This is Jazz News, a look at what’s news in jazz for Monday, Oct. 3, 2022.
It has been said that the most authentic, organic expression of this music is live, in a club. The intensity of musicians playing off of each other is palpable. In a small club, where there are no bad seats, you can almost see it in their eyes, watching the leader for cues, and listening to each other’s phrases and quotes. You can hear it in the way they grunt, groan and grumble along with the melodies they cast forth.
Noted trumpeter and University of Colorado music professor Brad Goode came up in Chicago, visiting Von Freeman’s jam session as a teenager. He hosts a Monday night jam session at The Muse Performance Space in Lafayette.
“A jam session is not an open mic,” explains Goode. “It’s not a place where anybody can get up and do anything they want. It’s a place where the music is respected. So, if you have the preparedness to be able to play with jazz musicians who know what they’re doing, then, of course, it’s super-inviting. If you don’t have that readiness, if you don’t understand songs and song forms and how to keep time and how to function in a band, then you’re not quite ready to go to a jam session.”
Goode says you have to know the music pretty well. “We’re like the old school jam sessions – no charts are permitted – and that’s the only rule, really. As the person being the traffic cop at the jam session, I make sure all the people on stage at that moment find a song in common that makes all of them comfortable. We don’t force anybody to play on a song they’re not comfortable with.”
So, it’s welcoming, but it’s rigorous. And Goode says they have players ages 13 to 80 on Monday nights at Muse Performance Space in Lafayette.
On Wednesdays, it’s the “Hump Day Funk Jam” with Diana Castro at Herb’s Bar at 2057 Larimer in the Ballpark neighborhood. It’s called a “Funk Jam,” but all genres are welcome, and they provide the back line – the rhythm section. So come on down, bring your voice and bring your axe.
The Meadowlark Bar at 27th and Larimer has hosted jazz on Monday nights for a few years. The Monday night jam session begins at 9:00 p.m.
At Mercury Café on Friday nights at 6:00 p.m., the Gabe Gravangno Trio supports the Jazz Jam.
Saxophonist Daryl Gott hosts an “All Ages Jazz Jam” at the Peoples Building in Aurora on the last Sunday of every month. The People’s Building is at 9995 E Colfax Avenue at Florence, right across the street from the Aurora Fox Arts Center.
And if you want to jam with an organ, join Daryl Gott, Gabe Mervine, Braxton Kahn, and Vlad Girshevich at Herb’s Bar on Larimer Street downtown every Tuesday night starting at 9:30. It’s a B3 Jazz Jam, so there is no bass or piano.
The Roxy on Broadway has Jams on the third Wednesday of the month. The address is 554 South Broadway. The jam runs from 8:00 to 11:00 p.m., and your host is Phillip Lottorhos.
And in Greeley, the High Brau Taphouse hosts a Jazz Jam on the second and fourth Fridays of every month, hosted by their house band.
We’ll have to do a whole report just on the many blues jams around metro Denver every week. There’s a comprehensive list of blues jam sessions and blues shows on the website of the Colorado Blues Society. That’s CO Blues.org. ____________________________________________________________________
Drummer Terri Lyne Carrington’s latest release is out, called New Standards – Volume 1. It’s a companion to her brand new music book published by Hal Leonard, which includes 101 jazz compositions written entirely by women, including tracks by Aurora’s Shamie Royston, Abbey Lincoln, Carla Bley, and more.
The 11 tracks on the vinyl double-LP and digital download include guest artists like Denver resident and NEA Jazz Master Dianne Reeves and Ravi Coltrane on Eliane Elias’s “Moments.” Other guests include Vail Jazz alumni Ambrose Akinmusire on a live version of Marilyn Crispell’s “Rounds,” and Elena Pinderhughes on Brandee Younger’s track “Respected Destroyer” and other tracks. The project is on the Candid Records label.