Submitted by Al Kanovsky 05/23/15
...this time, the Jacksonville JAZZ Festival weekend.
Checked in, washed my face and hands and headed for a beverage and music. In the lobby of the Hyatt a quartet of young men were playing. "KoolJazz by Unique Sound". At the keyboard we had Eric Wright. On drums was Devin Way. Playing guitar, Mike Ferguson and on alto sax Jarel Harris. A nice tight group playing some 'Bird", Grover and Monk. Out the door and up the street was the UNF JAZZ Ensemble. Big Band at its best. Excellent soloists on both tunes I listened to. Ellington's "Moten Swing" and Xavier Cugats "Tico Tico".
Hitched a ride on a 'bike taxi' to Jacksonville Landing for Mama Blue a local star. I arrived in time to catch her doing "Stormy Weather" and was duly impressed. I didn't get band member names except for Eric Green on tenor sax. I must say everyone in the group could "Blow". Outstanding solos by each in turn. Mama Blue's program had some standards including "St. Louis BLUES", What A Difference A Day Makes", "At Last" and "Paper Moon". I had heard Debbie Orta's "paper" Wednesday night. Different gals, different song. Mama is also a talented composer and did some of her originals. "Sweetness Is Gone", "None the Wiser", "At the Time", "For A While" and what should be on every soul singers playlist, "Leave the Light On".
Enjoyed every single note of the performance.
Next up was the Ryan Monteno band. Ryan himself is a star of screen and TV. Additionally he plays trumpet and fronts an absolutely great band. I did some research but could not find members names. Let it suffice to say that the tenor man was great. The keyboardist was great. The drummer was great and the bass was great. Even Ryan was great. "Put It All Together You Get" GREAT JAZZ.
Worn out from the drive and all the afternoon fresh air----off to bed and looking forward towards Saturday's programs.
A short note: The reason I write this is because I love music and words. I do not book acts. I do not promote acts. I do not accept invitations to review artists. I go to venues of my own choice. When and where is not influenced by anything other than who I would like to hear that night or day. If I don't like what I hear, I won't write about it. When I like it I let you all know. I never mention a name without asking permission. "Pardon me, Miss. Would you like to dance?"
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