Among the joys of jazz is the lurking epiphany; it offers the pleasant jolt of finding, just beneath the surface and if you know where to look, unexpected excitement in the way a song or a band or the fabric of the music has been constructed. One place to look is between the seams of the Jim Cooper/Bob Dogan Quintet. At first glance, a mild-mannered band notable largely for its front line, a not-your-garden-variety grouping of vibes, trumpet, and piano. But closer inspection reveals a terrific mix of solo styles (from Cooper’s energetic vibes work to Dogan’s chiseled piano proverbs to Art Davis’s thoughtful essays on trumpet and flugelhorn); a bubbling rhythm section masked by Dogan’s deceptive serenity; and impressive, slightly odd compositions (most by Dogan) standing side-by-side with rarely heard jazz standards. Cooper’s vibes work has grown steadily as he has led his own groups, but the impetus for this one was really the return to town of Bob Dogan, an especially individualistic pianist who holds it all together with his unassuming presence. Wednesday, Southport City Saloon, 2548 N. Southport; 975-6110.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/William Klewitz.