Monday, February 10, 2014

People ask me...(...because only you would know, Allen Kanovsky?)

Submitted by Al Kanovsky 02/10/14

...why I'm out almost every night to listen to JAZZ or BLUES live. Last night at Arts Garage can supply a good part of the answer. It was an event for the benefit of a Lymphonia and Leukemia Association. Seven musicians and a vocalist who had never worked together before had taken the stage. Jesse Jones Jr.(alto sax/vocals), Drew Tucker (vibes) and Zoe Fromer (vocals) I have heard previously. Marlow Rosado (piano), Jose Velasquez (bass), Daniel Pena (congas) and Nathaniel Stokes (drums) were artists I had never heard. They opened with "Manteca". And I mean "Manteca" with a Capital M. Each and every one on stage impressed me with their solos. Creative and precise. Five guys, talking the same language and totally agreeing on the subject. Pure Be-bop---Bop/Bop/Bop. Jesse, Drew and Daniel's portions let everyone know they were in for a great evening of JAZZ. They followed with Jesse's signature tune "Songs For My Father". Now it was Jose on upright bass and Marlow on piano, turn to shine. Man o' man!  Jesse does his 'scat' bit.  It was getting betterer and betterer. Ms. Zoe comes up to sing "Autumn Leaves" The last time I saw her was 2 years ago. She has grown physically and musically. She is taller and her vocals are broader. She knows how to take a chance with the melodic line. Marlow's solo was very imaginative and inspired Drew to be equally impressive. She and Jesse do a back and forth with some scat lines. The twins known as "Double Trouble" take the stage to do "Ain't No Sunshine" These brothers really funked it up. Funk and roll. Original and very entertaining. They even got Jesse and Drew into that funked up mood. All of the audience boppin' their heads to the rhythm. Zoe returns with "Funny Valentine" with Drew doing the intro. Vibes are my favorite instrument and "Funny" was Flo's favorite song. The whole program had the undercurrent of Latin 'clave' and that added to my enjoyment of the presentation. Double Trouble came back to do "Hallelujah" which told the story of unrequited love between a boy and girl and faith in the Lord. The show closed with a lively Latin number. Was it Mambo? Not quite. Was it cha-cha? No. Was it guaguanco? No. I asked Marlow. He told me it was known as "caballo" as in a horses trot. Talking about Marlow, I could not, not mention, his use of the dynamics of the piano are awesome. The way these musicians combined in a unique night of unequaled JAZZ performance provides the answer to my tag line question. Jesse donated his performance and Drew is the uncle of a niece who is afflicted by this horrific disease and was instrumental in organizing the event. Marlow donated $5 from each sale of his CD. JAZZ lives and JAZZ musicians help lives. 

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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