I grew up on Chicago jazz, though not in the traditional sense. In the ’90s, before I knew anything about Chicago, I was blissing out to post-rockers Tortoise and pretty much every band on the brilliant indie label, Thrill Jockey. The band’s blend of krautrock, dub, electronica, and yes, jazz came to define Chicago in my mind. I’ve always associated music with places, because before I traveled, I listened. Back when I was a music journalist, I saw Tortoise live at Good Records in Dallas and was mesmerized by John McEntire’s metronomic drumming.
It wasn’t until this year I finally experienced Chicago jazz in the form of Omar Sosa’s Quarteto Afro Cubano. The band played a hypnotic and lively show at the classically charming venue, Jazz Showcase.
If you’re in Chicago, there are two things you have to experience: deep dish pizza and jazz!