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Ken Vandermark Quartet

After you’ve watched the local music scene for a while, you can’t help noticing how the some old people keep rearranging themselves into new lineups, constantly looking for just the right juxtaposition of abilities and styles that will really click. It appears that woodwindist Ken Vandermark has now had some good fortune; his group already […]

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Live at 55: Stormy Monday Band & Louisiana Red Meet Carey Bell/Jimmy Dawkins–Kant Sheck Dees Bluze/Dave Hole–Short Fuse Blues

LIVE AT 55: STORMY MONDAY BAND & LOUISIANA RED MEET CAREY BELL Blues Beacon 1010-2 KANT SHECK DEES BLUZE Jimmy Dawkins Earwig 4920 SHORT FUSE BLUES Dave Hole Alligator 4807 Sometimes it seems there’s a never-ending stream of blues “guitar monsters” coming off some vast assembly line, all firing up their Stratocasters and firing off […]

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Lollapaloser

Viewed from the consumer standpoint, Lollapalooza ’92 was one of those bargains with a downside. Financially speaking, of course, it was a deal. For roughly $30 you got a lineup of unquestioned value: the British band Lush, masters of the gorgeous feedbacky guitar wash; demistars Pearl Jam; Ur-noisemakers the Jesus and Mary Chain; Seattle phenom […]

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Records

HIDDEN GEMS Carla Thomas Stax 8568-2 CAN’T GET AWAY FROM THIS DOG Rufus Thomas Stax 8569-2 A LITTLE SOMETHING EXTRA William Bell Stax 8566-2 REMEMBER ME Otis Redding Stax 8572-2 Stax Records, which folded ingloriously in 1976 after being rent by internal tensions and financial mismanagement, was more than the purveyor of some of the […]

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Grant Park Symphony

GRANT PARK SYMPHONY at Petrillo Music Shell July 26 When he died two years ago at age 90, Aaron Copland left a durable legacy, the richest and least flawed of any American composer. A true child of this century, he experimented with newfangled ideas at the outset of his career, but by the late 30s […]

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Esprit de Corps

PATRICE MICHAELS BEDI, JEFFREY COHAN, AND DILEEP GANGOLLI Augustana Lutheran Church July 16 Until the early 80s Chicago was overlooked by most musicians scouting for a home base. The career-minded preferred New York; the adventurous chose the west coast and Boston, where audiences welcomed the unusual. Chicago had its symphony and two opera companies, and […]

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Records

YOUNG GIRL BLUES Sue Foley Antone’s 0019 LET ME IN Johnny Winter Pointblank/Charisma 91744-2 When singer-guitarist Memphis Minnie exploded onto the blues scene in the late 1920s, listeners were astounded that a woman could play guitar “like a man.” By the 1940s, when Minnie had adapted her style to the electric guitar and was helping […]

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Warren Zevon straight

Fifteen years ago Warren Zevon was the most daring and brilliant of a crop of talented west coast singer-songwriters that included Jackson Browne and the Eagles, among others. The Zevon of those years combined a macabre, surreal comic sense (“Werewolves of London,” “Excitable Boy”) with a penchant for tender sentimentality (“Hasten Down the Wind,” “Accidentally […]

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It’s only entertainment, but I liked it.

A 70-foot-tall Mick Jagger may seem a grotesquerie beyond even David Lynch, but the presence of Ol’ Crow’s Feet and the rest of the Rolling Stones in the film At the Max, now playing at the Museum of Science and Industry’s five-story-high Omnimax Theater, does inspire a certain I-should-know-better-than-to-look curiosity, as a gruesome car crash […]

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Premieres by John Eaton

PREMIERES BY JOHN EATON at Mandel Hall May 29 For the past 18 years or so, University of Chicago music professor John Eaton has collaborated with Robert Moog on devising an electronic contraption capable of producing more different sounds than any other instrument in existence. Moog, an electrical engineer by training, is of course celebrated […]

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Peter Brotzmann With Hamid Drake

Peter Brotzmann is not only one of the very best saxophonists alive–he may also be the most dramatic. Though little known in America, he’s been a crucial figure in Europe’s homegrown jazz renaissance since the late 60s, when he exploded onto the scene with his own incendiary version of Albert Ayler’s already inflammable music. Over […]

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Keyboard Innovations

KATHLEEN SUPOVE Three Arts Club June 10 For centuries the piano has reigned supreme among musical instruments. It’s not hard to see why. As far back as the 1500s its older relatives the virginal and the harpsichord were almost as permanently fixed pieces of furniture as the family wardrobe in the households of Europe. They […]