A look inside The Jazz Gallery

Photo by Allison Williams, courtesy of the artist.

Photo by Allison Williams, courtesy of the artist.

For much of his career, pianist & guitarist Rob Clearfield has been a true musician’s musician. He’s an expert accompanist and generous sideman, so it’s no surprise that Clearfield is the pianist of choice for numerous groups in his home city of Chicago, including ensembles led by bassist Matt Ulery and saxophonist Greg Ward, as well as the prog rock band District 97. Recently though, Clearfield has begun to step out as a leader, showcasing his talents as a soloist and his unique perspective as a composer.

In 2013, Clearfield released his debut record The Long and Short of It, featuring ambitious compositions for a quintet. Last Friday, Clearfield released his followup effort, Islands (Ears & Eyes Records). If early reviews are any indication, Islands is a big step forward for Clearfield. Writing in the Chicago Tribune, Howard Reich calls Clearfield’s playing “melodically urgent and tonally warm,” and notes that “…shades of jazz and rock, classical and pop course through this recording, the music radically changing direction not only from tune to tune but sometimes within a composition.”

This Tuesday, June 7th, The Jazz Gallery is proud to welcome Clearfield to our stage for the first time as a leader. He’ll be joined by the members of his working trio from Islands–bassist Curt Bley and drummer Quin Kirchner—as well as two recent Chicago transplants who have since found homes here at the Gallery—trumpeter Marquis Hill and saxophonist Caroline Davis. Check out some tracks from Islands below, then see the music take on a whole new dimension live at the Gallery this Tuesday.

Pianist Rob Clearfield celebrates the release of Islands at The Jazz Gallery on Tuesday, June 7th, 2016. Mr. Clearfield will be joined by Marquis Hill on trumpet, Caroline Davis on alto saxophone, Curt Bley on bass, and Quin Kirchner on drums. Sets are at 7:30 and 9:30 P.M. $15 general admission (FREE for members). Purchase tickets here.