Greg Spero — „The Chicago Experiment“ (March 11, 2022)USA FLAG                                                      Greg Spero — „The Chicago Experiment“ (March 11, 2022)
Greg Spero je pianista, skladatel, aranžér, producent, šéf labelu a renesanční člověk hudebního byznysu 21. století. Lídr elektrického jazzového uskupení Spirit Fingers, jehož hudba se kříží s jazz~funkem, post~bopem, R&B, spirituálním jazzem a elektronikou. Spero také provozuje značku Tiny Room a skládá pro film, televizi a divadlo. Jeho debutem pro klavírní trio bylo v roce 2005 Live in 25. O tři roky později nahrál GMG s bubeníkem Makaya McCraven a basistou Grahamem Czachem. V roce 2010 vydal Radio Over Miles. Acoustic následoval v roce 2011 a Electric v roce 2014. Mezi lety 2014 a 2018 sloužil Spero jako klávesista a zvukový designér na turné s popovou zpěvačkou Halsey. Jeho elektrické jazzové kvarteto Spirit Fingers vydalo svůj stejnojmenný debut v roce 2018 a v roce 2020 ho následovalo Peace. Následující rok vedl septet sessions pro Chicago 2022. Na současném albu band přináší masivní prohlášení v jazz~funkovém groovu. „The Chicago Experiment“ je střídavě snadně poslouchatelný, také asertivní, zauzlený a otevřený. Každý dostane šanci zazářit individuálně — nefungovalo by to — ovšem fungují jako kolektiv, který ví, že harmonické a rytmické groovy jsou zde dvojicí motorů kreativity.
No, nic není předvídatelnějšího než můj nadcházející verdikt: palec nahoru za toto album. Chicago Experiment se ukazuje jako zábavná, funky deska, aniž by ztratila na své hloubce. Daří se mu dodat osobnost, otisk kultury. Stejně jako všechna alba v této sérii představuje ohromující sestavu hudebníků a přivádí je na velkolepou scénu, kterou nyní mohou následovat jak jazzově zdatní, tak ne tak důvtipní posluchači.
Born: Feb. 22, 1985 in Highland Park, IL   
Location: Chicago, IL
Album release: March 11, 2022
Record Label: Ropeadope
Duration:     44:05     
Tracks:
01. The Chant   4:27    
02. Sizzle Ree   3:26    
03. Always Be   5:42    
04. Cloud Jam   3:21    
05. Still of Water   4:25    
06. Double Take   3:53    
07. Maxwell Street   4:01    
08. For Too   6:25    
09. Rose Petal   3:58    
10. Tiny Beat   1:34        
11. Straight Shooter   3:53
Personnel:
•  Greg Spero — Piano
•  Makaya McCraven — Drums
•  Marquis Hill — Trumpet
•  Joel Ross — Vibraphone
•  Jeff Parker — Guitar
•  Darryl Jones — Bass
•  Irvin Pierce — Tenor Sax

The Chicago Experiment Review by Thom Jurek | Score: ★★★★
⇒   After a 15~year hiatus, Ropeadope revives its collaborative recordings series that began with The Philadelphia Experiment in 2001, then continued with The Detroit Experiment in 2003 and The Harlem Experiment in 2007. The idea for the project was to gather groups of musicians connected with a city to represent that geography by integrating its various musical cultures. The Chicago Experiment, led by pianist, producer, composer, and arranger Greg Spero (Spirit Fingers) offers a cast of luminaries he has worked with in studios and on bandstands. They include drummer Makaya McCraven, trumpeter Marquis Hill, vibraphonist Joel Ross, guitarist Jeff Parker, bassist Darryl Jones, and tenor saxophonist Irvin Pierce.
⇒ Opener “The Chant” offers punchy drumming, elliptical vibes, and a deep~pocket funky bassline under finger~popping horn vamps and punchy syncopated piano chords. Swinging funk meets bluesy hard bop and shuffling hip~hop strewn with killer breaks from McCraven as Hill moves into a sharp, high~register solo. “Sizzle Reel” commences with a spectral R&B vamp laid out by drums, bass, and vibes to introduce Parker’s phased, fingerpicked guitar playing in call~and~response with Pierce, who extrapolates the melody and solos.
⇒   Jones’ playing bridges utterances between guitar and tenor sax. The single “Cloud Jam” is introduced by crystalline piano and guitar chords as McCraven plays a double~timed drum’n’bass rhythm atop the stuttering, skittering bassline. Hill and Pierce offer the nearly pastoral modal melody; it seems to hover in the margins yet grounds the vibes and keys. “Double Take” is smooth, laid~back and nocturnal; vibes and piano deliver contrapuntal riffs before Jones, with guitar and horns, impressionistically enters from underneath. Spero adds punchy Rhodes chords and an elliptical solo. While the blues are referenced in “Maxwell Street,” Ross’ motivic vibes playing centers the music between hard bop and the jazz~funk’s present as McCraven’s jagged hip~hop beats join the horns with short pulsing riffs atop piano and bass before Parker starts bending strings. “Rose Petal,” channels the space between vintage soul~jazz and 21st century jazz~funk; Spero’s meaty synth vamps and an electrified piano solo battle and coexist with layered, multi~tracked drums nd a commanding bassline. Closer “Straight Shooter” finds Spero and Jones borrowing a fragment of the signature riff from Bill Withers’ “Use Me” before moving off to syncopate, making room for Parker to deliver a knotty solo before opening the gate for Spero, who makes inquiries of his entire keyboard as the rhythm section buoys his delivery. A few moments later, after a tough solo by Parker, the group delivers a massive statement in jazz~funk groove. The Chicago Experiment is alternately easy and assertive, knotty and open. Everyone gets the chance to shine individually — it wouldn’t work if they didn’t — but they function as a collective who know that harmonic and rhythmic grooves are the twin engines of creativity here.
 https://www.allmusic.com/album/the-chicago-experiment-mw0003664129 
BC: https://thechicagoexperiment.bandcamp.com/album/the-chicago-experiment 
EVERYTHING IS NOISE: https://everythingisnoise.net/reviews/the-chicago-experiment-the-chicago-experiment/
Mike Hobart. JANUARY 28 2022. SCORE: ★★★★ 
 https://www.ft.com/content/1a540b70-a9be-40d5-bdcc-b25fc0332dd5Greg Spero — „The Chicago Experiment“ (March 11, 2022)