kit
Sir Roland Hanna

These selections were recorded during the 1990s and as late as 2002 by IPO’s Bill Sorin, before his label came into being. They showcase pianist Sir Roland Hanna, the label’s first artist, at the height of his powers. Hanna’s playing resonates with an authoritative...

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07/23/11    Albums

Via
Storms/Nocturnes

Storms/Nocturnes—reedman Tim Garland, pianist Geoffrey Keezer and vibraphonist Joe Locke—originally evolved out of the septet Garland led on his Made By Walking project in 2000. This percussion-less trio format illuminates the interweaving voices’ subtleties...

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December 2010    Albums

Tight Like This
Brad Goode

Trumpeter Brad Goode has restrained his more radical impulses this time out, but his delightful refusal to honor the hallowed barrier between traditionalism and modernism still results in a bracing creative tension. Sometimes Goode ambushes by stealth. He...

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09/21/10    Concerts

Chicago Jazz Festival

Review of Nicole Mitchell, David Weiss, Henry Threadgill and other artists at annual free jazz festival in Chicago on Labor Day weekend in 2010

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January/February 2010    Albums

21st Century Chase
Fred Anderson

The prototype here is “The Chase,” the 1947 Dexter Gordon/Wardell Gray workout that virtually defined “tenor battle” for succeeding generations. But this set, recorded at Chicago’s Velvet Lounge during Fred Anderson’s 80th birthday celebration, recasts that...

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December 2009    Albums

Seize the Time
Ted Sirota's Rebel Souls

Ted Sirota’s agenda here is overtly political. “No powerful movement for change,” his liner notes tell us, “can succeed without an equally powerful cultural movement to inspire, lead and uplift the people.” To that end, this set includes compositions by...

November 2009    Features

Dee Alexander: Free As A Bird

Chicago-based vocalist Dee Alexander takes flight on Wild Is the Wind

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10/01/09    Concerts

Chicago Jazz Festival

Windy City talent makes up for diminished star power at this 31st edition

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October 2009    Albums

Historicity
Vijay Iyer Trio

New CD from Vijay Iyer Trio takes on Stevie Wonder, Leonard Bernstein, M.I.A., Julius Hemphill & Andrew Hill. And Vijay Iyer.

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October 2008    Albums

Ooh Live!
Kahil El’zabar’s Ritual Trio Featuring Pharoah Sanders

It’s a tribute to the inspiration that fueled this performance that “Autumn Leaves,” normally the most labored outing in a Ritual Trio performance, here achieves an indelible mix of pathos, sophisticated swing and upward-arcing majesty. Nonetheless, like...

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October 2008    Albums

Live at the Sunset
Trio 3: Oliver Lake, Reggie Workman, Andrew Cyrille

There’s an acerbic edge to both Oliver Lake’s alto sax tone and the melodic themes of many of these compositions that might, in others’ hands, seem ill humored. But percussionist Andrew Cyrille’s relentless yet unobtrusive propulsiveness and bassist Reggie...

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June 2008    Albums

Thank You Uncle Edward
Duke Ellington Legacy

Technically, it’s “Grandpa Edward”: Guitarist Edward Kennedy Ellington II, who conceived the tribute band known as the Duke Ellington Legacy in 2004, is the Maestro’s grandson. Ellington II appointed tenor saxophonist Virginia Mayhew to serve as bandleader...

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June 2008    Albums

A Simple Thank You
Virginia Mayhew Septet

“Happy” isn’t a word used often to describe music these days, but there’s no getting around it: this set sounds like nothing so much as a face-splitting, ear-to-ear grin from the first note to the last. Which isn’t to say that it’s simplistic or shallow—this...

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About David Whiteis

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David Whiteis, an internationally published critic and journalist with over 25 years of experience writing about blues, jazz, and other essential issues, currently writes on a regular basis for JazzTimes, the Chicago Reader, Living Blues Magazine, Juke Blues Magazine (Great Britain), and other publications. He is the recipient of the Blues Foundation’s 2001 Keeping the Blues Alive Award for Achievement in Journalism. His recent book Chicago Blues: Portraits and Stories, was published by University of Illinois Press in 2006. He is currently working on a book about contemporary Southern Soul-Blues.