In a recent article in The New York Times titled “5 Minutes That Will Make You Love the Trumpet,” the newspaper asked 16 musicians and other experts on jazz and/or classical music to name a trumpet recording that mattered most to them. In response, Terence Blanchard talked about the Miles Davis/Gil Evans masterpiece Porgy and Bess collaboration, but then, given the timing, Blanchard settled on his own composition “Funeral Dirge” from A Tale of God’s Will written for the first documentary on Katrina by Spike Lee, When the Levees Broke.
In a similar vein, “Funeral Dirge” is also appropriate for this week and the 20th anniversary of the terrorist destruction of the Twin Towers in New York City. Along with Blanchard’s choice, trumpeter Nate Wooley also had a pick in the Times article – Ron Miles’ tune “Witness” from Ron’s 1990 album of the same name on the Tom Burns-led, Colorado-based label Capri Records. The Oregon-born Wooley was greatly influenced by Miles during Nate’s time living here before his departure for New York and the national attention he has since received. And you can hear both of these tracks by checking out the Times article on Google. (By the way, Ron’s Witness disc includes the powerhouse, Denver-based quartet of the late drummer Bruno Carr, the late tenor saxophonist Fred Hess, pianist Art Lande and bassist Ken Walker.)
I was reminded of this article by the Jazzinstitut Darmstadt’s recent JazzNews e-mail. That e-mail also discussed the passing of pianist Ronnell Bright at the age of 91. Bright resettled in Denver following a long career in the music, including considerable time accompanying Sarah Vaughan. And while living here, he even managed to write a tribute to Denver (see jazzwax.com for more information on Ronnell).
On Thursday, another noted Denver trumpeter Shane Endsley of the band Kneebody, is at Dazzle with a quintet that has Art Lande on piano and Colin Stranahan on drums, the group hits the stage at 7 p.m. Among the bands playing at Nocturne, there’s Venezuelan bassist Gonzalo Teppa’s quintet’s with Alex Heffron on guitar hitting the stage starting at 6:30 p.m.
Speaking of groups, there’s guitarist Larry Carlton at the Soiled Dove on Saturday and Herbie Hancock’s group on September 17, at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House. Also on the 17th, Akash Mittal’s Awaz Trio is at Dazzle.
And on September 18, the Cookers travel in to burn up Dazzle with Billy Harper, Eddie Henderson, David Weiss, Donald Harrison, George Cables, Cecil McBee and Billy Hart. That’s one all-star band.
pictures top to bottom: Terence Blanchard, Gonzalo Teppa, Herbie Hancock, homepage-The Cookers