Monday, November 18, 2013

Everyday is...(...a music day for Allen Kanovsky!)

Submitted by Al Kanovsky 11/18/13

...somebodies Birthday. Yesterday it was Linc Lackey celebrating a birthday that I'm sure makes him eligible for membership in AARP. The party was at Jakes in Hallandale Beach and was part of Barbara Van's Sunday Jam. A nice crowd of fans and musicians were on hand. Fans came for the music and cake. Musicians were there to 'show off' a little, and of course a piece of cake.

My pals Bette and Bill were among the 'civilians'. Gene Pontrelli (trumpet), Mike Michaels (drums), Naomi (vocals), Vitale Imereli (electronic violin), Steve Eskin M.D.(vocals) and the inimitable Noreena Downey (vocals) were there to join the Jam. The band behind Barbara had Lee Donais (keys), Linc Lackey (bass) and Mike Norris on the drums. I got there in time to hear Barbara do "Georgia" in slow BLUES time. Gene was sitting in. An instrumental version of "Green Dolphin St." followed by Ms. Van doing "I've Got Rhythm" and "How Deep Is the Ocean". She calls Naomi up to sing "Fly Me To the Moon". Nice job by a youngster accompanied by backing horn lines from Gene. B.V continues with "Almost Like Being in Love" and "There Will Never Be". Lee is featured on "Misty" playing while taking deep breaths to emphasize some complex phrases. Vitale comes up, rendering "The One and Only You" with Mike Michaels now at the drums. As expected he wows those who haven't heard him before and follows with "Autumn Leaves" containing some Gypsy undertones. Gene is featured when Barbara does "Bill Bailey/Down In New Orleans" medley. Dr. Rock(Steve Eskin) gets up to do a JAZZy "Rte.66" including a "Rag Mop" section. Next he does a ballad standard "Teach Me Tonight". Earlier Steve had introduced me to his really pretty wife. I asked if she hadn't been warned about dating musicians. She told me that her father had said "As long as he doesn't play saxophone". I think he was right. Noreena Downey is up next. This gal is true to the JAZZ genre. She sings "Lover Man" with all the emotion it deserves. She bounces "Bye-Bye Blackbird", ending her stint on stage. Barbara returns with an unusual slow-time "Making Whoopee" and then "Favorite Things". Helping along with his birthday celebration Linc does his version of the parody "Benny's From Heaven". Barbara concludes the program with "Since I Fell For You", "Never Be Another You" and of course "Amazing Grace". On their big screen they show a promotional video done by Dmitri which is really very good. Then Alex introduces me to a DJ, Alexi Syncore, who is in the U.S. to celebrate Thanksgiving with his American friends. Freedom seems to suit the former states of the U.S.S.R.

It's only 9PM, so Noreena, Barbara, Mike Norris and I decide to continue the musical night by heading to BJB's. Lourdes Valentin is the featured artist. She has Jaui Schneider (keys), Ranses Colon (bass) and Luis Macias (drums) as her rhythm section. We have a good time listening to Lourdes & Co. I dance with a gal in the audience and Noreena. Barbara and Noreena sit in on vocals. Lourdes does 2 exceptional vocal renditions. One Stevie Wonder's "It's Magic" from his "Songs In the Key of  Life" album. The other is her original composition "Crossroads In My Life". It was when Lourdes did "Que Sas" that I danced with the unnamed lady. Orlando Machado appeared out of nowhere to dance with Noreena. He also did a stint on timbales during the song. As the evening draws to a close, Lourdes sings "Dream A Little Dream of Me". As part of the ending she quotes by humming "Lullaby and Goodnight". When asked about it she said it had just come to her as she concluded the melody. The mind of a JAZZ musician. Barbara sang "What A Difference" and "Day By Day". Noreena sang "You'd Be So Nice To Come Home To". I was thinking the exact same thing. She said if she was only 20 years younger. My thoughts were if she was 20 years older and I was 40 years younger----oh well----sometimes "Your Dreams Can Come True".  Jaui played his original "Groovalu" and Lourdes sang "If I Only Had A Brain" to close the joint down. Kissed the gals, said goodnight to the guys and headed back home. Lots to choose from tonight. Check the listings-probably the Funky Biscuit for me.   

Al's Disclaimer:
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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