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The best things to do in Chicago this month,
selected by our culture criticsDecember 2015

Music
Jazz

GERI ALLEN AND DANILO PÉREZ

12/4 at 8 The pianists riff on McCoy Tyner’s 1972 composition Echoes of a Friend, an ode to the keys player’s late pal John Coltrane. Tyner and his trio also appear, peripherally, to lend a hand. $28–$89. Symphony Center, 220 S. Michigan. cso.org

DEE ALEXANDER’S EVOLUTION ENSEMBLE

12/3 at 8:30 West Side jazz vocalist Dee Alexander  formed this quintet in 2007 to commemorate her late collaborator “Light” Henry Huff. They’ve since covered improvisational heavyweights such as Jimi Hendrix and James Brown. Here, the group joins Huff’s bandmate Edward Wilkerson for a set spanning multiple eras. $10. Constellation, 3111 N. Western. ticketfly.com

 

GEOF BRADFIELD GROUP

12/11–12 The Houston-born saxophonist has assembled an enviable group of local musicians—trumpeter Marquis Hill, trombonist Joel Adams, bassist Clark Sommers, and drummer Dana Hall—to play on his latest project, Our Roots, an examination of the music of the black rural South. $12. Green Mill, 4802 N. Broadway. greenmilljazz.com

Robert Glasper Trio

JAZZ SHOWCASE

12/16–19 Robert Glasper Trio. Though he rose through the ranks playing pure jazz and revisits the genre on his most recent album, Covered, Glasper’s midcareer Black Radio albums found him delving into R&B and hip-hop with the likes of Erykah Badu and Lupe Fiasco. Given the setting, fans can expect the pianist’s traditional side. $30–$55.
12/26–31 Roy Hargrove Quintet. Like Glasper, this trumpeter blurs the line between R&B and jazz, most recently by appearing on D’Angelo’s latest album, Black Messiah. $35–$100. Jazz Showcase, 806 S. Plymouth. jazzshowcase.com

DAVE KOZ

12/12 at 8 It wouldn’t be the holidays without some smooth-jazz cheese, courtesy of saxophonist Dave Koz, who’s been playing a hometown show basically since Christmas sweaters were in style. $29.50–$109.50. Chicago Theatre, 175 N. State. ticketmaster.com

PAT MARTINO TRIO

12/6 at 6 and 8:30 A botched brain surgery in the ’80s threatened to derail the veteran hard-bop guitarist’s career for good, but with help from a neurosurgeon, the Philadelphia native is back in rare fast-flying-fingers form. $18–$38. SPACE, 1245 Chicago, Evanston. ticketweb.com

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