Corey Wilkes, Yoko Noge, others in busy Chicago jazz week

Corey Wilkes

Trumpeter Corey Wilkes is part of a busy Chicago jazz week. (Terrence Antonio James/Chicago Tribune / August 21, 2011)

Now that the fall season is in full swing, each week unfolds as a kind of mini-festival of stylistically far-flung attractions.

Consider the highlights of the next seven days:


Everett Greene: Great bass-baritones remain scarce in jazz, not withstanding the recent ascent of Gregory Porter, who is quickly emerging as the leading male jazz vocalist of the under-50 generation. Greene has more years on his resume than that, and you can hear it in the ease and ultra-sophistication of his delivery. He plays a rare, extended engagement this weekend in a room that rarely casts a spotlight on singers. Greene will be joined by Chicago piano powerhouse Willie Pickens, who will be leading a trio and sharing the stage with saxophonist Eric Schneider. 8 and 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday; 4, 8 and 10 p.m. Sunday; at the Jazz Showcase, 806 S. Plymouth Ct.; $20-$35; 312-360-0234 or

Josh Moshier Quartet: A couple of years ago, Chicago pianist Moshier caught many listeners by surprise with the world premiere of "The Studs Terkel Project," an extended suite for jazz quintet inspired by Terkel's writings – and penned by a musician who was all of 24 years old at the time. Moshier's homage to Terkel, who died in 2008 at age 96, went on to a broadcast on National Public Radio and helped position the pianist as someone to watch – and listen to – in coming years. Audiences will have that opportunity this weekend, when Moshier leads his quartet, with guest vocalist Elise Azkoul. 5, 6 and 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday at Andy's Jazz Club, 11 E. Hubbard St.; $10-$15; 312-642-6805 or

Corey Wilkes: The versatile Chicago trumpeter excels in a variety of jazz languages, from mainstream and experimental to funk and pop. Considering that Wilkes will be leading his quintet at Andy's, a kind of home base for him when he's not touring the globe, listeners can expect a sampling of all the above, and then some. 9:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday at Andy's Jazz Club, 11 E. Hubbard St.; $15; 312-642-6805 or

Yoko Noge: Chicago blues, avant-garde jazz, ancient Japanese folkloric music and contemporary songwriting converge in the work of veteran singer-pianist Noge, who has come up with a polyglot sound and style of her own invention. Better still, Noge has refused to settle into familiar patterns, in recent years composing autobiographical songs of remarkable ferocity and musical idiosyncrasy. 10 p.m. Friday at Katerina's, 1920 W. Irving Park Rd.; $10; 773-348-7592 or


Matt Ulery's Loom: Chicago bassist-bandleader Ulery has been producing important work in recent years, as in the Eastern European exoticism of his stunning double album "By a Little Light" (2012) and its sleeker, more compact but still alluring successor, "Wake an Echo" (2013). Those recordings, plus striking performances at the Green Mill Jazz Club and Millennium Park, among other settings, have made him a leading figure among a new wave of creative musicians in Chicago. This incarnation of Loom will feature trumpeter Marquis Hill, bass clarinetist Geof Bradfield, pianist Rob Clearfield and drummer Jon Deitemyer. 9:30 p.m. Saturday at Constellation, 3111 N. Western Ave.; $8;

Paulinho Garcia: The distinctive singer-guitarist has lived in Chicago for decades and has merged the music of his native Brazil with the currents of Chicago jazz in ingenious ways. Moreover, he has blossomed as a songwriter in his own right, his work built on traditions of Brazilian folkloric music but exploring idiosyncratic turns of phrase. For this occasion, Garcia's monthly appearance in one of the city's most intimate rooms, he will lead a quartet. 10 p.m. Saturday at Katerina's, 1920 W. Irving Park Rd.; $10; 773-348-7592 or

Beckie Menzie and Tom Michael: Singer-pianist Menzie and vocalist Michael have been collaborating for years, and it shows in the symchronicity and mutual affection of their work. They've come together once again to celebrate the 15th anniversary of Chicago's top cabaret in a show they've titled "The Davenport's Years." 8 p.m. Saturday at Davenport's, 1383 N. Milwaukee Ave.; $20 plus two-drink minimum; 773-278-1830 or


Soul Jazz Night: For those who don't have to be at the office on Monday morning or don't need to sleep, the late-night Sunday show at the Green Mill lives up to its name. Guitarist Joel Paterson reveres certain mid-20th century American musical traditions but articulates them with a vigor and sincerity that make them sound fresh. Chris Foreman remains a master of the Hammond B-3 organ, and he's joined by drummer Mike Schlick. 11 p.m. Sunday to 2 a.m. Monday at the Green Mill Jazz Club, 4802 N. Broadway; $4; 773-878-5552 or


Erwin Helfer: Pianist Helfer has dedicated his life to preserving pre-bebop musical traditions, and the urgency he brings to vintage blues, boogie-woogie and jazz idioms has helped sustain an audience for this music in Chicago. His Monday-night sessions have become essential listening for locals and tourists who want to tune in to historic idioms, and for this week's installment he'll be joined by pianist Barrelhouse Chuck and, as always, tenor saxophonist John Brumbach. 8:30 p.m. Monday at Katerina's, 1920 W. Irving Park Rd.; 773-348-7592 or


"Artistry in Rhythm – The Music of Stan Kenton": Ever since the 2003 death of William Russo, who founded the Chicago Jazz Enselmbe at Columbia College Chicago in 1965, opportunities to hear music of Stan Kenton have been all too rare in Chicago. Russo had written brilliantly for the Kenton orchestra in the 1950s and performed repertoire from the Kenton book prolifically with the CJE. That great band has been on hiatus as Columbia College Chicago contends with budget constraints, further placing Kenton-era scores in the silent mode. All of which makes this concert, by the Northwestern University Jazz Orchestra, a tantalizing prospect, particularly because it will be led by Victor Goines, head of jazz studies at Northwestern's Bienen School of Music, and faculty member Christopher Madsen. Repertoire will include "Peanut Vendor," "Kentonova," "Opus in Pastels" and "Intermission Riff." 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at Northwestern University's Pick-Staiger Concert Hall, 50 Arts Circle Dr., Evanston; $6; 847-491-5441 or

Dana Hall's Black Fire: Chicago drummer and DePaul University music professor Dana Hall has devoted years to the study of music of pianist-composer Andrew Hill, a body of work that has yet to be fully recognized for its innovation and influence. Hall certainly is doing his part to further the cause, his weekly engagement with his Black Fire ensemble taking listeners deep into Hill's repertoire. Hall is joined in this important work by saxophonist Geof Bradfield, bassist Clark Sommers and vibraphonist Justin Thomas. 9 p.m. Tuesday at Andy's Jazz Club, 11 E. Hubbard St.; $10; 312-642-6805 at


Andy Brown: A top-notch guitarist whose concision and understatement emphasize music over ostentation, Brown this season celebrates the release of "Heavy Artillery," his long awaited recording with fellow guitarist and mentor Howard Alden. The latter master won't be here for Brown's weekly engagement, but Brown and his quartet easily can hold their own, with some repertoire from "Heavy Artillery" likely to be fired up. 5, 6 and 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at Andy's Jazz Club, 11 E. Hubbard St.; $5-$10; 312-642-6805 or


New Orleans Jazz Orchestra. Crescent City trumpeter Irvin Mayfield leads his repertory band in a concert that lists Allen Toussaint, Kurt Elling and Haley Reinhart among its guest soloists. 8 p.m. Thursday at the Chicago Theatre, 175 N. State St.; $53.50 to $153.50;

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