Monday, June 8, 2015

When you get old...(...and, you care less about what others THINK about your decisions, right, Allen Kanovsky?) Sunday Jazz Brunch in FLL.

Submitted by Al Kanovsky 06/08/15

...decisions become more difficult. Many factors have to be considered. Distance to travel(on foot), things to carry, weather reports, how badly do you want to go and will it be worth it. The subject for today was yesterdays Riverwalk JAZZ Brunch in Ft. Lauderdale. There are 3 sites to choose from with different artists appearing at each. The area which I find easiest to park is closest to the Connie Hoffmann Gazebo(Billy Bones & Justin Trapani). Next nearest is the Esplanade(Salvaje) and furthest is Pecks Courtyard(Eric & the Jazzers). All I really had to carry, outside of myself, was a chair in a bag.

My back hurts, there's a pain in my thigh and I'm a bit short of breath. The Gazebo is the obvious choice. I un-bag & unfold my chair. Billy Bones is on stage with some instruments. I have never met him before so I introduce myself and ask if he would write down the names & instruments of the band. He does and I didn't look at what he wrote down on 4 lines. It is time for the performance to begin and he does, playing sax. No one else is on stage and he is soloing with a 'tracks' background. Maybe the band is late. I look down at what he wrote. Billy Bones-Vocals-Saxes, Flute-Harmonica(s).Tracks are not what I came to hear.

I re-fold & re-bag my chair and trudge off to the Esplanade.I find a spot in the shade at the back of the stage and am surprised that "Salvaje" is a band with some musicians I haven't heard in a while. Leading the band playing trumpet and flugelhorn is Kevin Wilde. You like high notes, you like Kevin. Now to the rhythm section. I should say ritmo. Noooo. I should say RITMO. Manny Patino(bass), Abel Patino(keys), Roberto Rodriguez(drums) and Tony Verdejo(latin percussion). Tony is the only one I hadn't heard before. Latin JAZZ at its best. I got there in time to hear a classic Cha-cha-cha. It was followed by "Morning of Carnivale" from the film Black Orpheus and is known en angalis as "A Day In the Life Of A Fool". "Asencion" is next and Abel does some absolutely incredible k.b. work. It won't be the only one today. 

Kevin always impresses me with his alacrity and upper register work. The number concludes with a drummer y timbalero solos. "Quiet Nights"  has me dancing with Julie Serriano who can dance and closely resembles my childhood sweetheart Rose Prochansky. How can Italian girls look so much like Jewish girls. Oh, those Mediterranean  breezes. A guy sitting on the opposite side of the stage looks like Mike Norris. It ain't him. There's another guy looks like Martin Hand. It is him. That ended the first set. Dancing with Julie exhausted me and as good as the band was, I napped through the first half of the second set. Kevin spied me and let me know about it at the end of the day. They returned to North America with a Stevie Wonder song but they brought the Latin rhythm with them. "Softly" was next. Manny played a 5* solo. Kevin was not far behind. Roberto and Tony on timbales were just wailing at the close of the set. The short last set had only 2 tunes. the first was a Paquito De Rivera composition "Song For ?????"  Great trumpet work and Abel equalled it. Hey, it's a Latin JAZZ band! What better way to end than with "Caravan". How did they do it?  Straight ahead with some Latin rhythm and a little be-bop. Kevin and the band blasting!!!! I made up a word to describe what they did to "Caravan" . They "JAZOPINIFIED"  it.

Note: I do not have a racist bone in my body but when there is a "gringo" playing and I mean playing Latin JAZZ I have to inquire what brought them to the music. Kevin explained that 30 years ago he ventured to L.A. Outside of the studio work the market was Salsa Bands. As I always say 'clave' is infectious. Once you catch it, you can never cure it. It becomes part of your being. Alma y corazon. 

My apologies to Eric & the Jazzers. Too far. Though I see in Charlie's pix that Eric actually sat down at the kit and did something. (See Charlie's blog entry at:  for photos, vids and a bit more commentary...

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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