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Review Fri Jun 08 2007

Jazz giants visit the CSO

Last night and last Friday night, two veritable giants of the jazz world visited Symphony Center as part of the CSO's '06-'07 jazz season. Neither legend disappointed, and closed the season on a high note.
Dave Brubeck and his Quintet was last week's top billers, and the house was sold out. McCoy Tyner, last night's attraction, didn't get nearly as many butts in seats, but swung hard anyway. Tyner's performance ended the CSO's season, which will introduce its awesome '07-'08 session with Herbie Hancock, who will open Jazzfest.

McCoy Tyner (1998) - "Giant Steps"
Dave Brubeck - "Take Five"

To list Brubeck's accomplishments and accolades would take quite a long article in itself, but he is regarded as a living treasure, an icon who's been through changes in society and in jazz for quite a while. Everyone musically inclined knows of his signature composition, "Take Five," and that was played with enthusiasm, much to the crowd's delight.
Brubeck's show was divided into two sections. Even with no intermission, the first logical session was just his quintet: trumpet, sax, piano, bass and drums. Their mood was light, taking solos every now and again, but the audience's appetite for Brubeck himself was palatable.
He stepped on stage to raucous applause, replaced the Quintet's piano player, and launched into song after song, taking a eight-bar break every now and again. The crowd loved it and, at the conclusion of the set, gave him and his orchestra a standing ovation.
McCoy Tyner isn't a household name, but his longevity mirrors that of Brubeck. A disciple of John Coltrane, his catalog includes many collaborations with giants of yesteryear and younger artists. He was originally supposed to show at the CSO last December, only to be stranded in New York because of the snowstorm that rendered most airports, including Midway and O'Hare, virtually shuttered for the duration.
Titled "The Story of Impulse Records," McCoy Tyner's involvement and recordings for that label continued the legacy of its most famous artist and Tyner's mentor. Impulse became "The House that Trane Built," and Tyner continued to expand the foundation he learned from John Coltrane.
Accompanied by his Septet, Tyner manned the piano throughout the program. In addition to the usual drums and bass, the Septet features some brass muscle in the form of trumpet and trombone, and both tenor and alto saxophones. For about two hours, the audience was treated to compositions that went anywhere from light swing to out-and-out rollicking. Tyner took two compositions solo, and, much like Brubeck, didn't reveal the names of what he played.
A great end to the CSO's jazz season, and the preliminary expectations for next season are high, especially with the lineup announced for next year. In the space of one week, two legends of jazz made a stop in Chicago and blessed the audience with a sense of history and of the timelessness of the music.

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Feature Thu Dec 31 2015

Our Final Transmission Days

By The Gapers Block Transmission Staff

Transmission staffers share their most cherished memories and moments while writing for Gapers Block.

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