We passed droves of sun thirsty wanderers on the Lake Shore Sunday afternoon on our way to Andrew D’Angelo’s Benefit show. First time we hit the Green Mill earlier than 2 in the morning.
First up (and first down) some tastey Bloody Maries. On stage, Tortoise alums Jeff Parker and Rob Mazurek mixed it up with a few other Chicago free jazz luminaries producing a groovy set, looping bass and guitar riffs offset by Mazurek’s coronet.
Mazurek, also of Chicago Underground, has brought many of these same musicians together for a group he calls the Exploding Star Orchestra. Their 2007 Thrill Jockey release, a deep space/deep sea thriller-saga, is well worth the download. I have half a mind to simply make it a napcast but in the spirit of this benefit, I’m just gonna suggest you buy it and help these cats out.
ESO will have a new release on Thrill Jockey very soon, a collaboration with Free Jazz icon Bill Dixon. Check out music from ESO’s previous release, We Are All From Someplace Else on their myspace page.
Next up, Ted Sirota’s Rebel Souls. I was expecting Soul Jazz but Ted Sirota said he was tired of his own songs, so the group played proficiently through a series of free jazz standards (that’s a weird thing to write). They played some works by Ornate Coleman, Charles Mingus and if I’m not mistaken Thelonious Monk.
|UPtown – Being at the Green Mill in the afternoon was like being out of time and not just in that old barfly way. The Green Mill, immortalized in film and once a Prohibition haunt of Al Capone was remodeled to its old glory in the 1980′s. Usually after 1 AM there is no cover but the live jazz is still going and so are the martinis.|
|The Green Mill is in Uptown which is my favorite Chicago neighborhood to explore. Driving down N. Broadway (even the street names evoke the past) the urban scene doesn’t seem to have progressed much past 1971. The salons are full, black women sitting in circles chatting it up. Grown men on kid bikes (some with banana seats) out front, little hardware stores, used books shops.|
|Uptown is an ethnically mixed neigbhorhood so it’s no wonder Studs Terkel calls it home. It is also home to Chicago’s Vietnam Town and Tank Noodle Shop where Tricia and I go when we have a craving for the ethnic food we fell in love with down in H-town.|