Various Artists

Mile by Jazz Mile

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Mile by Jazz Mile Review

by Dave Nathan

This album serves two purposes. The first is as a sampler of sorts for the Chicago Lakeside Jazz label, and the second intended purpose is to provide the musical backdrop for the running of the '99 LaSalle Banks Chicago Marathon. In appreciation of its second purpose, the liner notes contain a message from Mayor Richard M. Daley. The liner notes also list major venues in the Windy City where you can hear live jazz. The music comes from a variety of CDs issued by the Chicago recording company, running the spectrum from the modern big-band offerings of one of the choice university bands extant, the DePaul University Jazz Ensemble, to the progressive jazz of tenor saxman Frank Catalano's quintet. The albums from whence these selections were culled are listed in the liner notes, if further exploration is desired. In between, there is a sophisticated rendering of "Peri's Scope" by the Joel Spencer & Kelly Sill Quartet, something you'd likely hear on a jazz Sunday brunch. It's sharp and advanced, but in the manner of something offered by the Dave Brubeck Quartet of yore, where no one's hair was ruffled. Chris Potter's alto is the feature on this track. One of the city's major contributions to the distaff singers society, Jackie Allen, is headlined on a much too short "You Could Be Fred." All in all, there are 11 different groups represented on this disk, with music that certainly must have made running and watching the marathon quite pleasant indeed. Recommended.

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