Thursday, November 29, 2012

a sawbuck-$10 bill - Al goes to MIAMIPAX and bucks the $35/show tix price trend...

Submitted by Al Kanovsky 11/29/12

A $10 bill was, and maybe still is, called a "sawbuck" in the neighborhood where I grew up. Twenty dollars was a "double sawbuck" or "dubby". A $10 bill went a long way back then. Not anymore. It'll get you in and out of a Starbucks, maybe 1 and a 1/2 times. If you take a kid to Mickey D's and you want to eat as well, there goes your "Sawbuck". Last night, except for a night in Hong Kong(circa 1954) I enjoyed my spending of a $10 bill more than any time else in my more than 80 years. Why was that, you ask? The music, of course. At PAX(Performing Artists Exchange) there was a performance by two bands. The first was the Miami Saxophone Quartet. Four saxists who made themselves sound like forty. Just to drop a name here and there. Ed Calle, Gary Keller, Gary Lindsay, Mike Pignola. Uh huh. Just sat back to listen and absorb the sounds. Suddenly, I hear a tune that brings back childhood memories. "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star". You gotta be kiddin'me! I ain't kiddin'. And I'm mouthing the words. The quartet did "Twinkle" in 4 movements. Basic, Swing, Bop and what might be called fusion. At the end I was scatting to myself. They followed with a Calle composition titled "Iberian Suite" in 3 movements. The first set in the style of Rhumba, followed with a Bolero-like tempo and finishing with a flamenco flavored line inspired by the "running of the bulls" in Pomplano. That's when I started to feel the "tenner" was well spent, but it didn't end there. In the spirit of the Holiday they did "Winter Wonderland". Their rendition should be titled "Woodwind Wonderland". The first set ended with another Calle original called "Rice and Beans" done in the traditional 3/2.

Following but by no means second was Bryan Lynch and his band made up of students from UM's Frost School. The players included Neil Carson(tenor sax), Mike Baroso(congas), Johnathan Hulett(drums), Chris Croce(bass), Jerry Hall(trumpet), Steve Silvano(piano) and Jake Sharper(trombone). OMG.

Incredibly dynamic solos by each of them kept me tappin' and clappin'. Interesting to me was that when Brian soloed his eyes would go skyward, revealing mostly the whites. When each of the youngsters soloed they closed their eyes. I wondered if Brian was looking toward the Angel Gabriel for inspiration and the youngsters were looking into the unknown. It is heartening to me to hear young players keeping our music alive and well. Additionally, I think that this was the first time, since my arrival in Florida that I was the oldest (by at least 30 years) member of the listening audience. The 2 groups united for the finale, playing "Night in Tunisia" and encored with Coltrane's "Giant Steps" An evening and a "sawbuck" very well spent!!  

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