Chris Heim

Chris’s Contributions

04/14/09    Concerts

Bela Fleck and the African Project

In Kansas City, exploring the banjo's African roots

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November 2008    Albums

For You
Chris Flory

“Americans have been conditioned to respect newness, whatever it costs them.” So wrote John Updike, and something of the same could be said of jazz. Fortunately, there are always a few who will circle back to retrieve what is best. That’s true for mainstreamer...

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November 2008    Albums

El Mas Alla (Beyond)
Steven Kroon

Talented and versatile percussionist Steven Kroon has been on scores of records as far back as the early ’70s, but despite his roots and training, surprisingly little of that work was in Latin jazz and only two previous titles had come out under his own...

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June 2008    Albums

Triple Play
Bill O’Connell

The old adage that good things come in small packages is proven once again in Latin-jazz pianist Bill O’Connell’s latest and seventh disc as leader. Instead of the large ensemble typically associated with Latin jazz, you have a trio (even a couple of duo...

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May 2008    Albums

Caribbean Jazz Project: Afro Bop Alliance
Caribbean Jazz Project/Afro Bop Alliance

n the immortal words (almost) of the Red Queen, the Caribbean Jazz Project means what Dave Samuels wants it to mean. What began 15 years ago as an innovative vibes, sax and steel drum lineup evolved into an equally intriguing vibes, guitar and flute combo...

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June 2007    Albums

Buenos Aires Tango Standards
Pablo Aslan

It’s been three years since his last album and 25 since he was in Argentina, but bassist Pablo Aslan clearly put the time to good use. Buenos Aires Tango Standards is a leap forward from his well-received Avantango and a work, unlike many “fusion” projects...

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April 2007    Albums

Healing Space
Tia Fuller

If jazz were not still largely a boys’ club, it wouldn’t be necessary to point out that this is an all-female ensemble. And if jazz were more lucrative, Fuller might be working more with her regular quartet instead of touring with Beyoncé. Reasons perhaps...

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April 2007    Albums

Ready Everyday
Keefe Jackson's Fast Citizens

Chicago continues to be the focal point for an expansive improvisational scene and a magnet for young players looking for like-minded fellows to explore new terrain. Here you have a lineup of musicians, all but one under 40, originally from a half-dozen...

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March 2007    Albums

En El Aire
Alain Pérez

En El Aire (On the Air), the U.S. debut of bassist Alain Pérez, opens with a dramatic and forward-looking flourish. The title track, a modern-day Weather Report-meets-Los Muñequitos de Matanzas romp, simultaneously pays homage to musical and personal roots...

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December 2006    Albums

Radio Guantánamo: Guantánamo Blues Project Vol. 1
Jane Bunnett

Over some 20 years and 50 visits, “Havana Jane” has combed Cuba for inspiration. Here, with longtime musical comrades and guests like the late Dewey Redman, Howard Johnson and Cuban folkloric ensembles Changüí de Guantánamo and Changüí de Santiago, she journeys...

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December 2006    Books

Meet Me With Your Black Drawers On: My Life In Music
Jeannie Cheatham

Singer Jeannie Cheatham’s autobiography, Meet Me With Your Black Drawers On: My Life in Music (which comes laced with photos and includes a six-song Sweet Baby Blues Band sampler), takes its title from the leftfield hit she cowrote with husband Jimmy Cheatham...

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November 2006    Albums

Good Vibrations
Ray Mantilla

On Good Vibrations, expect some standards done Latin-style. The album kicks off with two, “Flying Home” (with the crunchy baritone of Enrigue Fernández, who also doubles on flute here) and “Midnight Sun.” Paralleling that are Latin numbers with a jazz twist...

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October 2006    Albums

Intimidade
Tania Maria

Nowadays the word “intimacy” refers more often to carnal relations, but it actually comes from the Latin word for “innermost,” with its suggestion of that which is most personal and essential. In her notes for this latest release, veteran Brazilian jazz...

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October 2006    Albums

Jungle Soul
Dr. Lonnie Smith

When Gene Ammons’ Bad! Bossa Nova was released, it was rare—and something of a commercial ploy—to combine “world music” and jazz. Four decades later, it is a vibrant and integral part of the music. But if the idea is more accepted now, more is also expected...

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About Chris Heim

Chris splits her time between radio and writing. She started in free-form radio at the University of Chicago's WHPK, and then worked at both WJKL and WXRT in Chicago, before making the move to public radio. She currently hosts a nightly, eclectic world and jazz based show that harkens back to the glory days of free form on KMUW (www.kmuw.org). She's also written for a number of publications, including Utne, Option, the Chicago Tribune, where she was a regular columnist, and Encyclopedia Britannica, where she contributed a piece on world music, and now contributes to several world, blues and jazz publications.