The University of Chicago's Reva and David Logan Center has hosted an excellent jazz series for the last several years. The 2015-16 season came to an end last Thursday night (May 26, 2016) with a performance by MacArthur Foundation Fellow Miguel Zenon. Several years ago, Zenon performed a solo concert in the University of Chicago's Rockefeller Chapel during the Hyde Park Jazz Festival. I subsequently saw him perform at the Jazz Standard in New York City (where he kindly permitted me to photograph him and his band) and Chicago's Jazz Showcase. Both performances were in small group settings.
Thursday, Zenon brought a big band to perform his Identities are Changeable opus, which was released in 2014. The piece focuses on the Puerto Rican identity of natives who reside in New York. The stunning performance ran just short of two hours, but would have been even more effective had it been reduced by 15 or 20 minutes. Sometimes less is more. Not surprisingly there were Puerto Rican rhythms running throughout, but there was also an element of Phillip Glass repetition present (which is a good thing). Overall an outstanding evening of music.
The Logan Jazz Series is a relative newcomer to the Chicago jazz scene. It is one of the best values in town. Five concerts for about $25 a ticket, with much lower prices for students. Too many people think jazz is dead because virtually all of the pioneers are dead. Not true at all. There are plenty of new players who equal or surpass their forefathers in terms of musicianship and willingness to explore. In the past, Ambrose Aikenmisure, Regina Carter, Cecile McLorin Salvant, Billy Childs, Dion Parson, Warren Wolf, Delfeayo and Ellis Marsalis, Rudresh Mahanthappa, Steve Coleman, and Jason Moran have performed as part of the series.
Olympus OM-D EM1 (APS-C Sensor); Olympus 40-150/2.8 Shutter Speed 1/200; F2.8 Aperture; 300mm (equivalent) Focal Length; 3200 ISO. Post Processing Adobe Photoshop, ACR, and Silver Efex (Dodged the Shadows).
Copyright 2016, Jack B. Siegel. All Rights Reserved.