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UPTOWN CHICAGO COMMISSION

Uptown in the News  

March 1, 2004
Chicago Tribune
Rebel Souls walk a fine line at Mill
By Howard Reich, Tribune arts critic


CD release parties can be trivial and self-congratulatory events, but the one that Ted Sirota's Rebel Souls played over the weekend at the Green Mill Jazz Club was quite the opposite.

Here were five superb musicians joining forces in one of the more technically polished, artistically cohesive units in the city, an impressive achievement considering the competition. And though drummer Sirota's band is less rebellious than he thinks, it walks a fine line between innovation and post-be-bop tradition with apparent ease.

From the opening of Saturday night's sold-out show, Sirota's band conveyed as much energy as control, as much improvisatory freedom as ensemble discipline. In every composition, in fact, one marveled at how far from the written score these players could stray, and how nimbly they could return to it at a moment's notice.


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