Larry Garner & Randy Sabien with the Chicago Jazz Orchestra | DuSable Museum of African American History | Blues, Gospel, and R&B, Jazz | Chicago Reader
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Larry Garner & Randy Sabien with the Chicago Jazz Orchestra 

When: Sun., May 3, 3 p.m. 2009
Price: $30-$35
Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown, who died in 2005, was usually classed as a bluesman, but he was comfortable in all kinds of gulf-coast styles—proficient not just on conventional blues instruments like guitar and harmonica but also on fiddle and mandolin, he played everything from jazzy, T-Bone Walker-­influenced blues to country and western, bluegrass, Cajun music, and zydeco. This tribute concert, with guitarist Larry Garner, violinist Randy Sabien, and the Chicago Jazz Orchestra, ought to do him justice: Garner draws improvisational ideas from Texas and Louisiana blues, R & B, and pop, and his sure sense of rhythm allows him to swing, shuffle, and boogie with equal aplomb. Sabien was inspired to play jazz by an encounter with Stephane Grappelli’s music in college, and his notable gigs have included bands with former James Brown drummer Clyde Stubblefield, roots-music collaborations with guitarist Mike Dowling, and buttoned-down guest appearances with various symphony orchestras. CJO artistic director Jeff Lindberg has commissioned arrangements meant to invoke the brassy, hard-driving jump-blues sound of Brown’s 1950s recordings on the Peacock label, but given the diversity of talent on hand, I expect a more eclectic show than that might suggest—and no matter how it turns out, its ambitious, genre-busting conceit is something Gatemouth surely would’ve loved. —David Whiteis

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