Marion Meadows and Shilts

DuSable Museum, Chicago, IL
July 30, 2010

Shilts, Buddy Fambro & Marion Meadows

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

SmoothChicago.com's most recent smooth jazz concert in Chicago featured two of that genre's most notable artists, soprano saxophonist Marion Meadows and tenor man Shilts (formerly of "Down To The Bone"). This July 30th event at Dusable Museum on the South Side was well attended and kept the enthusiastic audience on the edge of their feet from start to finish. Both musicians were more than adequately backed by Chicago based players bassist Ron Hall, drummer Clyde Davis, guitarist Buddy Fambro and keyboardist Rick Garabeck.

The format for this set allowed for Meadows to open the show with a few numbers followed by Shilts and ultimately concluding with the two jamming on a couple of "high powered" foot-tapping, finger-snapping tunes.

Although Meadows was the more subdued of the two headliner, he finally cut loose on"South Beach," a number that showcased the varied skills of drummer Clyde Davis. He has to be one of the hardest working drummers in the business, and never misses a beat.

Shilts brought energy from the outset of this two set gig but certainly saved the best for the finale with his rendition of "Brooklyn Heights," a former number one hit on the smooth jazz charts by his former group, "Down To The Bone." Bassist Hall worked overtime on this selection as keyboardist Garabeck tickled the 88s with efficiency.

Special mention must be given to guitarist Fambro who was called the night before to substitute and was given the music only a few hours before the performance. No wonder Fambro is often called upon by national artists when they perform in Chicago. He's the consummate professional.

Smooth Chicago organizer Mark Grable continues to bring quality smooth jazz performers to Chicago with his next edition in October featuring trumpeter Rick Braun. Refer to SmoothChicago.com for in depth information pertaining to future events.

Marion Meadows


Clyde Davis

Buddy Fambro

Rick Garabeck

Ron Hall

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