All Chicago Jazz | Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

All Chicago Jazz 

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The name refers not to any particular group of musicians--way too generic--but to the locally focused radio program that deejay and sometime producer Dave Freeman now hosts on WDCB. And these days, with all the albums by Chicago artists arriving on local and occasionally national labels, Freeman has more than ever to choose from. Some of those musicians--including Joanie Pallatto (Passing Tones on Southport), Rich Fudoli (Continental Attitude on Sunlight), and Howard Levy (featured with Trio Globo on the Silver Wave album Carnival of Souls)--will show up Sunday afternoon for a live-audience taping of All Chicago Jazz, involving performances and interviews; the show will broadcast later this month. On harmonica Levy remains the most daring and innovative player in the world, mixing jazz and a variety of world musics and using an iconoclastic technique that allows him to play the gritty Marine Band harps with the pinpoint flexibility of the top-of-the-line chromatic instruments more commonly used in jazz. And both Pallatto and Fudoli sound more relaxed, less calculated, and consequently better than ever on their own recent albums. Others on hand include frequent north-side rhythm experts John Whitfield (bass) and Charlie Braugham (drums); trombonist Bill Porter and guitarist Curtis Robinson, two veteran players with impressive chops but a currently lower-than-deserved profile on the city's jazz scene; and much-in-demand "surprise guests." Expect a loose jam-session atmosphere: that, and the radio taping, should facilitate a little of the electricity one hopes for when artists who know each other but don't often play with each other meet on stage. The event is part of "Let the Good Times Roll...Chicago Style," a monthlong series of performances, films, and discussions highlighting Chicago jazz and blues. Sunday, 1 PM, MBC Studio, Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington; 346-3278.

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