Saturday, February 1, 2014

It doesn't happen...(Wow Allen Kanovsky, THAT is a mouthful!)

Submitted by Al Kanovsky 01//14

...often, that I am at a loss for words. How do you write a blog review that features an almost 8 year old JAZZ pianist. I am talking about Brandon (L'il 88) Goldberg. The top of his head does not appear above the piano. His toes can barely reach the pedals. His right hand plays the melodic line, his left plays the bass line on a keyboard. He is appearing with Noreena Downey Friday nights at the Aventura Resort & Club. Last night I was accompanied by Ms. Jackie Deering (American Airlines). We share a love of music, especially JAZZ & BLUES. Noreena has Jeff Padowitz at piano and Howard Moss playing drums. She starts the evening with Brandon on piano doing "New York State of Mind" followed by "Witchcraft". Jackie is so impressed she has to stand up to see this youngster play. He does some solo work with "Don't Get Around Much Anymore". I was playing and singing that tune back in the 40's. How this kid, even knows of this song, amazes me. Jeff returns to the piano with Noreena singing "You'd Be So Nice To come Home To", "Mas Q' Nada" and "No Moon At All". Noreena is encouraging people to dance so Jackie and I oblige. Now, L'il 88 is back at the piano. He is personable and irrepressible. Just him and Howard. He does a couple of Billy Joel hits, a couple of Beatles songs, and then "Benny & the Jets" Again I wonder how he even knows that tune. Kind of kidding the kid I ask him to play a little 'boogie-woogie'. No hesitation and off he goes, 8 to the bar. Noreena joins him to sing "Fly Me To The Moon", "All or Nothing At All"and "Girl From Ipanema". They play a cha-cha and that affords me another opportunity to dance with the lovely Jackie Deering. Jeff returns and Bryan Morgan sits in on trumpet when the do "Desifinado" and a salsified "Nature Boy". If you like to jitterbug there is no better tune than "Straighten Up & Fly Right". If I remember correctly, amongst musicians, it was called "The Signifying Monkey". My buddy Bill had to observe his curfew and so had left before Noreena sang his favorite "You Don't Know What Love Is". In his honor and taking the opportunity to hold Jackie close, we dance to the ballad. A good looking young man, with a captivating smile and carrying a sax case is introduced to Jackie and I. His name is Damian J. I tell him that the next time he flashes that smile at a woman that I am with, I will slash his throat. We share a laugh. He has been on the road, traveling the world for several years with the present day Glenn Miller band. He uncases his horn to play an intro to "All Or Nothing At All" Both Jackie and I sit up to pay close attention. The cat has 'chops'. The band catches a groove with "Devil May Care" and then the soulful "Lover Man, Where Can You Be". Funk raises its head when they play "On Broadway" with Noreena doing a scat in unison with Damian's playing. Mr. J sets the horn down to sing "All of Me" and really 'sells' the song. "Noreena closes the evening with "It's Alright With Me". 

personal note: The question most ladies ask me when first met is "Do you drive at night?" Yes, I do drive at night. But not last night. Jackie did the driving. Picking me up and dropping me off at my doorstep. I kind of liked the idea. I also liked dancing with this vivacious woman. I'll have to ask her to do it again-----soon.  

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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