Jazz Notes 3-26-2015  

If you like the Hammond B-3 organ, then this week’s for you. For four straight nights, you can camp out at Dazzle, 930 Lincoln, and catch the B-3 sounds first from Tony Monaco on Saturday (at 7 and 9 p.m.) and Sunday (at 6 and 8 p.m.) and then from Dr. Lonnie Smith on Monday and Tuesday (at 6:30 and 8:30 p.m.). A Columbus, Ohio native, Monaco found a teacher and mentor in the legendary Jimmy Smith; and like Smith, Monaco fires up all of the keys on the Hammond B-3.

At Dazzle, he has a trio that features Fareed Haque on guitar and Greg Fundis on drums (303-839-5100). Haque, a Chicago native with family roots in both Pakistan and Chile, has covered any number of musical bases, including work with saxophonist/clarinetist Paquito D’Rivera who was in town not long ago. The guitarist can also be found in a number of other places, including three Blue Note discs from saxophonist Javon Jackson, who grew up in Denver.

Back to Monaco, the B-3 man, who also worked with guitarist Pat Martino, is no stranger to Vail and the Vail Jazz Foundation’s events in the mountains. On Friday, before making it to Denver, Monaco and the trio are in Vail for foundation’s winter series at Cucina, Lodge at Vail with sets at 7 and 8:30 p.m. (vailjazz.org).

On Monday and Tuesday, Monaco is gone but the B-3 isn’t. The Jazz Times described Dr. Lonnie Smith, borrowing, with a twist at the end, from Winston Churchill’s famous description of Russia, as “a riddle wrapped in an enigma wrapped in a turban.” And on Monday and Tuesday, the Buffalo native picks up where Monaco left off. The Doctor’s trio offers fine guitarist Jonathan Kreisberg, who has appeared at Dazzle with his own groups. On recent US dates, the drummer in the trio has been Jonathan Blake.

Beyond the organ, pianist Justin Kauflin is at the Baur’s Listening Lounge series, 1512 Curtis  (in conjunction with the Music Appreciation Society), on Thursday at 7 and 9 p.m. (baursmagic.com). Kauflin, a child prodigy, was mentored by trumpeter Clark Terry – and that relationship is captured in the attention-getting documentary Keep On Keepin’ On (a documentary that will be shown on May 14 at the McNichols Building at Civic Center, 144 W. Colfax, leading up to this year’s Jazz at Five Points festivities on May 16). The blind pianist’s current CD, Dedication produced by Quincy Jones, was released in early 2015, just weeks before Terry’s funeral in New York on the last day of February. Earlier on Thursday, Kauflin plays live in the KUVO studio at 2:30 p.m. – and on Friday, the pianist is at the Wheeler Opera House in Aspen at 8 p.m. (970-920-5770).

Also on Friday, singer Cyrille Aimee is at the Lakewood Cultural Center, 470 S. Allison Pkwy., at 7:30 p.m. The French-born singer, whose mother is Dominican and father is French, was captivated by the sound of gypsy-jazz growing up. “Django” is more than a song title to her. Add in her deep appreciation for Brazilian sounds and it’s easy to hear why she is such a rising vocal star on the scene. She is in Lakewood with her quintet (303-987-7845).

On Thursday, guitarist Bill Kopper and his friends (Victor Mestas, Dexter Payne, Bijoux Barbosa and Raoul Rossiter) put “Brazilian Instrumental Music” on display at Dazzle at 7 p.m. On Friday, singer Terri Jo Jenkins is at Boulder’s Caffe Sole, 637R S. Broadway at 7 p.m., while on Sunday, singer Teresa Carroll steps into La Cour Art Bar, 1643 S. Broadway in Denver, also at 7 p.m.

Bassist Ken Walker leads his sextet at Dazzle starting at 7 on Friday, while bassist Mark Helias wraps up the week and starts the month of April at Dazzle on Wednesday at 7 p.m. with his band Open Loose that has Tony Malaby on saxophone and Tom Rainey on drums. Helias has played with a long list of very creative musicians and with Malaby and Rainey, he has a trio that is anything but ordinary. Also, to return to the organ mood, Jeff Jenkins has a regular spot at Dazzle on Wednesdays with his group The Organization that features Jenkins on, you guessed it, organ.

Having entered April this week, keep in mind that not very long after the month gets rolling, guitarist John Abercrombie is at Mount Vernon Country Club on April 8 (303-526-0616) and the large-scale Earl Klugh Weekend of Jazz (with Burt Bacharach, Dave Grusin, Jeff Lorber, Lee Ritenour, Kirk Whalum and singer Nikki Yanofsky) is at the Broadmoor in Colorado Springs (866-837-9520). On a little different note, the Boulder Jump for Jazz project aimed at putting on a large, educational and musical jazz event in late June is still looking for added support. If you are interested in providing some of that, you can visit jumpforjazz.weebly.com


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