Our show is fortunate to experience its rebirth at one of the world’s premiere Jazz clubs, Chicago’s Jazz Showcase. As of this post we’re entering our fourth month in residence on Wednesday nights at this historic temple of music. Owners Dr. Joe and Wayne Segal have collectively been supporting the uniquely American art form since 1947, and the walls of this beautiful establishment are covered with photographs and posters of the pantheon of its legendary characters.
Upon entering the striking South Loop club (in it’s equally historic Dearborn Station home) one can’t help but notice three particularly large photos, each taller than a man. Above the bar the iconic saxophonist John Coltrane plays his soprano sax.
To the audience’s right on the wall, carefully observing the stage, hangs a full-faced portrait of Duke Ellington, bandleader/composer/pianist extraordinaire.
Finally, completely dominating the stage itself, a gently smiling sunny-faced, be-bop defining Charlie “Bird” Parker, jauntily holding his alto saxophone.
When planning our musical occupation of the Jazz Showcase, I realized this triumvirate of masters needed to be addressed. Thus the “Big Head Medley” was conceptualized and created. Combining ‘Tranes “Moment’s Notice,” Duke’s “The Feeling of Jazz,” and Dizzy Gillespie’s “Salt Peanuts,” our little tour of these gentlemen’s oeuvres seems an appropriate touch. Anthony Bruno holds forth on both tenor sax and clarinet, myself at the piano, and Brent Griffin’s furious alto, Marques Carroll’s sparking trumpet and Keith Brook’s drums bring up the be-bop finale! Enjoy (and join us in person for the real thing.)