The late Count Basie was one of the greatest bandleaders of his time, and his legacy continues as his orchestra—currently led by drummer Dennis Mackrel, the last musician to be personally hired by Basie himself—carries on performing and recording. Over its history, the ensemble has collaborated with the likes of Frank Sinatra, Ray Charles and Tony Bennett, who recorded with Basie in the 1950s and renewed his partnership with the group with”A Swingin’ Christmas” in 2008.
Sharing the bill for the evening is the Marcus Roberts Trio, which has made its mark in the music scene since its inception in 1993 when Roberts started making his own records after a long period as a sideman with Wynton Marsalis, who encouraged him to start his own career as a bandleader.
Roberts’ sound is more traditional than most contemporary trios, following in the footsteps of the likes of Oscar Peterson and Nat Cole. However, the group has developed its own sound over the years. The trio, rounded out by bassist Roland Guerin and drummer Jason Marsalis, plays from memory with no music on stage (or in the studio), which makes for more free improvisation and spontaneity. (Ernest Barteldes)
April 22 at Symphony Center at Orchestra Hall, 220 South Michigan, (312)294-3000, 8pm. $25-$85.