John Moulder

Andy's, Chicago, IL

John Moulder

Story by Brad Walseth & photos by John Broughton, Copyright 2011

Chicago's favorite (albeit possibly its only) Catholic priest/jazz guitarist, John Moulder, led a talented quartet of musicians at Andy's last weekend. Moulder, who besides his pastoral duties also teaches at several local universities, while also spearheading the annual ChiTown Jazz Festival for charity, somehow found time to entertain the crowded Hubbard Street venue with a choice collection of originals and standards.

Joining Father Moulder on this evening was Chicago's first-call rhythm section: drummer Ernie Adams and bassist Larry Gray, along with excellent pianist Jim Trompeter (Miami Sound Machine). John switched back and forth between his electric and acoustic guitars - producing an array of sounds ranging from angular fusion riffs to breezy gypsy and Brazilian guitar lines. We were there as Moulder led the band through Bill Evans' "Time Remembered," a funky "Blue in Green," Toninho Horta's "Francisca," Moulder's own "Sarum" (from 1999's Through the Open Door), as well as his "Creation" (from Trinity see our review ). His original "African Sunset" (recorded with the Paul Wertico Trio) and "Magical Space" were also highlights and we were told more compositions from Trinity were showcased later in the evening.

John's fluid and expressive playing was central to the sound, and he makes it look so easy at times that the listener may be startled by the complexity of the music. Gray and Trompeter accompanied the music well like the veterans they are, while Adams matched Moulder's intensity with joyous exuberance and great solos. The newly proud papa was glowing and bursting with positive energy.

Chicago is lucky to have such a talented musician, as well as devoted religious leader in our midst and it is always a pleasure to catch John in action. The comfortable and well-lit Andy's deserves credit also for their continued support of the local Chicago jazz scene as well. And their pizza's pretty decent too.

John Moulder

"Papa" Ernie Adams

Jim Trompeter

Larry Gray

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