What it is:
It's a tough minded and yes rather windy city, from which some of jazz's hardiest improvisations, most fully-blown music flows. Parochial? Compared to New York, Los Angeles, Berlin, Paris, London, Rome, Rio? Perhaps. But the power of music from Chicago Now is potent, especially for several weeks in Ottawa, Canada, where weekly concert series at the Mercury Lounge, produced by Music Now, have featured Kahil El Zabar's Ritual Trio (11/11), Isotope (guitarist Jeff Parker, cornetist Robert Mazurek, trombonist Sara P. Smith, 11/18), Fred Anderson (11/25), on December 2, Ken Vandermark, and on December 9, Defunkt.

To celebrate the city of its birth the Jazz Journalists Association, in association with the Jazz Institute of Chicago, Music Now, the Mercury Lounge and Delmark Records, announces its next on-line forum: Dec 3, 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. EST, at www.jazzhouse.org.

Panelists include members of the AACM, Aaron Cohen, John Corbett, Lauren Deutsch, James Hale, Art Lange, John Litweiler, Howard Mandel, Terry Martin, Ted Panken, Marc PoKempner, Neil Tesser, Penny Tyler other opinion shakers and music makers. . . .