The six best jazz shows in April

Categories: Jazz

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BRAD MEHDLAU TRIO @ BOULDER THEATER, SUN, 4/6
Over the last two decades pianists Brad Mehldau has recorded and performed in various formats (his latest effort, Mehliana: Taming the Dragon, is a duo recording with drummer Mark Guiliana), but he seems most at home with his trio, which includes long-time bassist Larry Grenadier and drummer Jeff Ballard, who's been with Mehldau for almost a ten years. Any of the pianist's live recordings, including The Art of the Trio volumes or Live in Tokyo, confirm Mehldau's intuitive and proficient playing in the live setting.


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Best jazz shows in Denver in March

Categories: Jazz

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FRI & SAT | CHRISTIAN MCBRIDE TRIO at DAZZLE | 3/7-3/8
One of the best bassists in jazz today, 41-year-old Christian McBride has been playing professionally for more than half of his life. He got an early start as a teenager with Bobby Watsons's group and then went on to play with heavies like Freddie Hubbard, Benny Golson and Milt Jackson. Since his 1994 debut, Gettin' to It, McBride released a number of solid discs under his own name, including his latest Mack Avenue effort, Out Here, which features pianist Christian Sands and drummer Ulysses Owens Jr., both of which join the bassist during this two night stand.

See also: Pat Metheny: "I don't see the end of anything, only beginnings and expansions"


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Pat Metheny: "I don't see the end of anything, only beginnings and expansions"

Categories: Interviews, Jazz

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Jimmy Katz

Since releasing the last Pat Metheny Group album, 2005's The Way Up, guitarist Pat Metheny has been quite busy exploring quite a few different paths, including his Orchestrion Project, two albums with pianist Brad Mehldau, a solo disc, a trio record, an album of John Zorn's Masada material, 2012's Unity Band, and his latest album with the Pat Metheny Unity Group. While that album, Kin (←→), has elements of previous PMG albums, the disc also shows the guitarist pushing in new directions.

See also: The ten best jazz guitarists of all time

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Nicholas Payton: "The trumpet chose me"

Categories: Interviews, Jazz

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Michael Wilson

It was evident early on that New Orleans trumpeter Nicholas Payton had tremendous trumpet chops. After a stint with legendary drummer Elvin Jones, Payton inked a deal with Verve at the age of twenty and went on to release seven discs for the imprint, as well as a number of albums on other labels.

See also: The best jazz shows in Denver this February

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The ten best male jazz vocalists of all time

Categories: Jazz, Lists

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While Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Nat King Cole and Mel Torme made singing jazz standards part of their repertoire, some consider them to be more from the crooners school. Here we've put together a list of the ten of the best male singers who excelled in jazz, whether it be scat singing, vocalese or just having an incredibly distinguishable voice. Keep reading for the ten best male jazz vocalists of all time.

See also: The ten best female jazz vocalists of all time

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Jazz@Jack's to host a day-long saxophone event in March featuring clinics, discussions and more

Categories: Jazz

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Attention serious sax players: Mark your calendars for Saturday, March 8. You won't want to miss Everything Sax. The folks from Jazz@Jack's have organized a free day-long saxophone event of clinics, discussions, career opportunities and more. A number of noted professors, including John Gunther, Art Bouton and Peter Sommer, will be on hand for the event, as well as Roger Greenberg from Eastman Music Company and Tim Glesmann, from Windsor-based retail and repair shop Sax Alley.

See also: Voiceplaces: Jazz@Jack's, 500 16th Street, #320

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The best jazz shows in Denver in January

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Arne Rostad
Chick Corea

THURS | CHICK COREA & BELA FLECK at NEWMAN CENTER | 1/16/14
Over the last five decades, the virtuosic pianist Chick Corea has delved into quite a few variations of jazz, as well as classical, and on his latest effort, The Vigil, he's reinvented himself again. His new band, also called the Vigil, is an evolving collective that included saxophonist/clarinetist/flutist Tim Garland, guitarist Charles Altura, bassist Hadrien Feraud, drummer Marcus Gilmore, percussionist Pernell Saturnino and Corea's wife, vocalist Gayle Moran Corea on the album. Banjo wizard Bela Fleck first teamed up with Corea on 2007's Grammy Award-winning The Enchantment, and now the two are touring again for the first time since 2008. Corea and Fleck are also due at the Macky Auditorium on Friday, January 17.

See also: Ten essential jazz albums if you know squat about jazz


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The best jazz shows in December

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SUN | MILE HIGH SPIRITS JAZZ FEST at MILE HIGH SPIRITS | 12/8/13
Mile High Spirits and the Gift of Jazz have teamed up to put on this free daylong festival, which kicks off at 3:30 p.m. and runs until 10: 30 p.m. Each of the six local acts on the bill will be paying tribute to other artists: A Denver School of the Arts Combo tribute to Jackie McLean and Dexter Gordon, along with a Matt Smiley Masada tribute, a Greg Harris Quartet tribute to the Modern Jazz Quartet, a Josh Quinlan Quartet John Coltrane tribute and Patrick Lee Trio tribute to Daft Punk.

See also: All upcoming concerts in our constantly updated concert calendar


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The ten best jazz bassists of all time

Categories: Jazz, Lists

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wikimedia / Ingrid Pastorius

In jazz discussions, the saxophonists and the trumpeters generally dominate the conversation, and rightly so. Equally as integral to the music, though, is the rest of the band. While we've already listed the top guitarists and pianists, today we focus on those holding down the low-end. Although there are a number of exceptional bassists worthy of consideration, these are the ten best jazz bassists of all time.

See also: Ten essential jazz albums if you know squat about jazz

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A custom trumpet shop opens in Denver

Categories: Interviews, Jazz

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Jason Harrelson, of Harrelson Trumpets, performing.

While studying trumpet performance at St. Olaf College in Minnesota two decades ago, Jason Harrelson, owner of Harrelson Trumpets, became consumed with learning how the trumpet works and understanding the physics of playing one. In 1993, he began experimenting with trumpet mouthpieces, enlarging throats, backbores and adding mass, and before long, he started doing trumpet modifications on eBay in 2001. Over the last decade, he's been working in Minnesota, and he just opened a shop in Denver. We spoke with Harrelson about why he set up shop here and what makes his horns different from those of other makers.

See also: The ten best trumpeters of all time

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