Thursday, November 7, 2013

What's a nice girl like you...(doing in a place that I would and do hang at? asks Allen Kanovsky)

Submitted by Al Kanovsky 10/07/13

...doing in a place like this? Last night at BJB's, Nancy Kelly, a well known JAZZ vocalist made an appearance. She was backed up by a trio of South Florida's best. Danny Burger (drums), Paul Shewchuk (bass) and Mike Orta at the piano. Mike and Paul are professors of music at UM. Danny matriculated in the school of hard 'rim shots". Luz Salazar, Mike's girl friend and Bill Rutan were seated with me and sharing a pizza. As the band took the stage Ms. Salazar remarked that she thought Mike looked 'cute'. I thought that Mike looked like Mike. Points of view, I guess. The band opened with a couple of instrumentals. When Nancy took the stage to sing "Day In, Day Out" it was apparent there were problems. #1-the monitors weren't operating. #2-a group of birthday celebrants were seated immediately in the stage area. Their conversation raised a curtain of noise. Credit to Ms. Kelly and the band for being totally professional. Nancy stepped down from the stage and moved closer to those who were listening. The rhythm section played with a little more volume. Nancy sang "I'll Get Along" next and then "You'd Be So Nice To Come Home To". She did some impressive scat lines along the way. Singing the parody "Benny's From Heaven", Nancy did vocal trombone sounds that were real. An up-tempo "Almost Like Being In Love" had her scatting 4's with each of the band members. A bassist friend of Nancy's, Chuck Sgnori, had suggested jokingly, before the set that they play "Melancholy Baby". Amongst JAZZ musicians it is known as the tune most requested by drunks, back in the day. Of course Chuck was kidding and we shared a laugh. Nancy said that we could laugh but she thought of it as a song she sang well. As Danny stepped down from the stage for the break I realized that he had played the entire set using only the brushes. Brushes require more touch and control than sticks because the have no response (bounce). It helped prove that Danny's wrist is now fully healed. I asked for Nancy's favorite lyric line. "Like a summer with a thousand Julys" and from "She's Gone" 'could you not be what I dream'.

The problems with the sound was resolved and the partiers left. BJB's was now filled with folks who came to listen. They were rewarded by Ms. Kelly's program of 'straight ahead' JAZZ including a liberal serving of scat and musical solos. I felt that Mike must have had a great day that was reflected in his piano playing.

Nancy did the other Nancy's (Wilson) song "Make Sure You Get Back Out" in great style. The band did some instrumental noodling and then she sang "Don't Talk To Strangers" in the mellowest of tones. Turning to Bop, the whole band picked it up(if possible) to do "Billie's Bounce". ----I could not refrain from shouting "Blow man, blow".

The trio did "Emily" with Mike being very creative. When the played "Misty" in bounce time I asked Luz to dance. We avoided looking at Mike but we could feel the 'heat'. When Nancy sang "The Shadow of Your Smile", Danny used 1 stick and a brush in the other hand. Effective. The trio played "Just In Time" and Nancy got up to trade 8's with the band. Calling for #199 in her play book they did "You Don't Know Me". I had tried, unsuccessfully, to teach Flo to dance to that tune. For the finale, #39---"Janine"--- bopping, scatting and swinging into the closing notes. Thank you Nancy for being professional and overcoming difficulties to provide a great evening of listening to JAZZ.

Tonight still to be decided---lots of choice---check for listings    

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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