Thursday, December 5, 2013

There is very little...( Allen Kanovsky, we think you are on to something BIG here!)

Submitted by Al Kanovsky 12/05/13

...that beats hanging with friends, old and new, while listening to JAZZ played by some of the best in South Florida. It happened last night at BJB's on 33d. Danny Burger invited the rest of the members of JAZZberry Patch to a reunion night. Ben Champion on reeds, Martin Hand (guitar), Ken Burkhart on electronic organ and Danny at the kit. Friends from the Mrs. Murphy days---Lenny & Bernice, Stan, Yale, Heidi, even my long-lost cousin Burt and his friend Sandy. Best buds, Bill Rutan and Jimmy Belize. From Show biz---Jerry(keys), Bill(vocals) , and then sitting in Russell Freeland(Tromb/scat vocals), Dave Wilkinson(bass), Johnny Vaz(drums) and Matt Calderon (drums)----Hey! it was also Ben Champion's birthday. Maybe that's why he forgot to pick Charlie Boyer up for the drive down from the panhandle. Now the part that made the evening even more special, the JAZZ.

The music starts with "No Greater Love" and it speaks the truth. These guys have none that is greater than their love for the music. Ben leads off just swingin', boppin' and playing a full gusto solo. Martin and Ken catch the groove and Danny is driving the bus------ We are off to a heck of a night of "All That JAZZ". They are reflecting a hip mood when they trade solos on "Watch What Happens". "Green Dolphin Street" is supposed to feature Danny---it does, but Kenny and Marin pick up on Danny's vibe and 'away we go'. How can I explain what is going on? Fun! Joy! Smiles on the stand and in the audience. They give Ken the chance to sing his original "Crazy Love" with Martin adding an outstanding guitar portion. For "Bye Bye Blackbird" Ben picks up his curved soprano sax and he is blowing licks that are kicking butt. Martin is not to be outdone and almost blows the strings off his ax.

They do a few rounds of 4's. Before playing their break song Martin sings the BLUES tune "Before You 'cuse Me".

The 2d set is about to start when I see my newest friend Ms. Jackie Deering enter.

A warm hug, a light kiss on the lips and my cardiologist is on the emergency line. If my life ends because of those kind of things----so be it----O.K. the music. Before the 2d set starts we all sing "Happy Birthday" to Ben Champion> He is younger than I, but catching up in a hurry, Many Happy Returns. It starts with some straight ahead JAZZ lines and Ben's solo reminds me of some stuff Illinois Jacquet might do. Martin is featured on "You Came To Me From Out of Nowhere" It is hard to find a more creative guitarist. The cat can play!!!! Russ has joined in and Ben plays flute when they do "Missed the Saturday Dance". When I thought I was a musician, a thousand years ago, the band let me sing it so they didn't have to listen to me play. They did that a lot. Miss Jackie is seated hip to hip with me. Damn the torpedos! Full speed ahead!! We get up to dance. The only couple on the floor. I show off. Jackie does the same. She is better at it. I put the doctors call on hold. Dave Wilkerson played bass during the number adding depth to the already great sound. "All the Things You Are" sees Johnny Vaz playing drums. I am still catching my breath and dropping pills when Ken and Martin are blowing the house down with solos continuing in to trading dynamic 4 bar snatches. My concentration on the music has been broken by Jackie's profound effect on my thought process. Drummers first lesson is called Mommy-Daddy. The  rhythm is the sound. Left Mommy-right Daddy. My head is saying Jackie-Deering    Jackie-Deering and having nothing to do with left/right or anything like that. I am brought back to reality by Russell intoning a frantic scat vocal. I may cut his throat. 

Matt Calderon takes the drummers seat. Matt helped introduce me to the Florida JAZZ scene shortly after my arrival in Florida. The band plays a bop tune whose title eluded me. Never the mind. They cut Matt loose. OMG!!!! It was a buffalo stampede--Niagara Falls in the spring--a rhino's charge--a lightning storm on a Kansas plain-- It was so exciting I almost forgot to kiss Jackie goodnight----almost. Hi, the Real Tracy Fields and Dr. Lonnie Smith got me home but did nothing to quell the racing of my heart---like I said when I started "There is very little...

Lots of stuff happening tonight---check the listings on  JAZZBLUES Florida---also this months mag is on line---take a look at the Florida scene, North to south, East to West.  

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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