# A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Billy Childs Quartet - Space, Evanston, 11/5/2023

  by Lisa Torem

published: 3 / 7 / 2023

Billy Childs Quartet - Space, Evanston, 11/5/2023


Lisa Torem enjoys a Billy Childs Quartet concert at Space in Evanston which features songs from the jazz pianist’s latest album, ‘The Winds of Change’, a Chick Corea cover and classic chestnuts.

Billy Childs defies the brand. Indeed, he’s a jazz master, but his imaginative compositions cast a wide, inclusive net. His work has drawn comparisons to American composer Aaron Copland, who, similarly, peppered his work with Americana and Delta blues flourishes. He’s classically astute, but a hard bopper, not to mention a silky stylist; but always, his own man. His latest release, ‘The Winds of Change’, features the virtuoso with trumpet player Ambrose Akinmusire, bassist Scott Colley and drummer Brian Blade, but his touring ensemble consists of three other artists: trumpeter Sean Jones, who was featured on Nancy Wilson’s Grammy-winning ‘Turned to Blue’, and has released seven albums through the Mack Avenue Records label; Austrian bassist Hans Glawischnig, who spent stage time with Chick Corea and Ravi Coltrane, among others; and drummer Christian Euman, a touring drummer with Jacob Collier, now living in L.A., but originally from Chicago, who has worked extensively with Kurt Elling and Herbie Hancock. The quartet started exactly at 8 pm., and although the club was nearly packed by the appointed time, a few patrons trickled in and found standing room only space against the back wall, with the rest seated at tables or folding chairs, all united by a sense of anticipation. Childs initially played the blissfully dissonant theme of ‘The Great Western Loop’ sans accompaniment, then eased his way into the mellow mood, while Jones made up for his brief absence with the first explosive solo of the night. Childs artfully comped his way through Jones’s solo, committing to strongly articulated phrasing. When they took off, their acute listening belied an assumption that Childs set straight: “This tour has been the first time sharing the stage with this incredible musician,” the five-time Grammy winner beamed, gesturing towards Jones, taking centre-stage. After Jones mirrored Childs’ clean blue licks, he brought the opener’s crafty figure straight-back home. This first number’s intricate back-story had to do with the 7,000-mile Pacific Coast mountain trail. Childs, who had previously been commissioned to compose a piece about a tree, seems to find sonic solace in all things natural. He dedicated the latest release to fellow instrumentalist Roy Hargrove. The live version featured Euman’s imaginative drum fills, at the outro, and Jones’ explosive horn iterations after the exposition of a slow-burning melodic line. For the sprightly ‘Winds of Change’ Euman relied on light taps, maybe as a sort of onomatopoeia, on the cymbals; Jones ushered in a whispering trumpet at the finish line. “I wrote this piece in homage to film noir; hard-boiled detective dramas like ‘China Town’ and ‘Taxi Driver’,” Childs divulged. The third piece, ‘The End of Innocence’’, was inspired, in part, by Herbie Hancock’s ‘Speak Like a Child’. The carefree melody morphed into a series of impressive right-hand runs, along with a daring display of chromaticism. Glawischnig shot back with a feverish solo. Childs then played a song written exclusively for a trio, dedicated to his youngest son, ‘In Carson’s Eyes’. The gorgeous melodic fragments were repeated in both hands, in what might be considered an ode to minimalism. The compelling bassline acted as a linear thread. ‘Master of the Game’ was also cinema-inspired. This time Childs duelled with Euman, who exercised supreme confidence when obeying the beat. Jones’ solo was passionate and lengthy, a mashup of fugue, cacophony and classical. ‘Crystal Silence’ was jubilantly described by Childs as “elegant and direct in its beauty,” but he then solemnly lamented the passing of its composer, Chick Corea. “He’s written everything under the sun,” the pianist explained. The composition was rife with dissonant broken chords, chromatic runs and flashy arpeggios, but Childs’s colleagues rivalled his magical touches, with a heartfelt bass solo and Jones’ silky response. ‘Dance of Shiva’ featured Euman’s driving beat against a cascade of staccato chords, and with Jones’ steamy, undulating reprise, all carried out with bullet--train precision. After a standing ovation, Childs laughed and announced, “We’re going to slow it down; we know one more,” The ensemble left the audience in awe after performing the transcendental, steadily moving ‘Acceptance,’ the title track from his 2020 album. For this encore, Childs fleshed out a series of blues-drenched runs, but vigilantly returned to the compelling motif, expressed poignantly with both hands.

Band Links:-

Play in YouTube:-

Picture Gallery:-
Billy Childs Quartet - Space, Evanston, 11/5/2023

Billy Childs Quartet - Space, Evanston, 11/5/2023

Billy Childs Quartet - Space, Evanston, 11/5/2023

Billy Childs Quartet - Space, Evanston, 11/5/2023

Post A Comment

your name
ie London, UK
Check box to submit

Pennyblackmusic Regular Contributors