Saturday, April 28, 2012

Miss Rosie Smith at Wellspring

Tonight, jazz singer and children pastor, Rosie Smith, performed at the annual fund-raising event for The Well Ministry of Wellspring Anglican Church. She was supported by drums, acoustic bass, and electric piano. The quartet performed standards such as "Route 66," "Don't Get Around Much Anymore," and others. All were done well, but Miss Smith stole the show. The highlight was the performance of Duke Ellington's sacred classic, "Come Sunday," originally sung by Mahalia Jackson. This is no easy tune, to put it mildly. The group, which had never rehearsed, performed the piece at a slightly faster pace than the original, which fit. Miss Smith rose to the nearly impossible occasion of doing this masterpiece justice, putting both her sterling voice and entire Christian soul into it.

Given the event, few people were actively listening to the music, but rather dancing and talking. Miss Smith did not mind. I, for one, was all ears. I hope my ears and soul are so gifted again in the near future by this wonderful and local talent. Bravo, Rosie Smith!

Sunday, April 22, 2012


Listen to everyone else, then learn to sound like yourself.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Ron Miles at Dazzle!

Tonight a friend of mine and I took in an hour-long 6:00 PM set with Relay, playing the music of Ron Miles with Ron Miles. Relay is made up of electric piano, drums, and guitar. Mr. Miles, who also heads the Jazz Studies program at Metro State College of Denver, plays trumpet and composes. He is well-recorded and highly-rated as a performer and writer. As I listened to his playing, I was attempting to identify who he sounded like. My conclusion was that he sounded like Ron Miles!

Mr. Miles music tends to be ballad-like and contemplative, giving each player a winning structure within which to improvise. Relay performed two of their own pieces (one in a fast and challenging 7/4), within which Mr. Miles fit perfectly.

The event was well attended and well received. Those in Denver are quite blessed some have venues such as Dazzle and musicians such as performed tonight. There was another set at 8:00.

My only complaint was the visuals provided by a long-haired guy operating a computer to remix the live show with random (I think) scenes. Whatever the artistic merit, it served more as distraction to the live jazz than anything else. Live jazz is enough for me. I don't need a hyperactive screen to participate.