This week in music literally begins and ends with drummer Jeff Hamilton. Born in Indiana, Hamilton grew up with a penchant for swing era drummers and connected with the new Tommy Dorsey Orchestra, followed by a stint with Lionel Hampton’s big band. He then joined pianist Monty Alexander’s trio along with bassist John Clayton before going off with Woody Herman’s Herd, bassist Ray Brown’s trio and the L.A. 4.

His big band side continues in the Hamilton/Clayton Jazz Orchestra, while his longstanding trio with pianist Tamir Hendelman and bassist Christoph Luty (or Jon Hamar who is listed on the Nocturne site) displays Hamilton’s small group power. That trio ends the musical week with a visit to Nocturne, 1330 27th St., on Wednesday starting at 7 p.m. (303-295-3333).

Nocturne’s schedule is generally filled with area-based artists who are on the program for one night a week during an extended period. Periodically, the club brings in a visiting artists and Hamilton has been on that list before. The trio plays with a break generally around 8:30 p.m. Also, Hamilton’s trio (with Hamar on bass) is among the headliners at the Vail Jazz Party that runs August 30 to September 3, along with singer René Marie and pianist Benny Green’s trio and a host of name soloists. We’ll have more on what has emerged has the state’s major jazz festival in next week’s column ( or 970-479-6146).  

If the musical week ends with Hamilton’s trio, it begins with another band that has Hamilton on drums called Akiko/Hamilton/Dechter (that’s the driving Hammond B-3 player Akiko Tsuruga, Jeff and guitarist Graham Dechter). That trio is at Vail Jazz’s “Jazz at Vail Square” at 6 p.m. on Thursday.

Back to Nocturne for a moment, the club also has another visitor this week, saxophonist Stan Killian with Eric Gunnison, Bijoux Barbosa and Mike Marlier. The quartet is on stage at 7 p.m. Killian is a player out of Texas – and remember to think of the powerhouse Texas Tenor tradition. The saxophonist, who now lives in New York, has a CD, Evoke, that is filled with high-powered sidemen, drummer McClenty Hunter, bassist Corcoran Holt, pianist Benito Gonzales and guitarist Mike Moreno. And you might recall that Hunter and Holt made up the knockout rhythm section for Kenny Garrett during the saxophonist’s recent appearance at Dazzle.

Speaking of Dazzle, 1512 Curtis, the club funks it up on Saturday with guitarist Fareed Haque and His Funk Brothers (drummer Greg Fundis, bassist Alex Austin and keyboardist Kevin Kozol). Haque is no stranger to Denver, playing here with some frequency in a variety of contexts, including with Hammond B-3 guy Tony Monaco. Haque has also recorded on Blue Note and during that time he could be found on Blue Note CDs by Denver tenor saxophonist Javon Jackson. They hit the stage twice, 7 and 9:30pm.

Dazzle also has trombonist Adam Bartczak’s Republic on Thursday at 7 p.m. Bartczak, who studied with Bob Brookmeyer, leads several strong bands and the Republic is certainly one of them. The genre-jumping group Chronologue plays on Thursday at 9:30 p.m., while saxophonist Joe Anderies has his Little Band at Dazzle on Friday at 6:30 p.m.

Trumpeter Bob Montgomery has his sextet at The Muse performance space, 200 E. South Boulder Rd. in Lafayette, on Friday at 7 p.m. (720-352-4327), while Sunday finds the What’s Cookin’ little, big band at Live at Jazz (formerly Jazz at Jack’s), 500 16th St., at 6 p.m. (303-433-1000). And later in September, Montgomery performs in Costa Rica with saxophonist Josh Quinlan.    

On a final note: During October, Dazzle offers a special treat when it has a series of ECM artists making a stop at the club. Among the performers for the ECM celebration on Curtis Street you will find: the duo of pianist Ethan Iverson and saxophonist Mark Turner; Swiss pianist Nik Bartsch’s Ronin group; Danish pianist Jacob Bro’s Trio (with drummer Joey Baron and bassist Thomas Morgan); and pianist Art Lande. It’s an impressive lineup one year before the famed jazz label’s 50 anniversary.

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