Look back: Highlights from Melissa Merli on the week that was
Young crowd at Iron Post
It wasn't until I really looked that I realized half of the patrons at The Iron Post Monday evening were high school kids with Illinois Summer Youth Music. They were there to hear ISYM faculty in the Old Style Sextet, led by the talented and funny saxophonist Clark Gibson. The players' "father," Chip McNeill, sat in, "sight reading on his second instrument," the piano, as Gibson put it. The group played mostly originals that will be on its new CD, to be released in late August.
Music to my ears
I never tire of the SSG Trio: pianist Chip Stephens, drummer Joel Spencer and bassist Larry Gray, all UI jazz faculty and stellar musicians. They play every other Wednesday, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., at the Post. This past week, they were adventuresome, performing songs, some with interesting chord changes. The theme: songs with names in the titles, some by jazz greats and originals, among them Stephens' "St. Stephens at the Golden Gate," a tribute to his late father. It's an audience favorite.
One of Ebert's favorites
As I write this, it's Friday morning; my plans for the evening are to hear live music, go to the art show/fundraiser at Indi Go for the new veterans center on the UI campus and see the flick "Breaking Away" outdoors in the Busey lot. Before there was Lance Armstrong, there was "Breaking Away," a charming coming-of-age movie (1979) about bicycling and bike racing in Bloomington, Ind. "Breaking Away" was one of Roger Ebert's favorite movies; his review of it is spot-on: bit.ly/1r0QXOG.