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Clip: Ray Brown in Chicago

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  • Carl Zimring
    The Reader also has a recommendation for Nina Nastasia (profiled in a clip here about a week ago) at the same link. Nastasia s playing an in-store at Reckless
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 23, 2002
      The Reader also has a recommendation for Nina Nastasia (profiled in a clip
      here about a week ago) at the same link. Nastasia's playing an in-store at
      Reckless this afternoon.

      Carl Z.


      Tuesday through Sunday 6/25-30, Jazz Showcase
      Now 75, Ray Brown just keeps doing what he's done for the past 50 years,
      ever since he helped create the modern sound of jazz bass on recordings by
      Dizzy Gillespie, Bud Powell, and the Milt Jackson group that would become
      the Modern Jazz Quartet. I can't decide what I find most remarkable about
      Brown. He has an ebony-wood tone and suede-smooth attack, and rhythmically
      he gooses a rock-solid pulse with an almost indiscernible bop kick; his
      innovations, which have already provided a stylistic architecture for two
      generations of bassists, will serve as a benchmark for generations to come;
      and thanks to a lucky combination of genes and environment, his steady
      musical heartbeat still sounds pretty much the way it did a half century
      ago. Throughout the past decade Brown has turned out a steady stream of
      albums with his working trio, and though they've made smart use of guest
      artists, in the end the records' success depends on this core group's
      crisp, relaxed swing. On disc and on tour, the trio features drummer
      Karriem Riggins, who keeps in check the horsepower he's obviously got under
      the hood: he knows he's driving a luxury ride, not a street machine. On the
      road, pianist Larry Fuller has the unenviable task of replacing Geoff
      Keezer, the brainy marvel who currently records with Brown, but he pulls it
      off without a false step. A key member of the thriving Pacific northwest
      jazz scene, Fuller has a quick, precise touch--when he plays busy lines in
      octaves, they pierce the fabric of the music like scalpels. And Brown,
      well, he just makes it sound ridiculously easy. He's been so good for so
      long that audiences can easily take him for granted--a compliment,
      actually, both to his undiminished physical vitality and to the continued
      relevance of his early achievements. Tuesday through Thursday, June 25
      through 27, 8 and 10 PM, Friday and Saturday, June 28 and 29, 9 and 11 PM,
      and Sunday, June 30, 4, 8, and 10 PM, Jazz Showcase, 59 West Grand;
      312-670-2473. --NEIL TESSER
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