Thursday, February 13, 2014

Florida has...(more than most people know about in the way of great live music and it is YOUR job to tell them about it, right Allen Kanovsky?)

Submitted by Al Kanovsky 02/13/14 all. Great weather, beaches, oranges, hotels, water sports and music departments in our High Schools, Colleges and Universities. The prime example of these educational heights is the Frost School of Music at U.M. I experienced this asset yesterday at the MJC JAZZ in the Gables lunchtime concert at the C.G. Museum of Art.

The Stamps Scholarship Quintet is made up of five young men, one is 19, the others 18. The came from all over the U.S. to compete for the honor of studying with Chuck Bergeron. 2 are from Illinois and one each fro New York, Washington and California. They are, Aiden Lombard (trumpet), Sam Hart (alto), Quinn Sengupta(piano), Bob Bruya(bass) and Marcel Perez on drums. The program went from be-bop to the American songbook. "All Or Nothing At All" to "Straight No Chaser". Aiden was playing a trumpet that had obviously been reconstructed. It was a gift from his music teacher during his freshman year in high school. The manufacture date is in the 40's. Frank Consola(WDNA FM 88.9), Larry Lapin, Joe Donato and Brian Murphy were in the audience with Chucks wife and son Jackson. My friends Deborah and Duane Crisp were there as well. When I reflect on what I heard I am not at a loss for superlative word for each of these young Jazzmen. Articulate, creative, imaginative, technique, They have it all. Remember their names. They represent the future of JAZZ and are living proof that the art form is alive and well. My hunger for music is sated and so I head for Dunkin' Donuts for sustenance. Coffee and a sweet. Ahhhhh! I go home and after a brief nap head for BJB's in Ft. Lauderdale. It is time for Danny Burgers JAZZ Showcase. Chuck Bergeron is doing a double, teaching during the day and playing JAZZ bass at night. Brian Murphy on piano has done the same. Danny Burger has probably spent the day playing golf or sipping scotch or maybe both. If I know Ira Sullivan he was practicing scales with his buddy Marc Berner. When I arrived at BJB's, Deborah and Duane were already there taking advantage of 'Happy Hour" pricing. I did the same. Jessi Campo plays the early sets and was doing a little Latin number. I grabbed Melody (BJB's owner) and we 'shaked it' through the last chorus. When Ira took over they started the show with "All the Things You Are" Bopping it all the way. If you are a JAZZophile you never miss an opportunity to listen to a group like this. 

They start with "All the Things" and conclude with "Amazing Grace". In between we are treated to inspired solos by one and all. Ira takes  a short break leaving Danny, Brian and Chuck to do "Nardis". Around and around, pushing each other to greater musical heights. Marc joins Ira on flute to do "Autumn Leaves" with an exceptional contra-melody portion. During the rhythm sections playing of "Pent-up House" Chuck's solo brings the audience to their feet. Danny, who I consider the best brush man in the world, does a stint with one stick and one brush. Salsa beats make for an interesting version of "So In Love With You Am I" with Ira going from alto to soprano and Danny blowing up the tom-toms. I look up and am surprised to see Marc and Ira holding tiny trumpets. They proceed to play "The Toy Trumpet" from a Shirley Temple (RIP) film. I didn't know Marc played trumpet (self taught) and later on he told me about his uncle Bill Berner who created the mute for the tiny trumpet.
Remembering the legendary Illinois Jacquet they played "Quiet Nights".  Brian is tucked in at the piano but he is a driving force for all the music. Ira picks up the flugelhorn to do Cannonballs "Janeen". Orlando Machado comes in to catch the last couple of tunes. Retuning to Bop-city they do "Night In Tunisia with Marc back on flute. It is traditional for Ira to close the show with "Day By Day" from 'Godspell" and "Amazing Grace". I am not ashamed to tell you that "Amazing Grace" is the story of my life---.

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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