Everett Greene

Room 43, Chicago, IL
November 21, 2010

Everett Greene by James Walker, Jr.
Everett Greene

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

It had been two years since this Indianapolis native graced the Hyde Park Jazz Society's Sunday evening stage and his Chicago fans began arriving early for a good seat to witness this dynamic baritone crooner serenade and mesmerize all present. Chicago is noted for exceptional female jazz vocalists but there's a huge void of the male vocalists that remind one of the likes of Joe Williams and Arthur Prysock. Mr. Greene certainly fulfilled that void on November 21, as he and his band mates - drummer Cortez Bryson, bassist Clifford Griffin, keyboardist Corky McClerken and saxophonist extraordinaire Ray Bailey captivated the attention of this capacity crowd from start to finish.

This silky smooth vocalist opened the set up with "Hello Young Lovers," and the stage was set for a few hours of sparkling vocal arrangements that's rarely heard in the Chicago area. He followed up with "There Will Never Be Another You" (recorded on his I've Got Love CD), which featured saxophonist Ray Bailey on both soprano and tenor sax. Bailey, an "old schooler," recently led his group at Room 43, and on this evening he was in a "zone." His "hot" horn caught many in attendance by surprise, but he kept it steaming during the first set on selections like "Willow Weep For Me," "Georgia On My Mind," and "I'd Rather Drink Muddy Water."At this point he was "threatening to steal" the show.

The veteran Greene obviously wasn't worried as he also had the ladies in a frenzy on "Willow Weep For Me" and "The Nearness Of You." On "Willow," he directed his attention to WHPK's Linda Hall and she was appreciative of this classic number that was sooooooo well done.

Seasoned keyboardist Corkey McClerken had his moments, particularly on "Georgia On My Mind." He's always solid and is one of the most respected musicians in Chicago.

The second set consisted of standards like "One Mint Julep," "Old Folks," "All Blues" and "Skylark." Greene effortlessly took control of these numbers. Usually there's a mass exodus after the first set, but no one wanted to miss the sounds emitting from Greene's beautiful instrument that is clear, firm and enviably focused. Hopefully, he'll honor the Chicagoland jazz crowd with more frequent visits to the Windy City in the future.

Check Hyde Park Jazz Society's website at www.hydeparkjazzsociety.com for future events.

Corky McClerken

Clifford Griffin

Ray Bailey

Cortez Bryson

Linda Hall

Check out other recent concerts reviews and photos

Return to jazzchicago home