Fat Babies perform on Green Mill in Chicago. (Chris Sweda / Chicago Tribune)
Proper whom values very early period jazz played at an inspired technical and artistic level, Thursday night had been a significant occasion in Chicago.
Unwanted fat kids, an extremely admired septet specializing in songs of the pre-bebop 1920s and '30s, ended up being playing for the first time at Katerina's (on western Irving Park Road), a less raucous setting as compared to musical organization's regular sessions in the Green Mill Jazz Club and also the honky-tonk BBQ. Additionally, the team had been celebrating the release of "eighteenth and Racine" (Delmark Records), the much-anticipated follow-up to its stellar recording of last year, "Chicago Hot."
With every driving season, this business appears more cohesive and much more compelling with its command of repertoire infrequently revisited today. To listen to these musicians up close at Katerina's, a romantic area with a warmly embracing noise, would be to recognize how much they bring to music of Jelly Roll Morton, Eddie Condon, Hoagy Carmichael and other visionaries of a distant jazz past. Though there's no denying the power that partners dancing at Green Mill increase the Fat kids' sets indeed there, this time you could savor the information of voicing, shade and expression that distinguish this musical organization from lower alternatives.
Red McKenzie and Eddie Condon's "Liza" can be considered a vintage of an early period in jazz record, additionally the Fat kids dispatched it with an understated authority of a kind one rarely encounters inside arsenal. The unanimity of expression and time that these people shared offered this music well, as performed the radiant front-line noise blend of trombonist Dave Bock, cornetist Andy Schumm and reedist John Otto. Right here had been "Liza" – which seems on the new record – delivered without ostentation or nostalgia but, instead, with an emphasis on depth and beauty of ensemble sound.
Morton's "Georgia Swing" may be changed into one thing of a caricature by people who know only the most apparent mannerisms associated with the period. Unwanted fat children would not succumb to that temptation, instead attaining a buoyant tempo without haste, thanks a lot partially to drummer Alex Hall's streamlined, tight use brushes.