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June 2007

Dotsero
Alive at Jazz@Jack's
Cinderblocks

Dotsero and Turning Point are two bands I always get confused. Both have been around for 15 years and have earned hard-won recognition in their respective hometowns of Denver and Phoenix for their prodigious touring schedules. But with the arrival of Dotsero’s new live CD, I think I’ve finally figured it out: Dotsero is a lighter version of Spyro Gyra, while Turning Point is more akin to a hard-fusion project Steve Smith might put together.

When Dotsero decided to record its first live CD, there was no question about where it would be held. Jazz@Jack’s is a hip club in Denver that recently relocated to the city’s trendy Pavilions shopping center at the 16th Street Mall. The band members are co-owners of the club and also its house band. (Note to band: You might want to learn how to spell the name of your club.) But on the live CD featuring leaders Stephen Watts on sax and EWI, Dave Watts on guitar and Tom Capek on keys, nothing grabs you as being too different than their previous studio CDs. Bob James’ “Westchester Lady” is worth its 15 minutes, but too much of the original stuff lopes along at a predictable middle-of-the-road pace. A cocktail umbrella imbedded in the CD promises something—a wild time—that’s not delivered.

Originally published in June 2007
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