Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Risky business - Al provides assurance, not insurance...

Submitted by Al Kanovsky 11/27/12

Think about it for a minute! Life itself is a risky business. Often times we avoid taking "chances". Hey, we all take some chances. Putting your key in the ignition and driving around the southland is taking a chance. Kissing a pretty gal is "Taking A Chance on Love". Drawing to 14 is taking a chance. Betting a long shot or the "Hard 8" is taking a chance.  Choosing music, especially JAZZ, is very risky. But where would the genre be today if Dizzy, Charlie, Miles and Thelonius didn't take those "chances". Last night at the MJC's Rent Party a quartet of young musicians stepped up to the bandstand at the Stage and did what pioneers do. They looked ahead. David Fernandez(tenor sax) fronted the group with Dave Seigel(keyboard) Josh Allen(bass) and Rudolfo Zuniga(drums). The whole set was made up of original tunes composed by David.
Clever titles like "Premature Articulation" and "3/2,2/3" give you a clue as to where this group is musically. Yes, you have to pay attention but when you do, you hear innovative phrasing, chord changes, riffs and at the risk of repeating myself, articulation, by the entire band. David was kind enough to explain to me that "3/2,2/3" is what they call "claves". Like the percussion instrument but in this sense meaning the basis from which all the rest of the rhythms of the tune emanate. Yeah, I know--too much info for daylight. The Jam followed the quartets set. It was kicked off by the legendary Mel Dancy playing the keyboard and singing in that inimitable style. Jim Gasior(keys), Gary Keller(sax), Hannah(sax) several drummers whose names I did not catch, Julian Vick(keys) and Felipe Almandigo(tenor sax) all got up to play. Steve(who I mentioned yesterday) did an inspired vocal of  "Lullaby of Birdland" with other Jammers joining in doing solos. The evening ended with most of the players on stage and blowing, man, just blowing. You are never too young or too old, to listen and learn!!!!  

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