Tuesday, December 18, 2012

SRO and deservedly so - don't worry, if you know Al, you can still get in...

Submitted by Al Kanovsky 12/18/12

It was SRO and deservedly so, at Monday nights  Rent Party for the MJC at the Stage in the design district.
How about we start on time (8PM) breaking a time honored JAZZ tradition. Tradition aside, the evening opened with Jim Gasior(keys),
Dave Fernandez(tenor sax), Josh Allen(bass) and a drummer I hadn't heard before, Arvel Nikunda. His drum-style is unique and impressive.
Playing some of Jim's own composition I realized that dissonance is back. In yesteryear(the 40's) a band led by Boyd Raeburn was playing a new kind of JAZZ with strange chord structures. The Stan Kenton band followed and even Woody Herman joined the group. We've all listened to Thelonius and Bud Powell. This past Saturday I listened to a new Dr. Lonnie Smith CD and heard that sound again. It was repeated in Jim Gasiors presentation on Monday night. Discordant dissonance, nothing is really ever entirely new. Fernandez's solos are always innovative and interesting, Josh Allen, definitely a future star, Arvel Nikunda once heard will not be forgotten. Wendy Pederson joined the group for a couple of tunes. The set ended with Josh being featured on "Blue Christmas" and Wendy doing "Silent Night".
Next up was a trio of youngsters headed by Jake Pardo(guitar) an 8th grader with the style and talent of a seasoned pro. Jose Abbizu(bass) just 17 and Francesca Romero on keys. Francesca is a Gasior student and must be a great one based on her level of play. They had me clappin' and tappin'.
"Let The Jam Begin" and so it did. It would take 'til New Years to say something about each of those who took the stage. It will have to suffice with  great overall performances by Gary Keller(sax), Joe Donato(sax), Valerio Cantori(keys) Orlando Machado(drums), Rick Harris(pocket trumpet/keys) Jouvie Omicil(alto and soprano sax), Moe Morgen (bass clarinet) and bassists Dr. Jamie Ousley, Kai Sanchez, Carlos Alabaci. Our lovely Japanese imported songbird Nanami Morikawa sang as well. Rick Katz had sent 10 reasons for you to be there. You only need one--JAZZ. Next year MJC's presentations will be at PAX. Easy to get to and a great sound system. Watch our listings for future dates.   

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