Provizer's Jazz Notes
Jazz Notes, 1-24-13
Nestor Torres, performing at Dazzle with Us 5
This week in music begins with a bang and ends with an explosion. The bang comes on Thursday when the M.F, Productions Latin Jazz All Stars hits the Mount Vernon Country Club in Golden. The all-star sextet features Steve Turre on trombone and shells, Nestor Torres on flute, Chembo Corniel on congos, Elio Villafranca on piano, Joshua Ramos on bass and Yuri Heiva on drums. While this a collaborative band, jazz fans are most familiar with Turre who has simply done it all. Born in Omaha, Turre has been performing magic for decades in traditional big bands, groups like Lester Bowie’s Brass Fantasy, Latin aggregations and even the Saturday Night Live band.
The jazz series at Mount Vernon Country Club that is consistently excellent and the Latin Jazz All Stars should keep that tradition alive and well. Before the music begins at 8 p.m., the country club west of Denver off of I-70 has a buffet dinner that turns a lot of heads all on its own ($47.95 music and dinner/$20 for the music alone, 303-526-0616).
The musical week ends on Wednesday with an incredibly special treat when tenor saxophonist Joe Lovano brings his super high-profile band US 5 to Dazzle, 930 Lincoln, for the first of two nights at the club. This group features Esperanza Spalding on bass, James Weidman on piano, and two drummers – Francisco Mela and Oscar Brown III. Lovano is simply one of the finest saxophonists around, finishing second to only Sonny Rollins in the most recent DownBeat “Critics Poll” – the same spot he occupies in the current Jazz Times “Readers’ Poll.” As for Spalding, the bassist has turned into a force of nature in the music at a very young age. Us 5 is near the top of almost everyone’s list of best groups on the scene – and the chance to hear the band in a small-club setting is truly something else. That fact is so apparent that both shows on Wednesday and both shows on January 31 are sold out. But this is one event worth continued checking to see if any tickets become available ($40, 303-839-5100).
In between the appearance of the Latin Jazz All Stars and Lovano’s US 5 group, there are other events definitely worth noting. On Tuesday, for example, pianist/French horn play/composer/ author/ survivor of the Beat generation David Amram is back in Denver at Dazzle with his quartet starting at 7 p.m. ($15). Amram is a frequent visitor to town and was even the composer-in-residence for the 2008 Democratic National Convention held here in the city.
The justly celebrated Amram is back for the city’s official Neal Cassady Days celebration. The Denverite Cassady served as the model for the character Dean Moriarty in Jack Kerouac’s famed novel On the Road.; and, on February 1, Cassady’s birthday bash takes place at the Mercury Café (303-294-9258).
Additionally, tonight finds trumpeter Tom Gershwin and guitarist Perry Smith doing their duo thing at Dazzle to mark the release, on the Dazzle label, of the duo’s CD Sweet Pastimes, recorded in New York. Gershwin went to New York from Colorado to get his master’s degree at NYU, while New Yorker Perry performs with singer Sophie Milman and the New West Guitar Group. The duo plays at 7 and 9 p.m. ($20).
On Friday, Dazzle turns to the R&B side of music with the DeltaSonics with Erika Brown at 7 and 9 p.m. ($10). On Saturday, the Denver Women’s Chorus offers “All That Jazz” with special guest Stephanie Hancock at the Montview Presbyterian Church, 1980 N. Dahlia, at 2 and 7:30 p.m. ($22.50/$25 day of the show, rmarts.org). Also on Saturday, the Ken Walker Sextet is at Dazzle at 7 and 9 p.m. with an interesting twist: bassist Mark Simon will be on hand in place of Walker for the night ($12, $12/$8 for at students the 9 p.m. set). Simon, who was on the road with Carmen McRae, can frequently be heard at Dazzle with the group Convergence. So this is a different sextet experience.
Come Sunday, you have a chance to hear pianist Joe Bonner’s Current Events Band at Dazzle at 7 p.m. ($10). There’s a reason why Bonner has worked with so many outstanding players. When he is on, he is among the very best. His band, too, is a sextet with folk like Vince Wiggins on flute. And on the groove side, Robert Walter’s 20th Congress is part of the heavy funk bill at the Boulder Theater on Saturday. The door for that open at 8:30 p.m. On Friday, Walter’s Congress is on its own at Cervantes Other Side, 2637 Welton (303-297-1772). The doors for that show open at 8 pm.