Saturday, June 16, 2012

Al, on the move...whilst tappin'-n-clappin' to jazz and blues

Submitted by Al Kanovsky, 6/15/12

Wednesday 6/13
It seems like every time I'm tappin' my feet and clappin' my hands it's 'cause there's a bandstand of MJC founders blowing. BJB's /Danny Burgers showcase featured Joe Donato. Now I don't want to boast and I am not ashamed to tell folks how old I really am, but I have heard musicians from all over the world play a wide variety of instruments of every kind. Joe gave me a whole new slant on rhythm instruments when he started playing a Poinsettia Seed Pod. Ira Sullivan plays lots of horns and some tropical rhythm stuff. Rick Harris plays anything he can get his hands on. Bluesmen Darrel Raines and Patrick Farinas do the same, but Poinsettia Seed Pod????---I couldn't believe my eyes---or ears. Along with Danny on drums we heard Matt Bonelli on bass and Brian Murphy at the piano---all founders and all fun. Adding to the great band, Joe had David Leon (sax) as a guest artist. David has just graduated H.S. and will continue his musical ed at the Frost School. Try to get a listen to this young and very talented young man.

Monday 6/11
Happy Birthday to Turk Mauro. and what a birthday party it was. Joining Turk was Danny Burger (drums), Billy Marcus (keys), Nicky Orta (bass guitar), Martin Hand (guitar). I had written Turk a birthday poem kidding him about "singing". My words did not discourage him one bit and he "sang" his way merrily into his 69th year. Lots of Turk's fans were there and I must admit he didn't let any of us down---Turk and I are committed to the tenet that clean living does not necessarily lead to long life. We all raise our glasses and wish him "Many Happy Returns". Turk is the Monday night feature at BJB's.
Flo and I are a bi-municipal couple. Meaning we travel back and forth from here to NY on a fairly regular basis. Our kids and grandchildren live in the metropolitan area and Flo's job is based there. It gives us a chance to get around the Apple in nothin'flat and 4/4 time. This Sunday we enjoyed JAZZ, but separately. Flo was in NY and went to an event at The Allen Room/Jazz at Lincoln Center. It was titled "Sweet & Low Down Family Matinee". The series of concerts is part of a musical education program for youngsters which is hosted by Michael Feinstein.

The afternoon featured New York's Michael Feinstein, our own Nicole Henry and the worlds Billy Strich. The band included Tedd Firth(music director/piano) Andy Farber(reeds) Tom Kennedy(bass) and Mark Mclean(drums). The program went from Gershwin to Sondheim including Feinstein doing a Grouch Marx song "Lydia Tattoo Lady". Nicole singing like she owned the town did "Night and Day", "Fly Me to the Moon" and "Time After Time" and others. The audience was applauding and shouting "Wow". There were also instructive talks by the artists and Michael encouraged the audience, including the kids, to dance or clap their hands to the music.  Flo said she would hate to lose Nicole at our favorite haunts in Florida but a room like this, is where Nicole belongs.  Glass that is four stories high, with the NY skyline as a backdrop. 

1318 miles south of where Flo was, I attended the South Florida JAZZ Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony and Concert at the Caleb Center. The event was co-sponsored by the Sunshine JAZZ Organization. The setting may not have been as palatial as NY, but the JAZZ was just as enjoyable. Dolph Castellano and Mike Chioda made up the "house" band along with a drummer whose name I did not get. (I am sorry)The program was centered around "The Billy Marcus Quartet". The quartet in its entirety was being inducted into The Hall of Fame. Billy Marcus(piano) Eric Allison(woodwinds/vocals) Don Mosley(bass) and Gary Duchaine(drums). They hadn't played together for thirty years. Talk about a toe tappin', hand clappin' experience. The jam session was something else as well. Mel Dancy, Alice Day, Brenda Alford, a slight thing with a big voice Clarissa and Melton Mustafa. All of us know of Melton’s health problems. Here he was Sunday. Looking good (kona hura) and blowing as if Gabriel was on his shoulder. When Alice, Brenda and Melton concluded with "Amazing Grace" tears ran down my cheeks and my faith in the power of prayer was reaffirmed. The real Tracy Fields acted as MC. She is a great supporter of the JAZZ we all love so Whenever and if ever you get the chance to visit the "City" make sure you make arrangements to hear the JAZZ that they offer in this magnificent setting.
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Posted by Jazz & Blues Florida
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