Over the last seven years the Chicago Jazz Festival clearly has become the best-programmed, most consistently exciting jazz event in the country – one that attracts Chicagoans of all races, ages and income levels and knits them together into a big swinging family.
What may not be so obvious, though, is what the Fest does for the image of the city of Chicago.
On any given night, a good percentage of the audience consists of visitors from all across the country, most of whom have come here especially for the Fest. And this year there also was a large foreign contingent, including fans from China, Japan, France, Austria, Great Britain, Australia, Germany and Finland. To modify an old saying: Build a better jazz fest and the world will beat a path to your door.
Sunday`s concert, which concluded this year’s Fest, was attended by a crowd estimated at 62,000 – an estimate that, as on most nights, seemed rather conservative by the standards used in previous years. Be that as it may, there could be no quarrel about the quality of most of the music.
Choosing highlights is difficult, but the final tribute of this year’s tribute-rich Fest would have to be one, a salute to the late Zoot Sims that featured four of his distinguished partners, Stan Getz, Gerry Mulligan, Jimmy Giuffre and Herbie Steward.
Of course, this group amounts to half of the sax section that recorded ”Four Brothers” with Woody Herman, plus Giuffre, the piece’s composer-arranger. So a performance of ”Four Brothers” was both obligatory and handsomely done, as was Getz’s famous Herman feature, ”Early Autumn.”
Before that, Getz had been typically dazzling, while Mulligan, the closest friend of Sims on the bill, had made that bond clear in his playing. The only regret was that the all-star lineup left too little space to Giuffre and Steward. (Larry Kart, Chicago Tribune; September 2, 1985)
What a line-up !
Recorded live at the Jazz Festival Chicago, Chicago, IL; August 31, 1985
Very good FM broadcast.
Alternate front cover
Kenny Barron (piano)
Al Foster (drums)
Stan Getz (saxophone)
Jimmy Giuffre (saxophone)
George Mraz (bass)
Gerry Mulligan (saxophone)
Herbie Steward – tenor saxophone
01. Introduction / Let Me Count The Ways 13:20
02. If You Cared For Me Like I Cared For You Then You Wouldn’t Cared All (Feldmman) 5.13
03. Falling In Love (Rogers) 14.32
04. Blues For Zoot (Mulligan) 6.17
05. Georgia On My Mind (Carmichael) 4.23
06. Satin Doll (Ellington/Strayhorn) 5.03
07. The Red Door (Sims) 6.14
08. Zoot (Giuffre) 5.48
09. Four Brothers (Giuffre) 5.16
10. Early Autumn (Burns) 3.50