Rudresh Mahanthappa is often considered one of the most important jazz musicians and composers of the new millennium. The recipient of numerous commission grants and awards, he is regarded as an innovative entity both as a composer and improviser. At the age of 74, Bunky Green is a significant, though unsung, fixture and trendsetter in the history of jazz. A historically crucial voice of the alto saxophone, Mr. Green transmuted the hard-bop jazz vocabulary of the 1960s into a musical language that continues to resonate as forward thinking and vital to modern music. He is viewed as the primary impetus and inspiration for the M-BASE Collective of the 1980s that included such important musicians as Steve Coleman, Greg Osby, and Gary Thomas to name just a few. It's obvious that Mahanthappa and Green together is a necessary pairing.
"I first heard about Bunky Green from the great (late) saxophone Teacher Joe Viola when I was a student at Berklee in the early 90s," remarked Mahanthappa. "Joe heard me warming up once and recommended that I check Bunky out as he thought that my approach was on track to being something similar to his. He loaned Places We've Never Been which totally knocked me out!"
Mahanthappa and Green first played together at the Jazz Baltica Festival in Germany in July 2008 in a loosely organized jam session along with Greg Osby and Joe Lovano. In 2009, the City of Chicago approached Rudresh to put together a concert for their Summer series.
"I used to live in Chicago between '93-'97 so I'm seen as an honorary alum of sorts. They wanted me to put something together that had a Chicago focus. I saw this as an opportunity to both reconnect with former colleagues there and to finally do something real with Bunky."
The concert was a great success and the new music was performed flawlessly to over 10,000 people in Millennium Park. Now, fans from all over the world have the chance to hear a sample track of this World Class Jazz, Made in Chicago!
released April 13, 2010
Made In Chicago: World Class Jazz - A presentation of Millennium Park and the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs
recorded live, 6 August 2009
Rudresh Mahanthappa - alto saxophone
Bunky Green - alto saxophone
Tito Carrillo - trumpet
Ryan Shultz - bass trumpet
Ron Perrillo - piano
François Moutin - acoustic bass
Eric Montzka - drums