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Convergence, Recorded Live In Denver

The three horn men in Convergence have played in the big bands of everyone from Buddy Rich and Woody Herman to the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra and Maria Schneider. Trumpeter Greg Gisbert leaps octaves with no apparent effort. Back in high school, John Gunther used to solo on alto and tenor saxes at the same time; he didn't even know that Rahsaan Roland Kirk had done that years earlier. Trombonist Mark Patterson has played in Broadway pit orchestras of Cats, A Chorus Line, and many more. Pianist Eric Gunnison was musical director for Carmen McRae late in her career, and bassist Mark Simon also performed in her trio.

Drummer Paul Romaine and his wife Chris founded the successful Colorado Conservatory for the Jazz Arts for high-school players, with boot camps for intense studying and monthly showcases at Dazzle. The conservatory promotes one-on-one mentoring, while also striving to unite the Denver jazz community.

Convergence is more than a band; it's a support group. In a competitive business, where you're only as good as your last solo, musicians can be hard on themselves. Paul Romaine has an answer: a 12-step program/composition called "Self-Loathers Anonymous." A band member introduces himself and gets his problems off his chest, and his mates offer instrumental support. There's a happy ending.

Credits

Thanks to the Dazzle Restaurant & Lounge. Producer Alfredo Cruz. Live music mix in Surround Sound by Duke Markos. From KUVO Jazz 89 in Denver, technical direction by Mike Pappas with Will Barnett and Joey Kloss, MC Susan Gatschet-Reese, thanks to Carlos Lando. Remote truck from Colorado Sound.

Dee Dee Bridgewater's recording engineer is Ginger Bruner at KUNV 91.5 FM in Las Vegas. JazzSet producer is Becca Pulliam with executive producer Thurston Briscoe III at WBGO Jazz 88 and WBGO.org.

Copyright 2008 WBGO