The best jazz shows in Denver in February
FRI | TIM BERNE'S SNAKE OIL at CU OLD MAIN CHAPEL | 2/7/14
Over the last three decades, Tim Berne has proven to be one of the more adventurous saxophonists and composers in avant garde jazz. While he's performed with a number of different groups over the years, he's also released two brilliant discs on ECM with his Snakeoil group, which incudes clarinetist Oscar Noriega, pianist Matt Mitchell and drummer Ches Smith (Dan Weiss is filling in for Smith on this date). On last year's Shadow Man, the group delved into cerebral and angular material, on tracks like "Static" and "OC/DC," most notably, while "Psalm" is quite serene.
THURS & FRI | COVERGENCE & PETER BERNSTEIN at DAZZLE | 2/6-2/7
Made up of some the state's best jazz players, Convergence plays Dazzle on a monthly basis, while also occasionally performing with nationally known talents like Bobby Watson, Larry Goldings, Jimmy Heath and Roberta Gambarini. For this two-night stint at Dazzle, Convergence teams up with the brilliant New York City-based guitarist Peter Bernstein, who studied with one of his mentors, the late Jim Hall. Over the last two decades, Bernstein has performed with jazz heavies like Lee Konitz, Tom Harrell, Joe Lovano, Joshua Redman and more recently he's a member of Sonny Rollins' new quintet.
SAT | BRIAN BLADE & THE FELLOWSHIP BAND at DAZZLE | 2/15-2/16
Having established himself as an in-demand drummer in both jazz and rock circles by working with everyone from Wayne Shorter and Bill Frisell to Joni Mitchell and Bob Dylan, Brian Blade is also a strong leader in his own right -- namely, with his Fellowship Band. From a self-titled Blue Note release in 1998 through later records such as Perceptual and Season of Changes, Fellowship has always straddled the rock and jazz worlds, especially on the Blade-penned cuts that reflect his understated drumming style, which can also be quite fierce at times. The act is slated to release Landmarks on Blue Note in April.
TUES & WEDS | ELIANE ELIAS at DAZZLE | 2/18-2/19
Brazilian-born pianist/singer Eliane Elias, who's been nominated for five Grammys, got an early start on the piano. By the age twelve, she was transcribing solos from the jazz heavies, and at fifteen, she was teaching piano and improvisation. She moved to New York in the early '80s, hooked up with Steps Ahead, and then collaborated with her then-husband Randy Brecker on her first album Amanda, which was dedicated to their daughter. Since then, she's released nearly two dozen albums, including 2011's Light My Fire, and her most recent effort, the excellent I Thought About You (A Tribute To Chet Baker).