Afterfest Sessions with Bunky Green | Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Afterfest Sessions with Bunky Green 


For years, Joe Segal led the city's club owners in railing against the economic havoc wreaked by the Chicago Jazz Festival's free admission. (If you're gonna spend the night giving the music away, the reasoning went, how the hell can we expect anyone to pay for more?) Then Segal figured out how to turn the situation to his, and our, advantage: he booked a house rhythm section, contracted a Jazz Fest star to serve as leader, and invited all the other out-of-town headliners to come by and sit in. The resulting sessions have provided some of the great moments of past Jazz Fest weekends. This year the list of likely notables includes, on Friday, pianists Junior Mance and Lou Levy and bassist Victor Sproles (all Chicago mainstays in the 1950s); famed big-band trumpeters Conte Candoli and Cy Touff; and quite possibly tenor saxophonists Johnny Griffin and James Moody, playing sets loosely dedicated to former bandleader (and putative inventor of the zoot suit) Harold Fox. On Saturday, baritone sax legend Cecil Payne has signed on, but also look for young trumpeter Marcus Printup and maybe even drummer Jason Marsalis (yes, another one) from Marcus Roberts's band. Sunday should bring saxists Donald Harrison and Don Braden and maybe the brilliant veteran drummer Roy Haynes, as well as several members of the Kansas City band--young stars who appear in the new Robert Altman film--such as alto saxman Jesse Davis, trumpet sensation Nicholas Payton, and guitarist Russell Malone. All of them will await the nod from saxophonist Bunky Green, the Chicagoan who will run the jam sessions after his Friday night festival appearance. Green navigates the waters between the shores of bebop and an isle of the avant-garde, making him a formidable frontline partner for any and all comers. Friday through Sunday, 10 PM, Jazz Showcase, 59 W. Grand; 670-2473.


Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): Photos of Bunky Green, Jesse Davis, by David Lubarsky.

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