By TOM BOWSER
Day one of the 2016 Chicago Jazz Festival: Many people recognize Dan Trudell as a talented Hammond B3 organ player. The Hammond B3 organ is probably one of the most universally recognized organs currently used in music. You'll hear it in many types of music from rock to blues, jazz and gospel. Dan Trudell's other passion is playing the piano as part of the Dan Trudell Trio.
The show was held in the Claudia Cassidy Theater on the second floor of the stunning Chicago Cultural Center. The Claudia Cassidy Theater is small enough to make it feel intimate. The acoustics are fine if the music is not to loud. The show was sponsored by Chicago's DCASE (Department of Cultural Affairs & Special Events). DCASE does a great job providing high quality events throughout the city of Chicago.
My wife and I were not disappointed. Dan Trudell is a talented pianist. Dan's experience playing the organ influences his piano playing style in ways that give him a unique and interesting sound as a pianist. His trio was tight, musical and fun to watch. One of my favorite moments from the show was his performance of the Ramsey Lewis Trio's tune "The In Crowd".
A few months prior to seeing the Dan Trudell Trio my wife and I attended a Chicago Lake FX event where the world famous jazz pianist Ramsey Lewis spoke. The event was also held in the Claudia Cassidy theater. During the conversation Ramsey Lewis stated he did not think white people could play jazz.
I guess Ramsey Lewis never heard Dan Trudell's version of "The In Crowd". I've been listening to jazz for over 40 years. What I heard Dan Trudell playing was jazz Ramsey! The large audience that had assembled for the Dan Trudell Trio responded with hardy, thankful applause. See Dan Trudell play the piano. You will enjoy it!
Dan Trudell - piano
John Sims - bass
Matt Wilson - drums
Click on either of the two images below to view a larger version. The image of drummer Matt Wilson shows him putting his left foot on top of his snare drum. He is using the heal of his shoe to alter the tension on the head of his snare drum to change its pitch. Don't try that at home folks!
Dan has a new CD called Dan Trudell Plays the Piano. It's worth the money. One of my favorite tunes from the CD is "I Let a Song Out of My Heart" featuring Joe Sanders & Matt Wilson. I've always enjoyed Ella Fitzgerald's version of the song. Dan Trudell and his Trio put a fresh face on an old classic.
As always, I apologize in advance for the lousy photographs. I'm not a professional photographer.