“There are a couple of ideal notions about jazz that I wish were more often true in practice. One is about regionalism: that a place, and the experience people have living in that place, shape the sound of the music. The other is about relativity of style: that musicians drawn to different parts of the jazz tradition can have no problem playing together.
Four new records by different but interrelated musicians from Chicago, if taken together, support those ideal notions: the trumpeter Marquis Hill’s “The Way We Play” and the guitarist Jeff Parker’s “The New Breed,” both out this week; the drummer Makaya McCraven’s “In the Moment E and F Sides,” which came out on vinyl last month after a digital release in January; and the alto saxophonist Greg Ward’s “Touch My Beloved’s Thought,” to be released on July 8. If records tell any truth about the daily life of jazz — they do, sometimes — this seems like a Chicago moment.“