Music News

Critic's Choice

The main men of Uversa (due at the Mercury Cafe this Thursday, April 29) are no strangers to each other. Guitarist Tim Edwards and bassist Tom Sublett, plus Bruce Crisman and Kenny Ortiz -- who share drum duties on Electric Jazz, the band's provocative new disc -- are veterans of Windowpane, an intriguing act that began making noise in Denver at the dawn of the last decade. Edwards certainly hasn't left Windowpane behind: In addition to putting out Electric Jazz, his label, Subspace Records, recently released Retroversion, a mind-bending compendium of Windowpane tracks captured on tape from 1991 to 1994. (Visit www.subspacerecords.com for more information about both CDs.) However, Uversa twists the Windowpane formula, inserting the electric saxophone of Bret Sexton into the spot previously occupied by Robert Tiernan's guitar. "Down Home Grown," an Electric Jazz track recorded live at Boulder's Happy Times Cottage, spotlights the combo at its most accessible; dueling solos from Edwards and Sexton are sure to hit the average jazz-fusion fan's sweet spot, but they're driving and atmospheric enough to please jam-happy noodle dancers, too. The band's stylings also encompass straightahead rock, as demonstrated by "Tennessee Jay," an Electric offering that finds the power trio of Edwards, Sublett and Ortiz blowing the doors off Herman's Hideaway, where the song was cut. Loud, smart and passionate, Uversa won't cause longtime fans to drop Windowpane, but it provides an equally satisfying high.
KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts