Paul Wertico Quintet With Bob Mintzer | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Paul Wertico Quintet With Bob Mintzer 

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From the cover of Modern Drummer to a jazz club near you: Paul Wertico returns home--after completing work on the Pat Metheny Group's upcoming album--and has his own band up and running again. Wertico unveiled his quintet about a year ago, and from the start the band bristled. Much of its energy derives from its eclectic and even incongruous mixture of improvisational styles, which range from Laurence Hobgood's spiky skyline solos to the broad landscapes painted by guitarist John Moulder; Wertico's imaginative and astonishingly versatile drumming serves as the focal point for knitting together these often dissimilar approaches. For this gig the band's quirkiest individualist, alto saxist Richie Corpolongo, takes the weekend off to make room for tenorman Bob Mintzer. When Mintzer joined the Yellowjackets in 1991 he became the catalyst for that group's evolution into a pretty fair fusion band; to return the favor, the Yellowjackets have provided Mintzer with a bigger stage on which to strut his stuff. He controls a malleable wood-and-steel tone, and his ideas uncoil with muscular grace and purpose. Along with his fellow Bobs--Bob Berg and Bob Malach, two other full-throated tenor players--Mintzer belongs to the saxophone school founded by Michael Brecker; together these players had much to do with making Brecker's style the dominant tenor sound of the 1980s. He should have no trouble fitting in with Wertico's band; in fact, he may actually have more in common with each of his local colleagues than they have with each other. Friday, 9 PM, and Saturday, 8 PM, Green Mill, 4802 N. Broadway; 878-5552.

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