may, 2022

thu12may(may 12)7:30 pmsat14(may 14)11:00 pmVirtual EventEric Hochberg & Steve Million Livestream7:30 pm - 11:00 pm (14) Buy The Livestream!


12 (Thursday) 7:30 pm - 14 (Saturday) 11:00 pm


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Available Dates: Thursday, May 12, 2022 - Saturday, May 14, 2022

Lives Showtime: 7:30PM on May 12, 2022


Here’s the catch: Catch 35, the popular and highly regarded seafood restaurant at the northern edge of the Chicago Loop. They serve terrific food, which jazz lovers can enjoy at the front bar (with its windows facing the Chicago River), seated near the pint-sized, in-the-round, barely accessible stage area – just scrunch down through the half-door beneath the countertop – where Eric Hochberg and Steve Million have worked in tandem, five nights a week, since 2005.

They work together but not alone. There’s always a guest to make it a trio – just not the kind of trio you’d expect, because that bandstand is way too small for a drummer. But trumpeter Rob Parton and the late saxophonist Mark Colby showed up regularly from the start, and then came others representing an A-List of Chicago’s jazz talent. Saxophonists Eric Schneider and Ari Brown and Greg Ward. Trumpeters like Art Davis, Russ Johnson, and Victor Garcia. A gaggle of guitarists (such as John McLean, John Moulder, and Mike Allemana, and Andy Brown) and a salmagundi of singers, including Dee Alexander and Bobbi Wilsyn, Sarah Marie Young and Paul Marinaro.

Newer names took part while still on the rise – Marquis Hill and Caroline Davis, Alyssa Allgood and Matt Gold – and iconic Chicago exports on their visits home, among them the late miracle-worker Ira Sullivan and Kurt Elling, the top male vocalist in jazz. And don’t forget the outpouring of Chicago pianists and bassists, only too glad to fill in on a moment’s notice, for Million and Hochberg when schedules collided: too many to name, and just about anyone you can think of.

In every case, these two made it sound like they had backed their guests for years on end, with enviable ease. They’ve honed this level of communication during one of the town’s longestrunning gigs. And that’s just half the story. They first met shortly after Million moved to Chicago from Kansas City in the autumn of 1988, when the pianist subbed into a gig Hochberg was leading; he ended up as the regular pianist in the Hochberg’s band for years to follow.

It all adds up to more than three decades. Not only do they still get along; they still find ways to balance each other’s strengths. The bourbon richness of Hochberg’s tone anchors the Campari effervescence of Millions’ technique; empathic piano rejoinders provide a tangy accent to the ideas that pour forth in lithe and lively bass solos. On this superb set of duets, you get to enjoy, unalloyed, the partnership that has delighted guests and listeners for 15 years at Catch 35. The musicians’ obvious mutual respect, both musical and personal, has continued to deepen. The conversationspins on, ever more intriguing but no less inviting.

And that really is some catch.



Photo credit: Harvey Tills

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