Begin 2018 in Swingin' Fashion | Norman Provizer's Jazz Notes

Jan 4, 2018

Stranahan-Zaleski-Rosato Trio
Credit Jazz Speaks

When tenor saxophonist Ravi Coltrane performed at Dazzle in its old Lincoln Street location, the pianist in his quartet was Glenn Zaleski. The only other time I had heard the Massachusetts-born pianist live was when he appeared in Denver as part of the cooperative trio Stranahan/Zaleski/ Rosato. On Wednesday, the S/Z/R trio (that has two CDs out on the Denver Capri Records label), is back in town. This time around, the group made up of drummer Colin Stranahan, pianist Zaleski and Montreal-born bassist Rick Rosato is on stage at Dazzle at its new location in the Baur’s building, 1512 Curtis.

Drummer Stranahan as jazz fans in these parts know grew up here. The son of saxophonist Jim Stranahan, Colin gained wider recognition from an early age on and in 2012 he was one of three finalists in the Thelonious Monk competition for young drummers. He, like all three players in the trio, have a long list of playing credentials, It’s a strong trio that reflects the strong voices of each of its members. The Stranahan/Zaleski/Rosato collective plays on Wednesday at 6 and 8:30 p.m. (303-839-5100). Zaleski’s latest disc, by the way, is Fellowship released by Sunnyside in 2017.

In addition to the S/Z/R trio, another visitor to town this week is guitarist Larry Carlton, who is at the Soiled Dove Underground, 7401 E. 1st Ave., on Friday at 7 and 10 p.m. (303-830-9214). The four-time Grammy-winning, crossover-jazz artist is among the great session guitarists of all time who has recorded with an enormous list of artists, including Steely Dan and Joni Mitchell. Jazz fans know him for his work with Fourplay (replacing the group’s original guitarist Lee Ritenour) and the Crusaders. There are limited seats available.

Also this week, you can catch young saxophonist Rico Jones with an organ quintet at Dazzle on Thursday at 6 and 8:30 p.m. The group has Tom Amend on organ, Alex Heffron on guitar, Gabriel Mervine on trumpet and Alejandro Castaño on drums. Then, on Saturday at 6:30 p.m. , the superb pianist Art Lande is at Dazzle with a quartet that has Khabu Young on guitar. Lande, who settled in Boulder in 1987, has recorded for ECM. In fact, I still play his Rubisa Patrol (1976-1983) albums constantly at home. Later on Saturday at 9 p.m., the funk, rockish Float Like a Buffalo group takes the sage at Dazzle.

In between, on Friday, Dazzle celebrates the cowboy sound with Carlos Washington’s Steel Horse Swing Band at 6:30 p.m. and then switches gear later that evening at 9 p.m. with guitarist Dave Devine’s trio. Devine, who teaches at MSU Denver, is on the new CD from drummer Brian Blade’s Fellowship group and has performed with that knockout band.

Sunday finds singer Jean Milofsky at Dazzle at 5:30 p.m. and A.J. Fullerton doing solo guitar at 7:30 p.m., while on Tuesday clarinetist Dexter Payne explores Brazilian sound with a quintet featuring Elena Camerin at 6:30 p.m.   

Over at Nocturne, 1330 27th St., pianist Annie Booth does the Beatles with her trio on Friday, Michigan saxophonist Mike Bjella plays on Tuesday and New Orleans singer Robin Barnes takes off with the Flybirds that has Pat Casey on bass on Wednesday. All the shows at Nocturne start at 7 p.m. (303-295-3333).

Up in Boulder at Caffe Sole, 637R S. Broadway, saxophonist Jones is also on hand on Saturday with a quartet at 7 p.m. And back in Denver, the Gift of Jazz is getting ready to start several jazz courses with pianist Dave Hanson (

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Annie Booth Trio
Credit Night Out