Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Duffy Jackson / JAZZBLUESFlorida...(all about real music, made by real people, in real places - with commentary by a real guy, Allen Kanovsky!)

Submitted by Al Kanovsky 11/20/13  
PART ONE - BLOG CONTINUED AT: not only the signature of this publication, it is what was happening north of Miami last night.

Let me begin with my attendance at a concert hosted by the Swing & JAZZ Preservation Society.

As I entered the hall, I couldn't help but notice that for the first time in a long time most people there were older than me. The saving grace was most of them were better looking and smelled better too. Sue, at the reception desk, recognized me from Arts Garage. A gentle tap on my shoulder and I turned to see the smile of JAZZ vocalist Deborah Paiva. She is also a member of the Society's board.

Duffy Jackson's big band had stars in every chair. Starting with Dolf Castellano (piano), Rick Doll (bass), Duffy (himself) on drums. The saxes included Greg Diaz (alto), John Michalak & Tom Mitchell (tenors) and Mike Brignola playing the bari. Trombones had Dante Luciani, Mike Egan and Mike Balough. In the back row and playing trumpets were Tom Stancampiano, Dave Gibble and Seth Merlin. Yesterday  marked 10 years since the passing of Duffy's dad, Chubby. The performance was, in a way, a celebration of the renowned JAZZ bassist's life. 
Straight ahead and swinging. Duffy has inherited Chubby's fabled sense of humor and had the audience and band members, chuckling throughout. The concert was almost a JAZZ  history lesson with names of musicians of past years being mentioned. Drummers Cozy Cole, Buddy Rich and Don Lamond. Trumpeters, Neil Hefti, Thad Jones and even Ish Ka Bibble. If that name is unfamiliar to you it probably means you are under 75 and haven't heard of Professor Kay Kyser and his College of Musical Knowledge. Duffy is dedicated to preserving the straight ahead JAZZ that was played in the 30's 40' and 50's. The charts played are brought up to date but the soul remains. The opener was "It Don't Mean A Thing" with Duffy scatting a chorus. It was followed by "I'll Close My Eyes" with Dante taking a featured solo. Duffy mentions "Ish" before the band plays "Campbell's Gamble". It is a jump tune, during which Duffy again scats a chorus. Surprisingly he hands the mic to Dante Luciani who follows suit by doing a jaw dropping be-bop scat. Honoring Neil Hefti they do "Cute". Duffy shows his mastery of the "brush" technique.
Dolf has written a tune  dedicated to Count Basie titled  (note to Duffy) "Count Spacey". Tom Mitchell does the tenor solo. 
A Thad Jones composition "To You" during which Dante does a plunger muted solo. When Duffy was 12 years old, Count Basie, allowed him to sit in for a tune. It was "Shiny Stockings". They reprised the tune with a solo by Seth Merlin. Talk about tone and technique!!!! Memories of that great Basie band are invoked when they do the "April In Paris" chart. Now, totally in a 'swing' mode the band plays "The Heats On" and "Tinys Blues". If you want to hear a JAZZ saxophone player display his chops, catch a John Michalak solo.
Mike Bignola(bari) managed to keep the whole sax under control, During "Tiny's Blues" Greg was given his chance to show off. And he did. Delighting the swing era audience. They brought the concert to a close with a remembering of Buddy Rich's hit, "Just In Time". Prior to the band playing the show was opened by comedian, Ronny Reckseit. Ronny had us laughing immediately. His routine is strictly Catskills (circa 1950) and funny as ever. I forgot to mention that sitting with Deborah Paiva and I, was Charlie Boyer. He publishes the stuff I write in JAZZBLUESflorida---link about---scroll down to blog. 


Dolf Castellano & Duffy Jackson

Duffy Jackson & James Savage

Mort Mazor (VP, Swing & Jazz Preservation Society), Rene Zerah (President, Swing & Jazz Preservation Society) & Duffy Jackson

David Gibble & Duffy Jackson

John Michalak & Deborah Paiva
Charlie told me that we were heading to Boston's on the Beach in Delray for some BLUES and to celebrate Famous Frank Ward's birthday which is today. It is also Ms. Deborah Paiva's birthday. She is much younger than Frank or I.

End part one of today's blog.

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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