Saturday, January 4, 2014

"It was just one of those...(Aren't they all, Allen Kanovsky, aren't they all!)

Submitted by Al Kanovsky 01/04/14

...nights, that will not be forgotten. Mike Orta, one of my favorite JAZZ pianists made his return to Soykas with his brother Nicky on bass guitar. Mike is recovering from surgery and so lots of friends and fellow musicians were there to wish him Happy and Healthy New Year. After kissing Luz (Mike's girl friend) I waved at Lisanne Lyons who was seated at the bar with her beau. She walked over and we shared a little longer than usual hug. The guy she was with scarcely gave us a tumble. Confident, I guess. Next on the hug list was Debbie Orta, Nick's wife. He is used to me hugging her and so it didn't bother him. Mike was still glaring at me for the little peck on the cheek of Luz. It's just a couple of days after the 1st of the year and the room is full of romance and that's how the music begins. The duos first selection is "I Love You", then carries over to the old classic "Long Ago and Far Away" followed by a bossa rhythmed "Triste" in which Mike quotes "Matinada" and from a long ago film "My Foolish Heart". They end the set with a swinging "Just In Time".

Seated with me are my pal Bill Rutan, Carlo, an old friend of Mike's and Lourdes who is Nicole Henry's most ardent fan. Jack Siegel (trumpet) and his wife have come in along with Jeannette Pina. Rudolfa Zuniga (drums) and Carla, walk through the door. At a nearby table are Susana Behar and her husband. We share a hug and I wonder if her husband has some Latino in his veins because of the look on his face. An attractive women---I almost said 'gal'--- is now sitting next to Lisanne at the bar. Never passing up the opportunity, I ask for her name. Marlo Perez. I ask if I can mention her name in this review. The answer is obvious. "What do you do, Marlo?" -"I am an exceptional woman!".-I extend a hand, take hers in mine and instruct her to come with me. She stays firmly seated. "Are you a musician?"-"I played trombone for a while."-"Kiss me!" Fortunately, she refrained from slapping me but instead gave me a lovely smile and laughed. 

The 2d set opens with Mike and Nicky really grooving on "Bye Bye Blackbird". Toward the ending they trade imaginative 4's and then Debbie, Lisanne, Carlo and I join in singing the last chorus. It is turning into a clappin' tappin' party. Now, the bash becomes a celebration of the "Chick" singers. First up is Luz doing, in Espanol, "Como Fue". It is a lovely ballad. Debbie follows with a soulful "Skylark". Susana Behar does a romantic ballad in Spanish, The melody has just a tinge of Gypsy. Carla Guiterrez does a bossa, whose title eluded me, but her phrasing is very creative. A very pretty vocalist, Giselle(didn't get her last name) swings into "I Thought About You" and I take the rhythmic opportunity to dance with Luz. If you came out to hear some JAZZ, you were about to get a full dose. Lisanne Lyons has the mic and the tune is "All Of Me". Ms. Lyons gives it all she's got and WOW!!!!!. From now on I will call her LiJAZZanne Lyons. JAZZ at what it's all about. Jim Gasior and a group of his students are now in the house along with Mika Garcia and Lourdes Valentin. Rafael "Calif" Valencia sits in on bass. He and Mike do "All the Things You Are". Now Kai Sanchez takes the bass and Lourdes has the mic. Lourdes sings "Besame Mucho" with all the 'alma' only Latinas have. 'Ay Negrita--if I was 50 years younger'--Susan Richards has me leaning forward to catch every inflection as she sings "What A Wonderful World". Jim Gasior takes a turn at the '88' with "Bluesette" trading a series of 4's with the bass. All heads turn around as Nicole Henry comes into the room. Nicole is playing several dates in her favorite playground, S. Florida. No better way to end an evening of JAZZ than with Nicole singing "That's All". If you weren't there, remember, there is never a next time in JAZZ. What happens that night stays in that night-----As always my prayers are with all that need His help. 

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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