Jazz Members Big Band | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Jazz Members Big Band 

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The Jazz Members Big Band charts have always been terrific: the band's coleader, Jeff Lindberg, saw to that. The soloists, including the other coleader, trumpeter Steve Jensen, remain stellar. And I can think of only one other band in the country that can match these guys when it comes to studying and executing the music of Duke Ellington's greatest bands. Are the Jazz Members still the best jazz orchestra in Chicago? Hard to say; they gig infrequently these days, making it difficult to sustain the well-blended musical camaraderie that was an especially strong signature of the band. But such memories die hard, and on a special occasion--like the tenth anniversary of the band's first performance, which occurs Sunday--I think it's safe to say that virtually all past and present glories will be on display. To top it off, the band's original pianist--the much-missed John Campbell--will be on hand, handing out his well-placed notes like they were shiny toys and he was Santa. Sunday, Fitzgerald's, 6615 Roosevelt, Berwyn; 788-2118.

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