Bobby Shew, Johnny Frigo & Fred Simon | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Bobby Shew, Johnny Frigo & Fred Simon 

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They're calling this show the "Chicago Jazz Triple-Header," probably as good a way as any to describe a concert that collects a west-coast trumpet ace, a septuagenarian violin master, and a respected contemporary keyboardist/composer: eclecticism reigns. Trumpeter Bobby Shew has impeccable credentials--as reliable and resilient in a big band, but also as a fiery and incisive soloist in a variety of small-group settings. (He's one of those players who rarely spring to mind when you list the great trumpeters, but he always prompts an admiring "Who was that?" when you hear him on the radio.) Keyboardist Fred Simon is no stranger to Chicago listeners; his quartet--which ranges from his own carefully wrought tunes to the occasional standard--has become a tight little chamber ensemble, in which improvisation sometimes takes a backseat to composition and texture. Violinist Johnny Frigo is a wonder: only a handful of players have ever flourished in the swing-violin style with Frigo's deftness and lusty assurance. His virtuosity remains undiminished, impressing amateurs and scaring the professionals. Tonight, 8 PM, Richard Burton Theatre, Triton College, 2000 Fifth, River Grove; 708-456-8383.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photos/Rick Frigo, Marc Hauser.

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