It was a muggy summer night but the streets were bustling with activity. I made my way into Chicago Andy's Jazz Club located in downtown Chicago at 11 E. Hubbard St., just west of Michigan Ave.
The spacious venue was alive with an energy that was contagious. The waitress asked where I wanted to sit and I scan the room and noticed seating near the stage area and told her right up front. Her eyes got very bright and she said, "Alright!!! Right up front"... "Most people don't say that" and she led me to a seat near the drums.
Scott Burns, Saxophonist and leader of the quartet was fingering with his horn.
Pianist - Jordan Baskin's eyes were imaginatively attentive as were his hands were already in place waiting...
Drummer - Brian Ritter was warming up with his sticks and brushes.
Bassist - Mike Arnopol was thumbing through a few notes.
The ensemble presented Wayne Shorter's "Mr. Jin" and "Dance Cadaverous" as a gift to a thankful and ardent audience. An incredibly beautiful arrangement of "Summer in Central Park", by the great man on Vibes - Horace Silver showcased the Chicago quartet; demonstrating the skillful ability to turn this tune - in reference to a park in New York City on its head. Their arrangement was mouth-watering and infectious.
The sheer lush-like movement was wondrous and heavenly. Scott performs with the intensity and earnestness of the Jazz forefathers of the 1960's John Coltrane, Wayne Shorter, and Dizzy Gillespie. While each of these musicians are each unique in their own rite, Scott played with a correlating powerful mission to spread a passionate philosophy ever so pertinent. The essence of jazz was oozing from his horn in every measure of music.
Jordan on piano showed he was no stranger to straight ahead with chord progressions that were spiritual and reflective.
They continued their enticement with a Jackie McLean tune, "Blue Fable".
Very, Very Nice.
The Denzil Best Bebop piece "Move" left me unable to move... spellbound by the intensity of Brian on Drums and Jordan on piano whose solo performances set the room ablaze with soul.
Wayne Shorter composition, "Edda" was intuitively carried out with a continuing thread of soul and jazz essence.
The wonderful creative trumpet Kenny Dorham tune, "Brown's Town", was tastefully done and a Harry James piece, "This is always" was excellently executed for the sheer enjoyment of the moment.
It is difficult to articulate the joy and union between the ensemble and audience. The heart of Jazz immersed and caressed our being like nothing else. Standards that are time signatures and lovely Jazz that never changes in its message of love, longing, joy, estacasy, and more.
One could hear light conversation throughout parts of the room, the main interior was Scott's Sax, Jordan's Piano, Brian's, Drums, and Mike's Bass, together they soared and floored us with beautiful and endearing tunes from the past and their innovative arrangements.
One of my all time favorites was performed by special request. The John Birks (Dizzy) Gillespie celebrated Bebop tune - "A Night in Tunisia".
First of all, Mike on Bass was superb and steady from intro to finish.
OMG! actually respectfully taps this arrangement fused the ensemble guided us through a passage soulfully to the brink of just a quality cut of revelation. It was an authentic embodiment of Bebop.
These are just a few choice selections. The night was spread out into 3 glorious sets of music.
Andy's Jazz Club and Restaurant is one of Chicago's Oldest Jazz Clubs. Andy's Chicago Jazz Club is a cool and inviting space. Scott Burns quartet is a refreshing and elating experience into straight-ahead and more. The ensemble earnestly expresses brilliant jazz with a message in every tune.
If you're looking for a place for late night Jazz connection, a meal, a drink, and history--show up for the flight into ecstatic illumination.
And...if you're in need of simply straight-ahead and heartfelt standards with the core of Jazz check out Scott Burns and his ensemble online at www.scottburnsjazz.com
The CD Grooves and swings with Jazz!