Dee Alexander and Chicago Soul Jazz Collective @ Hyde Park Jazz Festival, Chicago

CHICAGO SOUL JAZZ COLLECTIVE WITH DEE ALEXANDER

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 25

TIME: 4:00-5:00PM

VENUE: WAGNER STAGE. MIDWAY PLAISANCE AT SOUTH WOODLAWN AVE.

Four men and a woman seated next to each other, wearing black and red clothing.

CHICAGO SOUL JAZZ COLLECTIVE

The Chicago Soul Jazz Collective took shape in 2017 when saxophonist John Fournier and trumpeter Marques Carroll, impressive veterans of the Midwest music scene, crossed paths while booked on a session and discovered their shared tactic for coping with difficult times: listening to the soul jazz LPs that proliferated in the hard-bop era. From that first discussion, The Collective was born. Since then, they have released three albums: Soulophone, which covers vintage hits by Ramsey Lewis, Lee Morgan, and Jimmy Smith, among others; It Takes a Spark to Start a Fire, which features a set of their own compositions and guest turns by Nicholas Payton and Raul Midón; and their newest, On the Way to Be Free, which showcases the irresistible force that is Dee Alexander. 

John Fournier, a big-toned jazz-and-blues tenor, is known for bringing a no-nonsense approach that has earned him a solid reputation as a first-call sideman for touring headliners. He has also composed extensively for theater companies including the Steppenwolf and Second City, and even has a Jeff Award to show for it. 

St. Louis native Marques Carroll, a more recent addition to Chicago, has attracted excellent reviews for his 2021 debut album, The Ancestors’ Call. Initially influenced by Clark Terry, he regularly subs into the Count Basie Orchestra and maintains a strong profile as a jazz educator.

Chicago’s grand dame of jazz vocals, Dee Alexander elevates every project she undertakes. She’s a shape-shifter who ranges far and wide, from her groundbreaking work with Chicago’s famed AACM to her own strikingly original compositions and celebrations of the music’s great divas, such as Ella Fitzgerald, Dinah Washington, and Billie Holiday. Dee Alexander can sass and strut with the best.

The musicians:

Dee Alexander – vocals

Marques Carroll – trumpet

John Fournier – tenor sax

Amr Fahmy – keys

Larry Brown, Jr. – guitar

Andrew Vogt – bass

Keith Brooks II – drums

JAMES A. WAGNER STAGE AT THE MIDWAY

MIDWAY PLAISANCE AT SOUTH WOODLAWN AVE.

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 24, 2022

1:30PM-2:30PM LENARD SIMPSON QUARTET

3:45PM-4:45PM RYAN COHAN QUARTET

6:15PM-7:15PM CAMILLE THURMAN + DARRELL GREEN QUARTET

8:15PM-9:15PM CHARLES MCPHERSON QUINTET

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 25, 2022

2:00PM-3:00PM ORBERT DAVIS SEXTET

4:00PM-5:00-PM CJSC W/DEE ALEXANDER 

6:00PM-7:00PM VICTOR GARCIA SEXTET 

The Midway Plaisance was the vision of Frederick Law Olmsted (architect for New York’s Central Park) and was used as the center stage for the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition. Its name is an antiquated spelling of “pleasance,” as its original intent was to be a getaway for affluent Chicagoans. It now plays host to numerous activities, from musical acts to film screenings, ice skating, and sports events.

The Midway is the central Festival grounds. If you have been to the Hyde Park Jazz Festival before, the Midway setup will be familiar to you.

The Midway Festival area includes:

  • Food and beverage vendors (e.g., beer, wine, water)
  • Artist and artisan booths and other shopping
  • Information booth with Festival t-shirts for purchase
  • Portable restrooms and handwashing stations
  • Seating areas with chairs for watching performances
  • Picnic tables
  • Picnic areas for your own set-up (Note: you are permitted to bring your own food and beverages (alcohol ok), chairs, blankets, etc.)
Metropolitan Jazz Octet / Dee Alexander – It’s Too Hot For Words: Celebrating Billie Holiday
Delmark DE 5032 (2019)
Compact Disc
You won’t need to get very far into this disc – about 75 seconds, I’d say – to know why the Metropolitan Jazz Octet and Dee Alexander seem made for each other. After the rarely heard verse to “Ain’t Nobody’s Business,” Jim Gailloreto’s arrangement swirls the horns together into a bebop Dixieland of collective improvisation; and yet, each one emerges with high-def clarity. And so does Alexander when she re-enters; she becomes another instrument in the mix.
It’s Too Hot For Words is a multi-generational time capsule: sterling musicians of the 21st Century, building upon an octet sound crafted 60 years earlier, to revitalize songs that Holiday began recording in the 1930s. It also serves as a springboard for the one aspect of Holiday’s work that Alexander does mimic. Sutter puts it this way: “Dee does what 90 percent of singers don’t do: instead of just singing the song, she tells a story – like Billie.” And all the while, the MJO spins evocative stories of their own: wordless but equally literate narratives to complement the human instrument invited into their midst.

Date

Sep 25 2022

Time

4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Venue

JAMES A. WAGNER STAGE AT THE MIDWAY
MIDWAY PLAISANCE AT SOUTH WOODLAWN AVE, Chicago, IL
Website
https://www.hydeparkjazzfestival.org/wagner-stage
Hyde Park Jazz Fest

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