Thursday, June 18, 2015

A nice JAZZ surprise...(Allen Kanovsky might have seen it all, but he still likes surprises!)

Submitted by Al Kanovsky 06/18/15

...awaited me as I entered one of of my 'hangs' on 33 St.

James McCoy was on stage playing bass and singing. Yes, James was up there and singing. The Great American Songbook. Cole Porter et al. On keys was Errol Turninune. James' bass playing is impeccable and most definitely JAZZ at its best. His voice is that of a JAZZ musician. He hits all the notes. Along with all the popular songs of past years he did the Sting hit "Moon Over Bourbon Street". As it were I only caught a bit of his last set but enjoyed every note.

I would be joined by buddy Bill, 2 Denises, Capt. Bob and JoJo. In the house, and it was great seeing her again, was the lovely Babette and her wonderful smile. 

Following James was Danny Burger's Showcase. The featured artist was the Venezuelan JAZZ star, Maria Rivas. Also on stage Brian Murphy (keys) and Jamie Ousley (bass). For some reason the establishment had disposed of its electric grand piano. Management decisions are not always wise. The piano had made a statement of 'class'. Now the stage setting became mundane and no longer a musical stage. On the other hand they enhanced the sound system so the bar chatter is no longer disturbing as it had been. A game of give & take.

There have been many Latina vocalists including La Lupe, Graciella and of course the immortal Celia. Maria is a Latina but she is a JAZZ singer in the styles of Ella Fitzgerald, Peggy Lee and even reaching back to Mildred Bailey. Maria has the real goods. Great range, imaginative scat lines, dynamic tone and in general, truly, a JAZZ artist. My notes, again escaped into the ethernet and so all of the rest of this is from memory. Wonderful memory.

Her performance last night covered all the bases. Bop, swing, latin. Sometimes taking chances with rhythms not usual to the tune. "Girl From Ipanema" done in swing time. "Summertime" to a latin beat. "Funny Valentine" as only she can do it. "Emily" as romantic as you can do it. The tragic song "Josefina di El Mar" was beautiful. "Night In Tunisia", a little latin, a little swing. "Rte 66", JAZZ and I mean JAZZ. Of course the most famous of all latin tunes "Besame Mucho". Inspiration is contagious. And it raged among all those on stage. Brian was unhappy playing an undersize(for him) keyboard but that didn't stop him from delivering dynamite solos. It seems to me that Brian and Jamie have a very special connection and it shows when Jamie's solos follow Brian's. Danny and Maria share a special rhythmic sense. 

I danced with both Denise's. I attempted to dance with another 'unnamed' lady but altho she did a credible shoulder shake she couldn't move her legs or hips if it meant her life. Lindsey Blair (guitar) stopped by to say "Hi" and thanked me for mentioning him in the Monday night review. (EDITOR'S NOTE* What? People read this stuff?????)

Tonight the Miami JAZZCo-op continues it's 5th Anniversary celebration. I am happy to report the event is solidly SOLD OUT.

Blog review (hopefully) so you can enjoy it vicariously, tomorrow.  

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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