Chicago ensemble Resavoir show how jazz can help all of pop music grow | Concert Preview | Chicago Reader

Chicago ensemble Resavoir show how jazz can help all of pop music grow 

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Resavoir

Tim Nagle

Over the past few years, trumpeter Will Miller has beavered away on a bedroom jazz project called Resavoir while juggling other gigs, most notably in popular country-soul group Whitney. About a year ago Miller finally brought Resavoir to life, tapping into his network of talented Chicago friends to form a full-fledged band: saxophonist Irvin Pierce, bassist Lane Beckstrom, drummers Peter Manheim and Jeremy Cunningham, and keyboardist-vocalist Akenya Seymour. Some of these collaborators have, like Miller, made their names outside jazz; Beckstrom played in genre-splicing indie band Kids These Days, and Seymour served as bandleader for rapper Noname (that doesn’t even get into guests such as indie-pop wizard Knox Fortune and rapper, singer, and multi-instrumentalist Sen Morimoto). On their recent self-titled debut, released by Chicago’s cutting-edge International Anthem label, Resavoir display a sure grasp of jazz and an advanced gift for performing as a unit. Together they fill the album’s lush, compact tracks with energy, finding ways to punch up even its most animated moments—Pierce’s limber solo on the supple, retro-tinged “Taking Flight,” for example, gets more and more ornate as it progresses. International Anthem focuses on jazz that bleeds into contemporary pop, and it’s already shaping the sounds of the future—a project that Resavoir fits into neatly. I’d definitely welcome more pop music that sounds like “Escalator,” which pairs Morimoto’s tight, rapid raps with blinking synths, snaking horns, and peripatetic percussion.   v

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