Sunday, June 7, 2015

How did you celebrate your...(Hey Allen Kanovsky, it is tough enough remembering how I celebrated LAST NIGHT!)

Submitted by Al Kanovsky 06/07/15

...16th birthday? 

I knew a kid who had to work, and at night! What kind of parent would allow that? Well, if you were Omar and Cora Madruga and the kid was Antonio(Tony) and the gig was Dizzy's Club Coca Cola at Lincoln Center and the kid was the headliner maybe you would just be PROUD. Flo & I were there and were glad we were. It was a great night for all. It's just a couple of weeks shy of the anniversary of that event. Tony will turn 21. Last night he, accompanied by Brad Miller(bass) and Charlie Steiner(drums) played in the Cellar at Le Chat Noir. 

No, it ain't Lincoln Center but it is a spot for JAZZ in Miami. Tony has grown as a man and musician. He now composes music and writes lyrics. His program last night was made up mainly of his originals. The melodies are complex and reflect today's music. The lyrics are complicated as well often disclosing deep personal experience and feeling. Tony's keyboard and later on piano, technique, is perfection. He is definitely among the most talented of pianists. 

Titles of his tunes included "Don't Need to Know the Way", "She Is A Stranger", "It's Alright", "Can We Love", "Song Without Lyrics", "Forgive and You'll Be Free" and "All One" . Tony handled the vocals well altho he has only been singing for a few weeks. The second set was a reflection of the first and also had "What's Going On" and Mo' Betta BLUES". The last set had Tony moving to the piano and doing a couple. He opened with what I thought was a classical piece. I tried to recognize the chord changes. Cadenzas, flourishes, embellishments, flamboyance------the be-bop national anthem "How High the Moon". Brilliant!!! Probably the most imaginative version I've heard and I would say that I have heard that tune at least 1,000 times. He did "Someone To Cry Over Me" and then a little bit of Art Tatum style "Sweet Lorraine". He closed with another original, "One Day You'll Leave Me". 

Life offers new experiences everyday. You face it. If you are open, you may learn what it is all about. Tony has learned some of the lessons and it is reflected in the music and lyrics he writes. Congratulations----and an early Happy 21st.

Memories of that night 5 years ago are still vivid. My favorite tunes were the ballad "She Is A Stranger" and the fun tune "Song Without Lyrics".

note: I worked on my 16th birthday also. It was a Sunday nite. The joint was called the "Pump Room" and it wasn't an off-shoot of the fancy club in Chicago. Washington Ave. Miami Beach. December 1947. It was owned by a blue comic known as B.S. Pulley. I played trumpet in a quintet. We worked 6 nights a week and were paid for 5. The house took 1 day as commission for the booking. It's what I always liked about the music BIZ.

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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