Trumpet Legacy | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Trumpet Legacy 

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The legacy referred to here is that of Dizzy Gillespie. At the dawn of bebop, Gillespie unveiled an exuberant style forged in the heat of artistic revolution and gleaming with virtuosity. It might have remained the only viable model for jazz trumpetry had Miles Davis and Chet Baker not established a quite different sound in the 1950s: shaded and introspective, with a premium on cool. In recent years, most hornmen have incorporated elements from both camps, but not this assemblage--rarely do you find three such swaggerers in the same place. Jon Faddis has absorbed the Gillespie tradition better than anyone, alive or dead: as a teenager he copied Gillespie's style in detail, and years later helped lead some of his hero's final bands. In the last decade, Faddis has grown into his own man, inspired by but no longer beholden to his mentor; on any given night, he can outplay any trumpeter in the world in terms of power and invention. He'll share the stage with two Chicagoans who identify less with Gillespie than with his disciples. Orbert Davis's playing, with its molten gold tone and bright melodies colored by half-valve smears, stems from the lean, lyrical work of Lee Morgan (who joined Gillespie's big band as a teenager and later came to define the hard-bop trumpet sound); last year's Priority (3Sixteen Records) confirmed his reputation as Chicago's leading trumpeter. David Young, still in his 20s, attracted attention a couple years ago with his debut, Appassionata; he takes his cue from the brash, pop-tinged sensibility of Freddie Hubbard (another Gillespie adherent, who replaced Lee Morgan in Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers in the early 60s). This is one of several promising performances on tap for the Jazz Institute of Chicago's 25th annual Jazz Fair; other highlights include an organ duel between Chris Foreman and Dan Trudell, and author Ashley Kahn reading from his new book, A Love Supreme: The Story of John Coltrane's Signature Album, with Ari Brown accompanying him on solo sax. (See listing under Fairs & Festivals for schedule information.) Friday, January 24, 9:30 PM, Preston Bradley Hall, Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington; 312-427-1676 or 312-427-3400.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photos/Michael Jackson, Marc PoKempner.

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