David Whiteis

David’s Contributions


05/17/13    Albums

Birds Requiem
Dhafer Youssef

A feeling of reverence tempered by resignation suffuses this work, which oud master Dhafer Youssef envisions as the score for an imaginary film about a spiritual quest. In this journey, enlightenment is apprehended only by embracing the inevitability of...


04/07/13    Albums

Afro Straight
Ernest Dawkins

Saxophonist Ernest Dawkins is best known as the leader of Chicago’s New Horizons Ensemble. Admirers of that group will recognize on Afro Straight Dawkins’ gift for imbuing even his most outward-bound flights with a gritty swagger that invokes his city’s...


04/06/13    Albums

Coral Sea
Kenny Drew Jr./Jon Burr/ Marty Morell

The spirit of Bill Evans is a strong presence throughout this set. Coral Sea includes a composition by Evans himself (“Very Early”), one by bassist Scott LaFaro that Evans adapted into his repertoire early on (“Gloria’s Step”), and at least one more (the...


09/07/12    Concerts

Review: Chicago Jazz Festival 2012

Dianne Reeves, Roy Haynes, Ken Vandermark are among the highlights


06/20/12    Albums

The Dave Shank Quintet

If further proof were needed that purism among jazz musicians is a thing of the past, this lineup should seal the argument. Vibraphonist Dave Shank and his colleagues—saxophonist Mike Migliore, pianist Barry Miles, bassist John Patitucci and drummer Terry...


01/04/12    Albums

Triumph of the Heavy, Volume 1 & 2
Marcus Strickland

Here’s a gutsy move: In an age of diminishing CD sales, and at a time when mainstream U.S. culture seems more fixated than ever on the lightweight, Marcus Strickland has released a two-CD set with the daunting title Triumph of the Heavy . The good new is...


11/10/11    Albums

Wet Paint
Andrew Sterman

The spiritual serenity we’ve come to expect from Andrew Sterman is pervasive here. However, also as we’d expect, the music is mostly devoid of self-indulgence or ethereal formlessness. Questing, rather than wafting, is the dominant motif. “Open Circle” sets...


10/24/11    Albums

It's About Damn Time
Wendell Harrison

Listen to the funked-up take on Clifford Brown’s “Dahoud,” or the hip-hop- and soul-flavored “Love Juice,” and one thing becomes clear: This set showcases reedist Wendell Harrison’s non-elitist aesthetics. He’s been criticized for this eclecticism, and occasionally...


10/18/11    Albums

The Story of Cathy & Me
Curtis Fuller

Curtis Fuller’s wife of 30 years, Catherine Rose Driscoll Fuller, died of lung cancer in 2010. In memory of their time together, trombonist Fuller assembled this set of musical sketches and spoken remembrances, enlisting the assistance of vocalist Tia Michelle...


09/18/11    Concerts

The 2011 Chicago Jazz Festival: Ambitious Programming

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


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...


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...


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...


07/23/11    Albums


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...


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...


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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About David Whiteis