Thursday, February 7, 2013

old school-new school...and Al has almost perfect attendance...

Submitted by Al Kanovsky 2/7/13

Glenda Grainger sings the Great American song Book. She is what is termed, a cabaret singer. Last night she and her accompanist, Dave Williams, transported the lovely Babette and I back to the late '40s and early '50s when the supper clubs of New York were the places to go to and be seen. Besides food and swank surroundings they provided entertainment. Mostly singers who did the latest Broadway tunes and standards. Elaine’s, The Embers, The Persian Room at The Plaza, The Monkey Bar and of course The Cafe Carlyle where Bobby Short held court. 52 Street had the JAZZ clubs where be-bop was born. The memories of that time were made more vivid by Glenda and Dave's performance.

Then I went back to school. Do you know how to spell JAZZ musician? I learned last night at BJB's. G-R-E-G  D-I-A-Z, Greg Diaz. vocalist, saxophonist, flautist was headlining Danny Burger’s Showcase along with James McCoy(double bass) and Chris Cadenhead (piano). Those of you who have read some of my prior babblings know I have a thing about horn players who--sing? Well last night I learned another lesson. There are horn players who can sing. Greg’s interpretation of songs, from ballads, JAZZ standards and BLUES was impressive. He is a scat singer non-parallel, using his voice as an instrument with JAZZ riff phrasings. I had a chance to ask him about which came first, singing or playing? He told me that his Dad had an extensive JAZZ record collection which he fell in love with at an early age. Early enough to think that his singing and banging on an ash can cover was music. His Mom would tear at her hair and throw the little noise maker out of the house. He knew then that music would be his life.

What can I say about James McCoy except--exceptional--each and every time--exceptional. The first time I heard Chris he was with James about 4 years ago. They were backing Nicole Henry. Flo and I were of the opinion that he was "pretty good and creative". He has really "grown up" over the years and displayed his "chops" last night with what can only be described as a "WOW" performance. Chris told me that he is heading for the "left coast" shortly. I wish him "happy trails" and good fortune. Greg is also a member of "Mad Romance" which is performing, I believe, Saturday night at the Pinecrest Gardens Jazz Series.

Glenda: "Thanks For The Memories" (Rainger/Robin)     Greg: Thanks for the lesson     James, Chris & Danny, Thanks for all the wonderful nights.
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