Maurice "Mobetta" Brown

Hyde Park Jazz Society, Room 43
Chicago, IL, Sept. 26, 2010

Maurice Brown, Jack Zara, Chelsea Baratz

"Mobetta" Maurice Brown

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

The Hyde Park Jazz Society (HPJS) climaxed a long successful weekend featuring world class trumpeter Maurice "Mobetta" Brown and a bunch of his friends at their weekly Sunday set at Room 43 on the South Side. Former Chicagoan Mobetta was accompanied by Chicago bassist Jack Zara and drummer Charles "Rick" Heath in addition to his New York companion saxophonist Chelsea Branatz and side kick pianist Chris Rob (also a former Chicagoan.)

What a "coup" for HPJS to have Mobetta extend his Festival appearance an extra day to perform before a sold out crowd at Room 43. He highlighted selections from his recent CD, Cycle of Love during this three hour, two set gig and jam session.

During the 90 minute first set, Mobetta, Chris and Chelsea were simply electrifying. They opened with "Fly By Night", playing with energy and enthusiasm as Rob quickly demonstrated his keyboarding skill, sliding across the entire length of the 88s to the delight of the stunned crowd.

He followed that up on "Merry Go Round", again playing with a valiant spirit that whipped up an interactive whirlwind among his band mates.This group was reaching an early peak after having only played two numbers.

"Misty' was next on the play list and this Erroll Garner ballad was played so well with Mobetta reaching for some very high decibel notes. Some in the crowd seemed stunned by his command of his instrument. For Mobetta, it's just what he does.

They closed out the first set with "Hip To Hop" from Mobetta's first CD, of the same name. Rob rose from his keyboard to engage the crowd in a chorus of "Mobetta, Mobetta, Mobetta." It was quite evident that a good time was being had by all.

During the second set, Mobetta was giving directions to Heath and Zara on the challenging number "Misunderstood." These two had only played these songs once before(at the Festival) and Maestro Brown was conducting and playing like a classical orchestrator while blowing fast , bright trumpet flourishes. It was such a beautiful sight seeing this young masterful performer in complete control even though he often gives the appearance of being out of control. Both Zara and Heath stood out in the background during this selection and others.

Before calling friends up to "jam" with the band, Mobetta thrilled the crowd with Duke Ellington's "Sentimental Mood." Mo again hit some of those screeching, crying notes that only a few trumpeters would even dare to attempt.

The "jam" session appropriately lasted until "around midnight" as keyboardist Greg Spero, basssists Frank Russell, Marlene Rosenberg, Cecile Savage, and Mo's "double trouble" partner trumpeter Corey Wilkes were among many musicians in the audience who could not resist an opportunity to join in this "party."

What a weekend and what a way to climax HPJS three days of jazz with former Chicagoan Maurice Brown and his many , many friends captivating this South Side crowd with three hours of spirited and infectious sounds.

For details about future HPJS events, refer to their website at www.hydeparkjazzsociety.org.

Chris Rob, Maurice Brown, Jack Zara, Chelsea Baratz, Charles "Rick" Heath

Chris Rob

Chris Rob & Frank Russell

Chelsea Baratz

Mobetta, Jack Zara & Chelsea Baratz

Corey Wilkes

Double Trouble

Frank Russell

Greg Spero & Marlene Rosenberg

Jack Zara

Marlene Rosenberg

Amber Estes Wright

Chris Rob & Dee Alexander

Chelsea with Mr. and Mrs. John Wright

JDub and Hattie Bell

Charlie Thomas and Jesse

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