Johnny Frigo | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Johnny Frigo 

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Does life begin at 71? That's the age at which Chicago violinist Johnny Frigo has returned to the national recording scene--as a guest artist on the album Triple Treat II (Concord CJ-338)--and he seems to be more in demand than at any time in the last 20 years. Blame it on his classic style, full of the filigrees that Stephane Grappelli taught us to expect on the instrument; or on his arc-light tone; or on the fact that the violin, through the efforts of John Blake, Darol Anger, and Doug Cameron, is now finding itself another new generation of jazz listeners. Frigo himself remains an original--an ineluctable part of Chicago jazz history, if only through his participation in the Soft Winds trio of the 50s--with a brash elegance to his technique. He's also flexible about his surroundings, which will come in handy when he's accompanied by the stylistically diverse Green Mill All-Stars in this live WBEZ broadcast. Tonight, Green Mill, 4802 N. Broadway; 878-5552.

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