Henry Johnson-Johnny Pate Big Band with Nancy Wilson | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Henry Johnson-Johnny Pate Big Band with Nancy Wilson 

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Chicago Heights native Johnny Pate turned 80 in 2003, and the concert celebrating that milestone--documented on a two-CD set released in 2004 on the TNC label--tells the story of his career through the artists who took part in it. The guest list included vocalist Shirley Horn, bassist Ron Carter, pianist Monty Alexander, guitarist Kenny Burrell, and saxists James Moody and Phil Woods. All of them (and dozens more) worked with Pate during his career as a bassist, arranger, sound track composer (1973's Shaft in Africa most notably), and producer (for ABC-Paramount in the 60s, bringing horns to Curtis Mayfield's music). Now living in Las Vegas, Pate is returning here to conduct a big band assembled by Chicago guitarist Henry Johnson and starring Johnson's longtime sidekick Chris Foreman on organ; vocalist Nancy Wilson, who performed on Johnson's last disc, 2003's Organic (A440), comes out of her recent semiretirement for this concert. The program, which includes several of Pate's scores, offers a rare chance to catch a local legend in action. Thu 7/13, 6:30 PM, Pritzker Pavilion, Millennium Park, 100 N. Michigan, 312-742-1168. Free. All ages.

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