One of the grandest aspects of jazz lies in its unique potential for collaboration. Since improvisation compresses the acts of Performance and composition, the onstage relationship between jazz musicians offers the opportunity for a good deal more than trading licks or covering one of the principals’ greatest hits: the alliance of already well-established players can synergistically create music that will impress each one’s die-hard admirers. Such appears to be the case with pianist Jodie Christian and saxist Ari Brown, who have carved separate reputations but bring out each other’s best in this quartet. Christian applies a crystalline touch to his quickest melodies, reminding us of his bebop roots; but don’t forget he was a cofounder of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians and remains at home in far more loosely structured idioms. Brown too has combined past and future, relying strongly on the Chicago tenor tradition while pushing that tradition in the direction of such A.A.C.M. contemporaries as Joseph Jarman. With bassist Dennis Carroll and drummer George Fludas, this band knocked folks out at its first Bop Shop appearance; I doubt it was a onetime fluke. Saturday, Bop Shop, 1807 W. Division; 235-3232.
Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Pizzazz.