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Hit Pick

With the release of Faith, a new CD on the Cadence Jazz label, the Boulder Creative Music Ensemble, which plays Saturday, May 6, at the Mercury Cafe, reveals another compelling reason to not doubt Colorado's jazz scene. Tenor saxophone player Fred Hess leads the sextet, which features Ron Miles on trumpet, Glenn Nitta on soprano and alto sax, Mark Harris on alto and baritone sax, Kent McLagan on bass and Tim Sullivan on drums. Moving gracefully from structured improvisation to repertory reverence, Faith is a glorious affirmation of the dynamics that have sustained the BCME throughout its eighteen-year history. For these performances, the ensemble presents music from Faith as well as newer material from another album already in the works. Expect a varied lineup that's likely to include compositions built from Coltrane solos, a nod to saxophonist Steve Lacy, a revisitation of '60s composer/arranger Gary McFarland, and possibly even a sonic rendering of subatomic-particle physics. Wherever this group lands, its greatest virtue lies in the way it combines the elaborate possibilities of a saxophone quartet with a willingness to get up and swing. It's a meeting of high-minded originality and high-caliber execution that offers listeners something in which to believe.
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Thomas Peake

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