Story and Photos by James Walker
It was such a pleasure to see vocalist Maragret Murphy back on the scene at the weekly Hyde Park Jazz Society's set at Room 43 on July 26th. Ms. Murphy is not only an outstanding vocalist, she's also an exceptional entertainer who really knows how to engage the audience and take advantage of her excellent bandmates.
On this evening she was accompanied by some of Chicago's finest musicians; Mike Logan on keyboard, Kwame Steve Cobb on drum, and her husband, Chuck Webb on bass. These musicians all onced toured the country with Chicago's world rennouned pianist, Ramsey Lewis, and they know their way around a bandstand. Margaret allowed them to open the set with a couple of "standards" that were reminisent of their days with Ramsey.
Margaret opened her set with "Them There Eyes", which she dedicated to the recently deseased Southside icon, pianist Earma Thompson. It didn't take the audience long to get involved with this number as they positively responded to her every note.
Margaret next sang "Stormy Weather", a song that Lena Horne sung decades ago in the classic movie Cabin in the Sky. It's not often that vocalist undertake Lena's music, but Ms. Murphy truly did a nice job on this song. The next selection , "I'm Walkin", was taken from her latest CD, In Full Bloom. This is an excellent CD that was produced by Chuck and Margaret.
What's a show these days without a Micheal Jackson tribute, and Margaret's rendition of "He's Out Of My Life" was beautiful. She concluded the first set with the lovely ballad, "My Funny Valentine".
Although this listener only stayed for the first set(still recoverly from recent knee surgery), he was informed that the 2nd and 3rd sets included many of Margaret's musician friends making carmeo appearances.
Don't miss this Sunday's Jazz Society's set (August 9th) as trumpeter Art Hoyle takes center stage while paying tribute to bassist Eddie DeHaas, pianist Wallace Burton and the Society's founder(James Wagner) widow, Almarie Wagner.
For detailed information about future Hyde Park Jazz Society's events, refer to their website at www.checkerjazz.org.