Despite its rather inelegant name, there is nothing at all inelegant about the music generated by the M.F. Production’s Latin Jazz All Stars that appears at Dazzle in the historic Baur’s building on Thursday at 6:30 and 9 p.m. That’s pretty apparent when you look at the personnel who make up this sextet starting with flautist Nestor Torres and singer Claudia Acuna and continuing with bassist Yunior Terry, pianist Elio Villafranca, percusiionist Chembo Corniel and drummer Diego Lopez.
Torres, who was born in Puerto Rico in 1957 and came to New York when he was 18, is a significant part of the jazz-flute tradition who can connect to Herbie Mann, Eric Dolphy, Rahsaan Roland Kirk and Yusef Lateef as well as the Latin jazz masters. As for Acuna, who is originally from Chile, she is a top-shelf vocalist who landed in New York in 1995 and began a musical partnership with keyboardist Jason Lindner (who is no stranger to Dazzle).
Speaking of singers, Roberta Gambarini is also at Dazzle, 1512 Curtis, this week, performing on Friday and Saturday at 6:30 and 9 p.m. with pianist Eric Gunnison, bassist Mark Simon and drummer Paul Romaine (303-839-5100). Gambarini, originally from Turin, Italy, hit the U.S. in 1998 to study at the New England Conservatory in Boston and not long after she landed she entered the Thelonious Monk vocal competition, gaining attention with her third place finish.
While she has an area-based rhythm section with her, that trio has Gunnison, who has toured and recorded with her, on piano. Her sound is “easy to love.”
Continuing along the vocal path, the week in music ends with singer Somi at Dazzle on Tuesday and Wednesday with her trio that has Toru Dodo on piano, Jahmal Nichols on bass and Otis Brown III (who has played with Joe Lovano’s Us Five band and Esperanza Spalding’s group) on drums. The daughter of immigrants from the east African countries of Rwanda and Uganda, she was born in Ilinois and has produced her own blend of jazz and the African tradition, drawing comparisons to Miriam Makeba and Nina Simone. Her second disc from Sony Music is titled Petite Afrique and she is on stage on Tuesday at 6:30 and 9 p.m. and at 6 and 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday. She’s an international treat.
Also on the international front, Miguel Espinoza presents his flamenco/jazz fusion at Swallow Hill, 71 E. Yale, on Saturday at 8 p.m. (303-777-1003). And you can also find saxophonist Rich Chiaraluce a La Cour on Tuesday and pianist Purnell Steen at La Cour on Wednesday. The music at La Cour, 1643 S, Broadway, kicks in at 7 p.m. (303-777-5000).
This is a strong start to month at Dazzle that will offer the mighty and creative organ trio that features Larry Goldings at the keys, Peter Bernstein on guitar and Bill Stewart on drums (on the 17th) and German drummer Jochen Rueckert with his strong quartet that has Walter Smith III on saxophone,
Mike Moreno on guitar and Joe Martin on bass (on the 31st). Also in January, Hammond B-3 player Brian Charette is at Nocturne, 1330 27th St. is on the 23rd of the month. And the music will keep rolling through town through May at an incredible level. So stay tuned in.
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