McCoy Tyner & Freddie Hubbard | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

McCoy Tyner & Freddie Hubbard 

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Trumpeter Freddie Hubbard joins in with the trio led by pianist McCoy Tyner (one of the best trios he's ever led). Both men have been pivotal to the last 30 years of jazz: Hubbard for his cocky emergence from the Jazz Messengers of the 60s (where he played alongside Wayne Shorter) and his virtuosic melding of complex musical ideas with the call of the blues; Tyner for his stormy, highly percussive keyboard style and his often spellbinding musical presence. The two of them have teamed up at various times over the years, and they each worked with one of the strongest figures of modern jazz in John Coltrane, but Tyner and Hubbard have something more vital in common. They're both jazz strongmen; each swaggers from behind his instrument, revealing an artistic personality that's powerful and self-assured, With lesser musicians, this could easily become a perfunctory sparring match. But as Tyner sets forth his crashing chords and splintered, rococo melodies, and as Hubbard pours forth his still brash tone and whiplash ideas, the effect is not so much the Clash of the Titans as an unexpectedly elegant pas de deux between heavyweight champs. Tonight through Sunday, Moulin Rouge, Fairmont Hotel, Illinois Center, 200 N. Columbus; 565-7440.

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