Even though he’s a terrific pianist and a strong composer, Marcin Januszkiewicz remains an unknown quantity for most Chicago jazz fans. So trust him by the company he keeps. His septet is impressively versatile, and there’s not a slouch among them. The front line boasts Jerry DiMuzio, an always solid saxophonist with miles of credentials, and Ryan Schultz, whose facility on the bass trumpet makes me wonder why more brass players don’t adopt the big horn. Perched between them and the rhythm section is vibraphonist Jim Cooper, whose instrument brings welcome colors and unexpected textures to Marcin’s arrangements. Bassist Nick Tountas and drummer Charles Braugham both display a crisp but not oppressive sense of time; with Marcin they quite naturally merge into a smart rhythmic engine, percussionist Alejo Poveda supplying the extra octane. You won’t know most of the tunes, possibly you don’t know many of the players, but you can count on the coalition to gather momentum as Marcin chronicles his quite personal travels through the modern jazz mainstream. Saturday, 8 PM, Green Mill, 4802 N. Broadway; 878-5552.
Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Bill Klewitz.