Corey Wilkes and Black Slang
Summer Breeze

Red Kiva, Chicago, IL
Wednesday June 9, 2010

Black Slang

Story and Photos by James Walker, Jr., Copyright 2010

Eve Bridgeforth kicked off her 5th annual "Summer Breeze" jazz concert series on June 9th at the Red Kiva on West Randolph with Corey Wilkes and his "Black Slang" group. Joining Wilkes on the absolutely beautiful summer after work evening were keyboardist Greg Spero, drummer Anthony "Big Ant" Capers, bassist Joshua Ramos, vocalist "Yaw" and longtime partner saxophonist Kevin Nabors.

"So What In It's Right Place" opened this set. This is a Greg Spero arrangement of Miles Davis's "So What" and immediately ignited this overflow crowd with "Big Ant" banging away on the skins as both Spero and Wilkes contributed with solid extended solos. This number was previously recorded live by Spero and Wilkes at CLOSE UP 2 in Chicago's South Loop.

Herbie Hancock's "Butterfly" set the stage for excellent call and response between Wilkes and Nabors. These two play together in several of Wilkes many ensembles and never fail to make beautiful music together. They do this without stepping on each others notes.

Yaw joined the action with his splendid version of "People Make The World Go Round." His raw sparkling vocal instrument enables him to rearrange this R&B classic without committing musical sacrilege that really impressed this opening summer jazz series crowd.

Other highlights of this two set evening included "Big Ant" wilding out on Miles "It's About That Time" as his band mates watched in amazement. These cats were jamming and the crowd loved every minute of this fast paced action. Yaw again stirred up the crowd on Johnny "Guitar" Watson's "Superman Lover." Spero's workout on this piece seemed to surprise many of those in attendance with his rapid fire lines and repeated licks that produced a sanctified feeling.

Eve certainly knew what she was doing by booking Black Slang for this year's inaugural Summer Breeze event at Red Kiva. This series will continue through July and promises to include some of Chicago's outstanding jazz artists at this free weekly after work networking event. For information about future Eve events, refer to her website at www.eventsbyeve.com.

Corey Wilkes

Kevin Nabors & Corey Wilkes

Greg Spero

"Big Ant" Anthony Capers


Josh Ramos


Kevin Nabors

Amber Estes & Corey
Amber Estes & CDub

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