Audley Reid
Live at the Checkerboard Lounge

Chicago, IL
Sunday Nov. 11, 2007

Audley Reid
Audley Reid

Story and Photos by James Walker

As usual with Audley Reid, his performance at the Hyde Park Jazz Society's Sunday night Jazz set on November 11th, was solid. Audley is a veteran saxophone player who assembled an outstanding group of "sidemen," all of whom have excellent reputations as musicians and bandleaders. Dynamic drummer Derek Henderson, who held down the beat on the drums, and bassist Will Howard, often perform with Audley, while the fourth member of this group was keyboardist Roger Weaver.

The set got off to a good start with an exceptional solo from the top by rapid fire drummer Derek Henderson. Derek's energy was at a high level, as is normal with this rock solid musician. During the band's rendition of the second tune of the night, "Autumn Leaves," the sound system began to malfunction. Members of the band gazed at one another with a puzzled look as Audley continued to play through the problem without missing a note. Being the true professional that he is, Audley appeared to be completely oblivious to the issue as he concluded the beautiful ballad.

Although Audley acknowledged having difficulty throughout the first set "warming" his fingers, his performance was on target. This first set was primarily made up of straight-ahead jazz as opposed to the contemporary jazz that Audley often is associated with. He's such a versatile musician that his comfort level is with any genre. Audley's approach to playing is patient and thoughtful and his touch is impeccable.

Also, during the first set, the band's rendition of Dizzy Gillespie's "A Night in Tunisia" seemed to be a little disjointed at its conclusion, as keyboardist Roger Weaver worked through some dicey moments. To his credit though, Weaver aptly recovered during the playing of the next tune, "Misty." This nice ballad was perhaps the highlight of the first set as Audley really appears to be at home on ballads. Weaver played an excellent solo on this number.

Throughout the entire first set, bassist Will Howard demonstrated his customary expertise on both the electric bass and his unique upright �stick� bass. He really gets the maximum sound out of this unique instrument as he combines uncanny speed and deep bass tones.

As previously mentioned, Henderson was spectacular all evening on the drums. His commanding solos were full of ideas and energy and played with a beautiful sound that Derek is quite capable of performing,

Sunday night at the Checkerboard Lounge continues to be the venue for sound straight-forward Jazz, sponsored by the Hyde Park Jazz Society.

Flautist Nicole Mitchell dons the stage on Nov. 18th, with guitarist Peter Lernert�s CD release party concluding November�s sets on the 25th. All sets begin at 7:30 p.m. at the 5201 S. Harper Ave. Hyde Park location.

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Contact Brad Walseth and JazzChicago.net at bwalseth60@aol.com

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