The Jazz Vespers is always a lot of fun. More important, it reminds both musicians and audience of the spiritual side of jazz.
And the night promotes remembering old friends and making new ones. Rusty Jones, the drummer who for many years was a fixture of this scene and who was a long-time friend of Eddie’s, passed away last December. When we lose one it leaves a hole, but the music rolls on, a force larger than any of us. And so this year we made a new friend: Phil Gratteau.
Phil stepped in at the drum set and guaranteed that we were going to swing.
So there you have the group: Eddie Piccard, Rich Martin, Bill Witz, Nick Schneider, and Phil Gratteau. Good sounds. Rich, the vibist, got an extra treat when he saw his oldest brother sitting in the audience–a gentleman of many years of music experience.
Jazz fans in the Chicago area should keep an eye on this church: The Lutheran Church of the Resurrection on Shermer Road in Niles. They try to offer a Jazz Vespers twice a month. Deserving of support.