Autumn Leaves May Be Falling, but Jazz Is on the Rise | Norman Provizer's Jazz Notes

Oct 12, 2017

Paa Kow
Credit You Tube

It’s been 50 years since the Beatles released Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Heart’s Club Band, the group’s eighth studio recording. On Thursday, the San Francisco (SF) String Trio takes the music from the album out for an intriguing jazz spin at Dazzle, 1512 Curtis. The trio is made up of strong players, Mads Tolling (who can be found in the Turtle Island String Quartet) on violin, Mimi Fox on guitar and Jeff Denson on bass and vocals. And its bow to Sgt. Pepper, titled May I Introduce To You, came out this past month on the Ridgeway label. At Dazzle, the trio plays at 6 and 8:30 p.m. and gets the week going in an engaging, if different note. (303-839-5100).

After the SF String Trio is on stage at Dazzle on Thursday, it’s drummer Mark Guiliana who steps up with his quartet to take over on Friday. Guiliana, whose new CD Jersey is out on Motema, has covered on number of bases from duos with pianist Brad Mehldau to supporting David Bowie on the singer’s last recording Blackstar. I have seen two different listings for the pianist on the date, Fabian Almazan and Shai Maestro. Whether it’s the Cuban-born Almazan or the Israeli-born Maestro on stage, you will hear some fine keyboard work.  The rest of the band is made up of Chris Morrissey on bass and Jason Rigby on tenor saxophone and the quartet plays at 6 and 8:30 p.m.

Then we get to Saturday and the Ghanaian drummer Paa Kow who now lives here. About six weeks ago, the New York Times Friday picks for jazz in the Big Apple over the coming week singled out an appearance by Paa Kow and his band celebrating the release of the group’s new CD, Cookpot. But if you didn’t catch him New York, you can make up for that by being at Dazzle for his local CD-release celebration. The drummer has a nine-piece band to fill the stage with bodies as well as sounds. The music (with dancing) is at 6:30 and 9 p.m.  

After the weekend ends, the nationally known players keep coming to Dazzle. On Tuesday, Cuban pianist Harold López-Nussa is on stage at 6 and 8:30 p.m. with his trio. That band has brother Ruya Adrian López-Nussa on drums and Gastón Joya on bass. The pianist’s new, debut CD on Mack Avenue is titled El Viaje (The Journey). On the subject of Mack Ave., saxophonist Tia Fuller, who records for the label and grew up in Denver, was in town to see her father, bassist Fred Fuller, who has been ill. Tia’s upcoming disc on Mack Avenue will have her in the company of players such Dave Holland and Jack DeJohnette. And all of us wish Fred Fuller our best during his recovery. 

Then, on Wednesday, trumpeter Marquis Hill, who won the top spot in the 2014 Thelonious Monk trumpet competition, brings his multi-genre Blacktet to Dazzle at 6 and 8:30 p.m. The core of the Blacktet is Christopher McBride on alto saxophone, Justin Thomas on vibes, Joshua Ramos on bass and Makaya McCraven on drums. The expanded version of the Blacktet is featured on Hill’s Concord CD The Way We Play.

Back to Friday, the Peak View Jazz Series in the Peak View Jazz Club at the Greeley Country Club, 4500 W. 10th St. in Greeley, has a centennial tribute to Ella Fitzgerald with singer Tina Phillips and pianist Art Lande’s quartet with dinner starting at 6:30 p.m. (970-353-2267). On Saturday, pianist Purnell Steen and Le Jazz Machine is part of the St. Thomas Concert Series at the church, 2201 Dexter St., starting at 6 p.m. (303-388-4395). And on Sunday, Dazzle has Hal Aqua and the Lost Tribe and the band Zuruna, a combination of Jewish and Arabic sounds at 5 p.m.

Last and not least, if you are looking for late night sounds, Nocturne, 1330 27th St., has the duo of pianist Jeff Jenkins and singer Ed Battle on Friday at 11 p.m. and the duo of trombonist Adam Bartczak and vibraphonist Greg Tanner Harris on Saturday at 11 p.m. (303-295-3333). Nocturne has jazz on stage Tuesday thru Saturday starting at 7 p.m. And at Dazzle on Saturday, the Monkish trio Spherio is on stage at 10:30 p.m. More on Monk next week. Finally, the guitar duo of Julian Lage and Chris Etheridge is at the Lone Tree Arts Center on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m.

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Harold López-Nussa
Credit Latin Jazz Network