The second week of the New Year offers up an interesting mix of music. On Thursday at Dazzle our week in music offers up a tribute to pianist Lennie Tristano, tenor saxophonist Warne Marsh and alto saxophonist Lee Konitz. The tribute is from alto saxophonist Daryl Gott and his quintet. Tristano (who died in 1978) and the key players associated with him – Marsh (who died in 1987) and Konitz (who is still recording as he moves through his 90s) – remains a highly individual voice in the history of jazz with early aspects of both avant-garde and cool-jazz sounds in his playing and writing.

Gott and his area-based quintet (Taylor Clay on tenor saxophone, Tom Amend on piano, Mark Simon on bass and Kevin Matthews on drums) are on stage at 6:30 p.m. Drummer Braxton Khan’s trio follows Gott and company and 9 p.m. before trumpeter Greg Gisbert and bassist Jean Luc Davis lead a Dazzle Session at 10:30 p.m.

On Friday, after a little Tristano Thursday night history lesson, Dazzle hosts bassist Felix Pastorius and his Hipster Assassins, a group he has working with on a regular basis in New York City for a decade. The Assassins are: Chris Ward on saxophone, John Bendy on guitar, Mike Bendy also on bass and Kenny Grohowski on drums.  Electric bassist Felix Pastorius (born in 1982) is, of course, the son of Jaco Pastorius who died in 1987.

On his own, Felix has established a reputation as part of saxophonist Jeff Coffin’s Mu’tet since 2001 (Coffin’s jazz project when not on the road with the Dave Mathews Band), the Yellowjackets and drummer Cindy Blackman Santana’s band. If the Assassins had a built-in, lane-control system, you could count on it beeping at you all night long. And the band plays at 6:30 and 9 p.m.

On Tuesday, Dazzle puts the bass out in front when Petros Klampanis brings his trio to town at 7 p.m. Born in Greece, the bassist ended up in New York City where he connected with players such as Snarky Puppy, Greg Osby, Antonio Sanchez, Shai Maestro, Gilad Hekselman and Ari Hoenig. Like Pastorius and the Assassins, Klampanis’ trio has some punk jazz stops in its music.

Then on Wednesday, we are back within the more standard lanes at Dazzle when the club has “A Garland of Dawn” at 7 p.m. The Dawn is pianist Dawn Clement, who was a giant on the Pacific Coast jazz scene before she moved here to take a teaching position at MSU Denver. And Garland is Judy Garland who provides the source of the music performed. Clement is a fine pianist and she has bassist William Kuepper, drummer Ryan Leppich and vocalist Emily Hale on stage with her.

Before too long, the musical Donna: The Donna Summer Musical, the Broadway show about Donna Summer will be in town at the Buell Theater (Jan. 28-Feb. 9). The previous show at the Buell was Escape to Margaritaville, a story built around Jimmy Buffett tunes that ended just days before Donna is set to start. Though Buffett’s Margaritaville won’t enter the list of classic musicals, it is a pleasant, if alcohol-fueled, romp. And together with Donna it does remind us of how much musicals have moved in the direction of focusing on the tunes of individual pop artists.

Norman Provizer
Jazz Notes 1-9-2020

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