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Venerable jazz guitarist George Freeman celebrates 95 years with a new compilation

Legendary Chicago jazz guitarist George Freeman has been honing his dynamic, explosive style since the 1940s, working with dozens of the genre’s hall of famers, including Charlie Parker, Richard “Groove” Holmes, Gene Ammons, Jimmy McGriff, Buddy Rich, Shirley Scott, and his brothers Von and Bruz Freeman. On Sunday, April 10, Freeman turns 95, and to mark […]

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Summer Walker’s songs invite you to learn from their missteps in love

After the breakout success of Summer Walker’s 2019 debut album, Over It, the Atlanta singer-songwriter continued its saga of betrayals and learned lessons with their 2021 follow-up, Still Over It (LVRN/Interscope). The cleaning technician turned songbird fearlessly plumbs the truth in every heartbreak through somber, grappling melodies. On their second album, they continue this approach […]

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Why did blues singer Lil Green end up forgotten?

It’s officially spring, which is always a relief in Chicago, but the threat of World War III, the stubborn persistence of the pandemic, and the new flood of horrifying Republican anti-trans legislation more than justify continuing the Winter Blues series for a few more entries. No underrecognized Chicago blues artist deserves a spot in the […]

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Young indie rockers Friko celebrate a sophisticated new EP with a springtime show

Friko front man Niko Kapetan is a key player in Chicago’s young indie-rock underground. His band belongs to a tight-knit community that also includes like-minded acts Lifeguard, Post Office Winter, Dwaal Troupe, and Horsegirl—the connections among them are too numerous to list here, but to pick one example, Kapetan helped engineer and produce Horsegirl’s 2020 […]

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Ensemble dal Niente collates five-year-old highlights on Object/Animal

Ensemble dal Niente’s Object/Animal follows closely on the heels of the local contemporary classical group’s November release, Confined. Speak., a retrospective of pieces performed sans live audiences in 2020 and 2021. Object/Animal is likewise chronologically narrow: dal Niente premiered all the works on the album in 2017. Aesthetically, however, the three featured compositions are as […]

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New west-coast punk supergroup Plosivs includes members of Rocket From the Crypt, Pinback, and more

The pandemic has shattered so many bands that any project that’s come together since March 2020 represents a small victory. And when the project in question is as much fun as Plosivs—a new four-piece consisting of vocalist and guitarist Rob Crow, vocalist and guitarist John Reis, bassist Jordan Clark, and drummer Atom Willard—the victory isn’t […]