A Meeting in Chicago finds Ken Vandermark teamed up with one of his early personal influences, brass and reedsman Joe McPhee, with frequent Vandermark collaborator, bassist Kent Kessler, rounding out the date. The recording took place on Valentine's Day, 1996 and was originally issued on 8th Day Musics in the summer of 1997; Chicago jazz and improvised music label Okkadisk reissued it the following year. Both McPhee and Vandermark use a number of instruments from the reed and brass families throughout this varied recording of pairings, trio pieces, and solos. Of particular note are the soft beauty of the trio's "Matter of the Heart," Kessler's bowed solo piece "Central Wisconsin Double Wide," the aptly named McPhee and Vandermark duo "Hard Circles," and the suspenseful and heartfelt "Empty Bottle Blues." Ranging from fast and active to mellow and sparse, this recording session of truly excellent players holds many interesting moments for fans.
AllMusic Review by Joslyn Layne