Wil Blades Organ Quartet | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Wil Blades Organ Quartet 

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What is it about the Hammond B-3 that inspires wunderkinder? Joey DeFrancesco was famous in Philadelphia before he hit high school; a comparative late bloomer, Chicago native Wil Blades started playing drums at eight and switched to organ in his late teens, carving a niche for himself almost from the moment he arrived in San Francisco to attend college. Now in his mid-20s, Blades plays plenty of funk and jam-band gigs out west; here in Chicago he'll likely show off his mainstream jazz chops, with less of the usual B-3 bluster and more of the measured melodicism of Dr. Lonnie Smith (with whom Blades has studied) or Melvin Rhyne. Still, Blades's jam-band tendencies give him a distinctive voice on the jazz organ. If you make a habit of judging people by the company they keep, his quartet contains three of Chicago's top players: guitarist Jeff Parker, drummer Ted Sirota, and saxist Geof Bradfield. See also Saturday. Fri 7/14, 9 PM, Green Mill, 4802 N. Broadway, 773-878-5552, $10.

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