Ernie Krivda | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Ernie Krivda 

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You live in the midwest, someone mentions "tenor sax," you think Chicago (Von Freeman, Ira Sullivan, Johnny Griffin, the late Clifford Jordan). Then you think Detroit, and eventually maybe Cincinnati, which has turned out a few. You do not think of Cleveland, but you should, if only because Ernie Krivda lives there. Krivda plays with a swaggering combination of authoritative speed and snappy articulation, which gives his improvisations and even his written melodies a buoyant ferocity. Some of those melodies plug directly into his Eastern European roots, and they constitute his most memorable, and delightfully offbeat, compositions; on his most recent album, the semaphorically titled Ernie Krivda Jazz! (Cadence), it's those tunes that especially benefit from his terrifically expressive tone (meaty-chunky or sweetly yearning and, on occasion, broadly humorous). After recording a few LPs in the 70s, Krivda returned to and has remained in his hometown Cleveland, something less than a national focal point for jazz; this more than anything explains why he gets less attention than he readily deserves. You'll have three contexts in which to temporarily correct that problem when Krivda makes his first visit to Chicago in as long as I can remember. Wednesday (with trumpeter Brad Goode's quintet), 9 PM; next Friday, May 14 (with the Green Mill All-Stars), 9 PM; and next Saturday, May 15 (leading a Chicago rhythm section), 8 PM. All at the Green Mill, 4802 N. Broadway; 878-5552.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Bishop Photographics.

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