To some blues listeners, Boulder-based Otis Taylor is considered a jazz legend. And yet his name isn’t always recognizable, despite featured appearances on NPR and the cover of Blues Revue Magazine, as well as regular local performances along the Front Range. But Taylor isn’t a predictable blues guy. He doesn’t participate in the good-time, bar-band blues that have become ubiquitous across the country.
Taylor calls his music “trance blues,” referring to the drone-like quality he yanks from several instruments, including the guitar, banjo, mandolin, and harmonica. His songs are thought-provoking, unearthing the pain and struggle in American life. He’s known for adding unique instrumentation (like the cello) to his blues songs and challenging contemporary conceptions of the genre.
That knack for unpredictability will be on display at Dazzle this week. For a string of four shows over two nights, Taylor will be joined by Denver-based jazz trumpeter Ron Miles and pianist Jason Moran. It should be a compelling collage of American roots from a true home-state hero.
Thu-Fri, May 21-22. 7 p.m., 9 p.m. $20
Dazzle Restaurant & Lounge, 930 Lincoln St., Denver, 303-839-5100