Monday, February 25, 2013

Happy Birthday to a lot of guys and gals...Al may not have them, but he recognizes them...

Sunday was filled with birthday celebrations.

It started with Tony's(co-owner of Blue Jeans Blues) surprise street party on 33 St. in Fort Lauderdale. Melody(his partner) arranged it, complete with a street closing, free metered parking and Flash Dancing. Live music supplied by Anthony Corrado and his band. The place was so jammed with folks I had to enjoy the party and music with friends, Danny Burger and his lovely wife Mary, and Steve (favorite bartender) on the outside. I got there about 2PM and buddy Bill and his daughter-in-law, Gabriella, showed about 4. We enjoyed the sunshine, the sea breeze and a number and variety of adult beverages. There was a gigantic birthday cake in the form of a golf course.

At 5 we moved our respective selves to Michele's on Oakland Park. The Barbara Van/Mike Orta jam has recently moved to this new spot. There, we would say Happy Birthday and celebrate with both Mike and Mo Morgen. Mike is barely into his 50's and Mo is somewhere between Mike and me. I heard it was Patti Wick and Marty Campfield’s birthday up in Palm Beach and they celebrated it at Susan Merritt’s Sunday Jazz Jam at 264 The Grill with special guests Ira Sullivan, Hod O’Brien and Stephanie Nakasian and whole lot of other musical friends.

Not one to linger too long on any particular bar stool, I went back to 33rd St. to catch a couple of tunes at Fishtales. Albert Castiglia (you pronounce it how you like and I will do it mine) was there and I don't pass that opportunity up. A young woman, named Rosemary, and blowing a bluesy tenor sax joined the band for a couple of tunes.

Then back to Mike, Moe, Barbara and Linc Lackey at Michele’s. Linc, usually on electric was playing a beautiful upright and sounded great. Being a Jam they had people coming up to join in. A guitarist(I didn't get his name) and a gentleman named Lee R Donais played great piano considering it's not his "day job"(investments and such) for a couple. The newly revitalized Ms. Rita Marie (Dee) sang for us. We all sang Happy Birthday, acapella, because we couldn't agree on a key.

Our trio, Bill, Gabriella and I wended our way back to BJB's to continue celebrating Tony's Birthday. Rita Wilburn(vocals) with Jeff Prine(guitar), Mitch Goldstein(Hammond SK4), Danny Burger (drums) and guest guitarist Louis "Gino" Lauretta. If you want to have a good time, listening to BLUES, Soul and a little funk, come out and listen to this band. For the closing number of the first set Rita chose Gershwins "Summertime" Rita asked Marybell Epps to join her on stage to sing along with her. Marybell leads the choir at the Unity church in Miami and has a regular Sunday gig doing a Gospel Brunch at the restaurant called "City Hall". Yes, the band had 'em up dancing as well. I even did one with Miss Marybell and we both had a lot of fun with it. The next tune was the kind of song, that when I was a kid, we called a "Why Dance?" I would have asked Miss Epps again but I was sure we would both be arrested and they would have chained the doors.

Before I close, if I may. Yesterday Flo would have been 76. I mourn her loss but do not grieve. I celebrated the others birthdays but I celebrated Flo's life as well.  She left me filled with the joy of life, the caring for others and the love of music. So much so, that I will never run on empty. Happy Birthday, dearest Flo. Rest gently in His arms.  

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