Sunday, June 28, 2015

Marquis Hill | Chicago's Sound Palette III


The Marquis Hill Blacktet (yes, it's blacktet, not quartet) played in the Yates Gallery of the Chicago Cultural Center surrounded by the art of world renowned artist Archibald Motley. Smaller more intimate rooms like the Yates Gallery are the perfect place to see jazz. You can clearly see the musicians as they interact to create music that lives in the moment. The room was small enough that little amplification was needed to hear the musicians instruments. I could hear the complex tone of Marquis Hill's trumpet directly from the bell of his horn.

Archibald Motley painting - Hot-Rhythm

From my perspective the music of The Marquis Hill Blacktet epitomizes what jazz is all about, created in the moment yet grounded enough to be musical and accessible to it's audience. Jazz aficionados will not be disappointed. If you are new to jazz The Marquis Hill Blacktet is a great place to start your exploration of the universe of jazz music.

This was the first time my wife and I had seen trumpeter Marquis Hill and his band perform. With each song the band got tighter, hotter, the performances more inspired. It was a night of great music my wife and I will both remember for many years to come. The Marquis Hill Blacktet will perform at the upcoming Chicago Jazz Festival. I'll see you there!

The Band:
Christopher McBride - Alto Saxophone
Justin Thomas - Vibes
Joshua Ramos - Bass
Makaya McCraven - Drums
Marquis Hill - Trumpet - Winner of the prestigious Thelonious Monk International Trumpet Competition.