Blown Away:

A Concert Review by Jim Borzym

November 8-9 I had the privilege of attending two After Midnight shows back-to-back. I heard the quartet on Friday at Caffè Solle, and the full-on sextet Saturday at West Side Live Presents. I was blown away!

With a big band, all the voices blend. With a small ensemble, every note shines through. I know a lot about stage instrumental performances; there was not a single flub all night.

I love the drumming of Jim Moore. Powerful and also subtly attuned to every tune in its character. It is a joy for me to watch him play and hear the complexity of his rhythms.

Dwight Thompson was spot on in his solos, and in a special tune penned for him. He’s a bassist that is wonderful to hear, and hear so clearly.

Substituting for Jerry Weiss was Eric Moon, who plays for our Tea Dances with Susan Rogers’ Exuberant Quartet. Eric is simply amazing. Truly amazing. Inventive, powerful at the right moments, adding just the right touch at lovely quiet moments, and doubling on folk accordion. Wow!

I simply love guitarist Mike McCullough’s voice on so many thrilling songs. He sings in Spanish, in falsetto, in vocalese, in loving ways. Such a master! Hard to say enough about him.

Rick Weingarten continues to amaze me. I knew he doubled on bongos, but Saturday he played congas and Friday the piano. He also sang a song that he wrote and then adapted to recognize certain people in the audience. How many musicians do you know who play vibraphone?!

Roger Campbell is a hard-working bandleader, a very fine man, and phenomenal on that clarinet. He effortlessly delivers funny stories between tunes while maintaining an ultra-smooth stage presence. If we could have Artie Shaw, Benny Goodman or Jimmy Dorsey in Colorado today, any of them would have a hard run for their money. Roger is awesome on that reed.

Just sayin’. The After Midnight Jazz and Swing Sextet is a rare combo, and a gem for music in Colorado. Check out their website for future gigs, both for sittin’ and listenin’, and for our dances at The Avalon Ballroom. Catch them at their next performance.

I feel so darned lucky. You know, we have terrific music here in Colorado, and some of the very best in the world. Join us.

Jim Borzym

Jim Borzym is an acoustical consultant who lives and works in Boulder, Colorado, teaches social dance, and hosts many social dance events at The Avalon Ballroom. To learn more about his work, or to swap After Midnight stories, you can contact him by email.

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