Being a creative musician in Chicago almost demands a willingness to play anything, everywhere with everybody. Percussionist Tim Daisy and saxophonist Ken Vandermark, who will appear at Convivium 33 Friday, Jan. 13, embody that imperative as well as anyone, having collaborated with hundreds of musicians, movement and visual artists on both sides of the Atlantic. Yet despite lengthy resumes that suggest an affinity with musical speed dating, the two are just as committed to long-term relationships, especially their own.
When he was a student at the Hartt School of Music, trumpeter Tommy Lehman occasionally joined the legendary late-night jam sessions at Small’s jazz club in Manhattan. One night immersed in a solo with his eyes closed he opened his eyes for a moment and found himself face-to-face with the late trumpet player Roy Hargrove, who was sitting in the second row.
Remembering the solo, Lehman said with a laugh, “It sounded terrible,” adding, “I’ll always try my best though. Even if I’m sounding sad, I’m gonna give it everything I have.”
Back in his native northeast Ohio, Lehman is giving it everything he has these days, seemingly playing with everyone everywhere. His latest venture is a new recording, Uplift, which be available on Dec. 21 on Lehman’s Bandcamp page and which he’ll celebrate with a release show at BLU Jazz+ in Akron.