Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Seek and ye...(will eventaully find Allen Kanovsky in a room with music, somewhere!)

Submitted by Al Kanovsky 11/26/13

...shall find. If you are looking for JAZZ & BLUES in Florida you go to our website JAZZBLUESflorida.com and check the music listings. You will find listings from the Keys to Pensacola and Tampa. If you are in The Apple you check Hot House magazine (of which JazzBluesFlorida.com is lineage!). They have listings covering the metro area including NJ and CT. It's Monday night. I haven't listened to any live music since last Wednesday night. I know you know that the blog about Bernie's was a work of fiction. I need a JAZZ or BLUES fix and I need it now. I am in Stamford CT. The story begins. There are over 100 JAZZ clubs in Tokyo, Japan. In 2006 there were more than 10,000 Japanese restaurants in the USA. I will lay 9 to5 that no one reading this can immediately answer how many of them have live JAZZ. Zero is the most likely answer. Around 100 is a possibility. Not counting San Francisco there is only 1. FujiJapan in Darien, Connecticut. A 20 minute drive from my daughters home. Shower, shave, heavy sweater and I am off. Yes, I wore pants. I get a little lost, but eventually find it. It is a huge restaurant with a dining room, hibachi area and a small, cozy American tavern like bar. Folks are seated at the bar and a few small tables. Friendly smiles greet me as I walk in to the opening bars of "East of the Sun". Doing the vocal is Nicole Pasternak. She is accompanied by guitarist Michael Coppola. Their sound is appropriate to the size of the room and definitely JAZZ. Nicole swings into "Yesterdays" with several scat bars along the way. A couple, Chuck & Sandy catch the mood and do a little 'lindy'. They've been dancing together for 50 years. I am impressed with both Nicole's and Michael's originality. When they do "Paper Moon", a scat/guitar duet makes for interesting listening. When she intones "I'm In the Mood For Love" you know you are listening to a truly JAZZ oriented vocalist. Her ending invokes the memory of Billie Holiday. I notice that the mixed-age audience is pretty hip, applauding in all the right places and bobbing their respective heads in time. They bounce "I'm Beginning To See the Light" and then the seldom heard, Arlen/Mercer tune "This Time the Dreams On Me". Nicole continues with the JAZZ standards. When she does "You Do something To Me" she includes a little bit of Marlene Dietrich accents. A full-out scat version of "It Don't Mean A Thing" has me looking for a dance partner. Seated nearby at the bar is a good-looking woman. She has been glancing at me (or vice-versa) all evening. Her name is Doris Morse Davenport. Doris agrees to do it with me-----dance I mean. Ms. Davenport does not own a computer so I don't think I made her blush.

"Girl From Ipanema", "Everything Happens To Me" and "Goody-Goody For You".  Frank Loesser's
"At Moments Like This" and then an original Nicole composition titled "All I'll Ever Need Is You" to conclude the set. During the break while speaking with Michael, I mention that I have noticed a white-haired woman who was an obvious knowledgeable JAZZophile. It turns out to be his mother, Dorothy, seated with his daughter, Michaela. She has recently won The National Honor Award in Memphis. Michael has also invented and built the 9 string guitar which he is playing tonight. Nicole told me she fell in love with singing when her Mom would incessantly play old Shirley Temple records. The 2d set started with "Rte. 66" and I danced with Doris. Nicole sings "Has Anybody Seen My Gal" during which she does a plunger mute trumpet sound section with her voice. The duo plays "How Long Has This Been Going On" and then "Love For Sale". I listen to the interesting chords being created on the 9 string guitar. Nicole chooses "Cry Me A River' which to me is a tough song, both lyrically and chromatically. She nails it. The pretty ballad "It Could Happen To You" is followed by another Nicole writing ""How Did You Get Inside My Heart" The girl can sing------and write. Her closing number is "Bye-Bye Blackbird". The audience sings and then whistles along. Nicole and Michael shut it down with a few bars of "Olio".  I had noticed 2 guys at the bar that looked like musicians. What do musicians look like?-------Like you and me! They were Dan Swartz(JAZZ guitar/vocals) and Julian Wild(JAZZ vocals) and mystery writer. You know you've been listening to good musicians when other musicians are there as well. Who would've thunk it. Monday night. Darien, Connecticut. A Japanese restaurant. A nice lady to dance with. Friendly patrons. Gyoza and a sushi roll.

Best of all-----"All That JAZZ"-----Thank you Nicole Pasternak and Michael Coppola.

I did not get lost going home!!!       

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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