The Jazz W.o.r.m.s.

Keith Oxman, a saxophonist, remembers Denver as a hub of jazz in the 1980s. There were more than 50 clubs in the area at that time, making it easy to find gigs any day of the week. Oxman states that there were also after-hours jobs. There were also happy-hour jobs. There were also nighttime jobs. One of those Januarys is usually a dead month. I believe I had 35 gigs in that month. It was both afternoon and evening gigs. “I was so exhausted at that end.” Oxman began playing in 1984 with Paul Romaine, Ron Miles, Paul Romaine, Andy Weyl, and Ron Miles, a drummer. They were also regularly gigging with other jazz bands around town. The quintet began by meeting informally but soon started rehearsing weekly, sharing their compositions. As a joke, Oxman first came up with Jazz WORMS as an acronym that was based on each member’s last name. Oxman claims that he thought he had mentioned it to Paul. He said, “Yeah, man that’s great,” and I replied, “No, I’m just kidding.” It stuck, and it was a good feeling for a while. But it’s okay. I mean, I am 62 years old. “How much damage can it do to a career at that point?” Jazz WORMS’ debut album, Crawling Out was released in 1987 on James Van Buren’s record label. However, the band only performed a few times in the following decades as musicians became busier with their careers. Oxman, an East High School educator, recorded with jazz legends Charles McPherson, Houston Person, and Miles went on a number of albums, including his latest Blue Note album, Rainbow Sign. Weyl has toured around the globe with Rare Silk’s vocal group and collaborated with jazz saxophonist James Moody, Benny Golson, Eddie Harris and Tom Harrell. Simon and Romaine co-founded Convergence, a local jazz supergroup. The members of Jazz WORMS were reunited at Dazzle in 2014 and the performance inspired them to record another album. Thomas Burns, the founder of Capri Records, approached them three years later to help him with new material. After rehearsing for a day they spent two days recording songs at Colin Bricker’s Mighty Fine Productions to create Squirmin’. The album was released March 19, 2021.

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