I’m currently in Chicago. I left DC on Wednesday, after taking a early morning lesson with Chris Vadala at the University of Maryland. Getting to Chicago was kind of a hassle, everything from getting stopped 3 times by various people who said my saxophone case was too big to go on the plane (to which I have to explain to them that it’s a musical instrument and that yes, in fact, it does fit in the overhead) all the way to my flight being delayed by an hour while in the airport and another 30 minutes while on the tarmac. By the time I got to Chicago and got to the hotel, I was exhausted. So I ordered a deep dish pizza to be delivered, called my dear friend and musician tour guide Frank Rosaly, and crashed early.
Thursday I went to catch the early set at Andy’s Jazz Club and wasn’t particularly impressed by what I heard. I’ll talk more about the experience in another entry, but while I was there, I started to think about why the audiences in jazz clubs continue to decrease. Then Frank and I met up for the opening concert in the Made In Chicago: World Class Jazz series featuring Tortoise with some special guests. It was an amazing space – outside theatre with an awesome view of the city, but the sound was a little funky and unbalanced. That was a bummer, but I still enjoyed it.
After that, Frank and I ended up at Elastic and listened to some fantastic improvised music and I got to meet some of the musicians in the free jazz scene here in Chicago. It was really cool and they immediately welcomed me. We ended up hanging out until past 3 AM at a local Mexican restaurant serving $1 margaritas.
Friday did some work, then I played tourist a little and wandered around Downtown and walked by the harbor. It’s beautiful in Chicago right now (much cooler than DC).
More on the Chicago free jazz scene in my next post. 🙂 Gotta keep you wanting more.