Greg Garrison's Improvised Roots No.3 11.11.12


Dazzle Restaurant & Lounge
Denver, CO

Words By J-man
Photos By J-man & Carly Marthis


Dazzle Restaurant & Lounge, Denver's premier jazz club, played host on Sunday to a bit of an obscure project. One wouldn't expect to hear a rolling banjo as they passed the open front door of the club, but on Sunday, that's exactly what folks heard. Denver local, Greg Garrison welcomed an eclectic mix to the stage for what was being billed as "Improvised Roots" No. 3. Guests included Chris Pandolfi (The Infamous Stringdusters) on banjo, Jeremy Garrett (The Infamous Stringdusters) on fiddle, Grant Gordy on guitar, Dave Devine on guitar and Jim White on drums. That evening, two performances of improvised music overtook Dazzle and stunned those fortunate folks who attended the experience.

Bluegrass and string music collided with jazz of all sorts as incredible instrumentation took center stage. On the left side of the stage stood two of the famed Stringdusters, coming off of a handful of sold out shows at venues that seemed to be growing in size tour by tour. That night, fans were lucky enough to see Chris and Jeremy in the intimate setting of Dazzle. Behind the Dusters was local talent, Grant Gordy. I've never had the pleasure of seeing Grant, but his name had been brought up to me time and time again, through interviews with other musicians and recommendations. That night, his playing was stunning and helped to bridge the gap between bluegrass and jazz with some almost rockabilly style guitar work. On the right side of the stage was a guitarist of a different sort. Dave's guitar playing
was incredible, though at times he eased his way in as to get the feel of the strong bluegrass influence. It was great to see everyone a little bit out of their element.

The rhythm section featured a very loose and jazzy approach to the compositions. Jim's drumming was very straight ahead, while Greg's bass wandered all over the map, taking the music on as it came at him from all directions. Chris' playing was very esoteric at times, as if he were alone in performing a symphony, as the others looked on and filled in the gaps. Much like legend, Bill Keith, Chris took on challenging, unconventional scales, only to resort back to the comfort of the three finger roll. Aside from the banjo, Jeremy's flawless vocals really helped to tie in the bluegrass vibe. After about an hour and a half of adventurous compositions, the show came to a close. What a privilege it was to be a part of such a special evening of music. Dazzle proved once again that it's open-minded in providing fans of all sorts with music from not only the jazz genre, but other musical realms as well. Keep an eye out for upcoming Greg Garrison shows at Dazzle!

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www.dazzlejazz.com


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