A session teaming Chicago blues patriarch Sunnyland Slim with Muddy Waters’s legendary guitarist Jimmy Rogers is a rare treat in itself; the addition of John Primer on guitar makes this one of the most intriguing bookings we’re likely to see for a while. Primer was educated in the Ivy League of Chicago blues: his teachers and mentors include the unheralded guitar genius Sammy Lawhorn, Muddy himself, and Magic Slim. From Lawhorn Primer picked up his profound melodic sense and crisp, supple phrasing; with Muddy he honed his slide technique to stinging perfection and enhanced his vocal capabilities, learning to do equal justice to traditional Delta blues and his own contemporary Chicago style; now as Magic Slim’s regular second guitarist he’s added a dash of declamatory fire to his playing, while sacrificing none of his trademark tasteful musicianship. Pairing him with Rogers was a stroke of genius; Rogers was, in some ways, the John Primer of his day: a flawless accompanist and graceful soloist, a purveyor of music imbued with deep blues feeling, melody, and delight. They’re appearing as part of a Jazz Institute of Chicago jazz fair featuring other performers, movies and discussions. Monday, 6 PM, Blackstone Hotel, 636 S. Michigan; 427-1676 or 666-1881.
Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Marc PoKempner.