Monday, February 17, 2014

In the mood...( more than a title, right, Allen Kanovsky?)

Submitted by Al Kanovsky 02/17/14 #3

...for a late afternoon presentation of JAZZ at its best, I wend my way south for Wendy. Not the fast food palace. Wendy Pederson, song stylist and JAZZ artist. It didn't stop with her----Jim Gasior on piano, Dr. Ed Calle on saxophones, young Gary Thomas playing bass and Mike Piolet at the drum set. All are founding members of the Miami JAZZ Co-op. An outdoor audience of about 160 included vocalist/educator Ms. Lisanne Lyons and her beau, the parents of JAZZ artist David Leon, Larry Lapin, Jims wife Peggy, Fran & Rick Katz, Jeannette Pena, Joe Donato's long-time pal Joel Kruger, me and a lady who bopped her head and tapped her foot all the way through, Ms. Martha Hernandez. By the way, Wendy Pederson's married sur-name is Hernandez. Both Wendy's son were there as well. Wendy and Jim often perform together, the addition of rhythm and saxophone made the experience even more enjoyable. Wendy opened with the tune "Late Late Show" setting the JAZZ mood. "Night In Tunisia" the bop standard gives everyone in the group a chance to display their 'chops'. Wendy opts to do a new song, for her, "I'm So Lucky To Be Me". I gave the meaningful lyric my full attention. They follow with "Centerpiece" which showcases the simple chord changes of the BLUES. Jim takes advantage of the rhythm to add a little 'funk'. Remembering we are in South Florida they then do a very romantic "Besame Mucho". Gary's bass solo is as melodic as it can possibly be. They swing "I Can't Give You Anything But Love" to end the set and leave everyone with a smile on their face. The 2d set is opened with "Love For Sale". Wendy takes off on the melodic line. Dr. Ed's solo lets you know why they created the saxophone. Dedicating the next tune to Fran, Rick and St. Valentines Day, Wendy sings the song that helped make the film "Casablanca" a classic, "As Time Goes By". The program continued with a couple of original songs. The first was "I Will Catch You" a love song. Dr. Ed Calle switched to soprano for this. A somewhat darker song about love followed. titled "Burning Man". One of the lyric lines states, "playing with fire is the only way you learn". The chords reflected the change of moods and Dr. Calle's solo moved it even further into its somber attitude with somewhat discordant notes and not often heard saxophone tones. Brightening the audience with a lively "Jitterbug Waltz" Wendy and Jim get whimsical with childlike improvisations to the melodic line. Everyone, band and audience is enjoying and having fun with the tune. Wendy has an original song. She disavows the lyric, claiming it as pure fiction.

It is a BLUES, titled "They Call Me The Take-Out Queen" (because my man just won't deliver). It is replete with double-entendre including --Chinese--a half hour later, you want more---Japanese---how they fit those rolls into the box---Kosher---those big matzo balls---. I suggested to Wendy that she add a kneidel to the matzo ball order. The music and musicians were great. The weather was perfect for an outdoor event. The audience enjoyed every moment. That's being "In the Mood".  

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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