John Hart showed up out of nowhere with an attention-grabbing Blue Note debut a couple years ago; he followed that up as part of the label’s showcase quartet at the Montreux Jazz Festival, and he arrives in Chicago in the wake of his second album, a serendipitous weave of well-learned lessons. (Hart himself talks about Jim Hall’s influence, but I hear almost as much of John Scofield in his bright tempi, his vivid improvising, and especially his snarling rock-out fun with the blues.) jazz guitarists with technique as muscular as Hart’s are in no short supply; Hart still rises above most of them, with a remarkably measured sense of a solo’s architecture and great instincts, with which to ornament it. Having Hart in town should be enough. But to top it off, his quartet stars Chris Potter, a self-effacing wunderkind (now 20) who took time off from his regular gig as Red Rodney’s saxman to place third in the international tenor sax competition sponsored last fall by the Thelonious Monk Institute. (Finishing second was Chicago’s Eric Alexander; do I hear anybody besides me crying out for a little rematch on the home turf?) Saturday, 8 PM, Green Mill, 4802 N. Broadway; 878-5552.
Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Phoebe Ferguson.