By Rich Lindbloom
There’s probably a good chance most of you do not know who the trumpeter pictured above is. I knew very little about this virtuoso, Miles Davis, other than what I gleaned from Terry Hemmert’s Jazz transfusion show that used to play late Sunday nights. (And of course a little WBEZ) Back in 1991, my wife and I attended an outdoor concert in a field just north of the Field Museum on the spur of a moment. I think she asked me what kind of music it was, and I said, “I’m not sure, but I know the guy is a legend.” The truth about jazz is it’s the antipode of what producers try to sell us, what with the “hooks” and such of modern popular music. Live jazz is the unexpected, boldly creative, “out on a limb” risk taking.(Think Dustin Byfuglien abandoning his defensive post.) Clearly it’s poetry without rhyme. Most of the time, unless you’re the Tribunes great jazz reporter, Howard Reich, it’s a venture into the unknown.
As Nathalie and I took are seats, decidedly in the minority, we took in the sights and sounds of the jazz world. It made me smile to think that some of these jazz aficionado’s thought we know something about jazz. Ha! Mile’s Davis’s band took the stage, sans Miles, and started into a whirlwind funk type of thing. (I’m pretty sure Howard would like to punch me in the face for that description– see, hockey does have similarities to jazz!) After a few minutes, a slender dude with big sunglasses joined them on stage, trumpet in hand. As he took to his front and center position, he raised the trumpet to his lips and blew one note.