Tom Harrell Quintet 12.4.12
Dazzle Restaurant and Lounge
Words By J-man
Photos By Carly Marthis
At first glance, Tom Harrell's motionless stage presence seems curious. Much like a puzzle, it's the individual pieces that paint a bigger picture. The evening began at Dazzle, as do many, but this evening was different. It was a Tuesday and yet forty people had gathered to share in an intimate Jazz performance from a true enigma. The musicians took the stage and what followed was an awkwardly long silence, until Tom grunted and the quintet took off. Unlike a lot of jazz music, there were no cues, just strong composition and charted beauty. On the tenor saxophone was Wayne Escoffery who at times fit right into a compartmentalized horn section, but thrived shredding solo after incredible solo. On the keys, Danny Grissett, tickled away with speedy precision and an old time feel. One half of the rhythm section consisted of Ugonna Okegwo on upright bass, who's fingers danced up and down the fretless wonder with accuracy and force. The other half being Johnathan Blake on drums, who stole the focus on many occasions while also blending into the music like a chameleon.
Not a word was spoken throughout the hour and a half performance. The music spoke for itself. It was incredible to watch Tom reanimate and come to life as soon as the chart indicated that it was time. It was easy to feel as if you were rooting for an underdog, but in the regard you would have been mistaken. As Tom dove into the trumpet or flugelhorn, we realized quickly that instead his virtuoso abilities made us the underdogs, looking on with both respect and admiration. The candlelit Dazzle provided the perfect backdrop for a mind-blowing evening on Jazz. This is the part where the writer would normally exclaim "if you weren't there, you missed it." In this situation however, I have the unique opportunity of stating "If you missed it, there are two more nights of Tom Harrell Quintet at Dazzle to follow!" And to think, it was just another Tuesday in Denver, CO.
Purchase Tickets For Wednesday & Thursday's shows HERE
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