I ran into Chicago's outstanding jazz singer Dee Alexander before last night's performance by jazz drummer Terri Lyne Carrington, and a group of three other jazz musicians and singer Lizz Wright at the University of Chicago's Logan Center. I said to Dee, "You need to work some commentary into your set about Trump and the times we live in. We need people speaking out." I reminded Dee about her rendition of "Hey Joe" and the commentary that she added to that song several years back that addressed Chicago's gun violence. When Dee performs at the Jazz Showcase in early February, I hope she listens to me, taking a page out of the Carrington-Wright's book. The band closed the set with a song that Wright had penned earlier that day, with Wright singing "There's trouble all around," during an extended blues.
Prior to that, Carrington and company performed selections from her tribute to Duke Ellington's Money Jungle, now 50-plus years old. I was particularly impressed by saxophonist Mark Shin's guttural tone. The notes had an edge that was more out there than one might have expected. Rounding out the night were Zach Brown on bass and Aaron Parks in a fashionable hoodie on acoustic and electric pianos