Jammin' in the Park | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Jammin' in the Park 

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Late afternoon, midsummer's day, an outdoor jazz concert with an unhurried agenda: that premise suggests such halcyon occasions as the Newport Jazz Fest of the 50s and the Monterey festivals of the 60s--even though we have a prime example much closer to home. The Jazz Institute of Chicago sponsors this annual free party, knowing full well that the circumstances surrounding it give it a life of its own: held on the grounds of the DuSable Museum, in conjunction with the museum's Arts and Crafts Promenade and Family Festival, the concert places jazz in a larger and quite sanguine setting. Nonetheless, the concert has another distinguishing characteristic: its programming, which showcases deserving local giants. This year tenorist E. Parker McDougal coleads a quintet with the delightful trumpeter Sonny Cohn, promising to heat up July even further. Cohn, back in his hometown Chicago after three decades of anchoring the Count Basie band's trumpet section, plays with all the polished punch and relaxed imagination expected from that band's alumni; hearing him in an intimate setting offers a new twist on the idea of "cooling summer refreshment." McDougal, with his leviathan tone and bebop swagger, packs his solos with notey ideas and soulful exclamations, and he always delivers on the exciting promise inherent in his sound. They'll play in front of a tried-and-true rhythm section: pianist Jodie Christian, bassist Dan Shapero, and drummer Wilbur Campbell. Sunday, 5-8 PM, DuSable Museum of African American History, 57th and Cottage Grove; 947-0600 or 427-1676.

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

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