Provizer's Jazz Notes
Jazz Notes, 6-6-13
Charlie Hunter, Saturday night at Dazzle with Scott Amendola
When most people hear the name Doc Severinsen, they automatically think of Johnny Carson’s Tonight Show Band. After all, the trumpeter led that orchestra, filled with top-notch players, for a quarter of a century. And during that time Severinsen (whose father was a dentist and therefore the label Little Doc) displayed considerable show business talent. But when I think of Severinsen, who performs at Boettcher Hall in the Denver Performing Arts Complex on Saturday, I think of the trumpet player who was part of the superb Gerry Mulligan Concert Jazz Band that emerged in the early 1990s.
Now halfway through his 80s, Severinsen is offered by the Colorado Symphony for a concert called “South of Border,” a pretty self-explanatory title. For the 7:30 p.m. show, the Doc is joined by the San Miguel 5 ($25-$88, 303-623-7876).
On Saturday, the same night that Severinsen is at Boettcher, guitarist Charlie Hunter and drummer Scott Amendola provide a strong, musical duo at Dazzle, 930 Lincoln. Though Hunter began recording under his own name in 1993, he first caught my serious attention with his 1997 disc that revisited Bob Marley’s classic album Natty Dred.
Prior to that he was part of the T.J Kirk band (for Thelonious Monk, James Brown and Rahsaan Roland Kirk) that also had Amendola on drums. When T.J. Kirk ended, Hunter took Amendola with him to tour Marley land. In 2012, Hunter (whose guitars tend to have more strings than usual) and Amendola released a duo CD, Not Getting Behind Is the New Getting Ahead (which sounds like an anthem for the past several years).
It’s worth noting here that both Hunter and Amendola are on a 2010 CD from Denver-born and raised clarinetist Ben Goldberg (Go Home) that also has Ron Miles on trumpet. Goldberg is a player who pushes a few envelopes and is receiving a good deal of national attention, while Miles has performed at Dazzle with Hunter.
The guitarist is known for his ability to groove, but he can do much more as witnessed by more recent, solo CD, Public Domain, that explores a number of tunes from an earlier era in jazz. At Dazzle, Hunter and Amendola are on stage for two nights, Saturday and Sunday. The sets are at 7 and 9 p.m. ($25, 303-839-5100).
Also at Dazzle this week, vocalist Bev Wasserman has a CD release party on Thursday at 7 and 9 p.m. ($10), the Convergence sextet is on stage on Friday at 7 and 9 p.m. ($15) and the Gift of Jazz serves up its Latin jazz groups directed by pianist Marc Sabatella on Wednesday at 7 p.m. ($10).
Friday also finds the great New Orleans pianist Henry Butler, who was brought to Denver by Hurricane Katrina, at the Cherokee Ranch and Castle, 6113 Daniels Park Dr. in Sedalia, with his trio. The evening includes a mini-tour of the castle, a buffet dinner and more starting at 6:30 p.m. ($85, 303-688-5555, ex. 2).
As for Saturday, in addition to Hunter with Amendola and Severinsen, there’s also the Westminster Jazz Festival at the Hidden Lake High School Field, 7200 Lowell Blvd.The event runs from 1 p.m. until 8 p.m. with saxophonist Nelson Rangell closing down the festivities starting at 6 p.m. Eric Trujillo, Manny Lopez and Lionel Young are on the bill as well (303-426-4114).
On Sunday, the City Park Jazz Fest kicks off with saxophonist Laura Newman and AOA at 6 p.m. at the Pavilion in City Park. And on the blues side, the Greeley Blues Jazz Jam takes place in Island Grove Arena, 501 N. 14th Ave. in Greeley on Saturday from 11:15 a.m. until 10:30 p.m. with John Mayall hitting the stage at 6:45 p.m.
And to end on a groove note, this year’s Telluride Jazz Celebration (August 2-4) is filled with groups that fit that label. There’s guitarist John Scofield’s Uberjam Band, the Stanley Clarke Band, and Galactic and among others, Meshell Ndegeocello and Dr. Lonnie Smith are also on the program (970-728-7009 or telluridejazz.org).