Last night we went to the Jazz Fest in Millenium Park. It followed an afternoon wandering through the galleries of the Art institute. The weather was perfect and the sounds provocative including the avant garde jazz of Rudresh Mahanthappa which fuses Indian music with jazz, his whole ensemble a sophisticated group of virtuoso musicians.
And then there was Gregory Porter, a jazz singer a la Kurt Elling. The texture of his amazing voice alone draws you into his music, which is a blend of soul, R & B, and spirituals inside a jazz context. The compositions he has written deal with diverse subject matter that sometimes isn’t always easy, which adds to the musical richness of his sound. His ensemble, as well, was equally stellar and powerful.
All that musical pushing of boundaries — creatively inspiring on a cool and peaceful Chicago evening, just hours away from the beginning of a new school year.