For this week, let’s get things started with two area-based musicians – singer Ed Battle and trumpeter Bob Montgomery. Born in New Jersey (with time spent in Philadelphia), Battle settled in Denver decades and decades ago and became a recognized pillar of the city’s jazz scene, including a decade spent at El Chapultepec during the club’s heyday. Additionally, Battle’s talent extended beyond the club stage and included numerous excursions into acting.
Currently, Battle is in hospice care at Denver Hospice on E. Lowry Blvd. and his positive impact on the area scene is being recognized on Monday when KUVO (89.3 FM) pays tribute to him by playing the music that he has created over the decades. Then later on Monday, at 6 p.m., Dazzle picks up the tribute with a rhythm section and guests to give recognition where recognition is clearly due.
The other player is trumpeter Montgomery who informed us that his performance at Jazz at Jack’s with the What’s Cookin’ small big-band will be his final, public performance on his horn. That horn has travelled to all parts of the world and has toured with the Clark Terry Big Band. Montgomery has also appeared in Terry’s movie Keep on Keepin’ On and done his own world tours with his own group.
In addition to his playing, Montgomery is an award winning jazz educator and plans on continuing focusing on that talent into the future. The trumpeter is such a long-term fixture on the area scene that is hard to imagine it without his horn.
Also this week, a newer resident in Denver is on the Dazzle stage – Stafford Hunter. After decades in New York, Hunter has moved west for a teaching position ate the University of Denver and will be at Dazzle on Friday with Continuum at 7 p.m. While Stafford has spent decades with the Duke Ellington Orchestra, he has also displayed his trombone, sea shells and vocals with a wide range of jazz musicians and pop artists, including Steve Turre and the Sanctified Shells, the Mingus Big Band, Orrin Evans, Dianne Warwick and Amy Winehouse.
Speaking of Winehouse, there’s a tribute to her at Dazzle on Thursday at 9 p.m. by the SuperMagick funksters. Earlier on Thursday, members of SuperMagic join vocalist David Arthur as part of his Round Table in a tribute to Frank Sinatra at 6:30 p.m.
Finally, saxophonist Keith Oxman unveils his new disc, Two Cigarettes in the Dark, at Dazzle on Saturday at 7 p.m. The disc has Houston Person joining, but Houston will not be in the house on Saturday, while on Wednesday at 9 p.m. the trio Elephant Wrecking Crew is in the house at Dazzle. The trio with trombonist Scott Flynn, drummer Neal Evans and bassist Dan Africano will light up the place with the electric power it generates.