Wednesday, February 13, 2013

on Mardi Gras Day...Al goes for the big easy in SoFla, not NOLA...

Submitted by Al Kanovsky 2/13/13

I have to admit that I was glad I had a fitness program in prep for Mardi Gras. I needed it. No comparison to M.G. Day in N'Awlins but lots of fun just the same. Started out the evening with 2 snowbird pals, Mike and Joe, by going to a fairly new (7 months) place in Gulfstream Park. It is named Paladar(Latin Kitchen & Rum Bar). The joint(establishment) is well designed, inside and out. Places for diners and revelers alike. This night they had live music, A duo of percussion and voice plus background "tracks".

On timbales, cowbells and electronic claves was Erick Castaneda. Erick is a music student at Miami-Dade. Kate Vargas handled the voice part and very well. They did all the Latin rhythms and had many of the diners up and dancing (including moi). By the by, the house was dishing up 2 for 1 mojitos which always makes the evening more enjoyable. I took the opportunity to speak with manager, Ean Carroll. Ean said they are working toward a "live" music program. I would suggest that musicians who are interested, contact him. Mike & Joe, after several mojitos and not having participated in the pre-Mardi Gras training abandoned me, to go beddy-by. I headed for the Mardi Gras Casino where both Iko-Iko  and J.P. Soars were performing. Graham indoors/J.P. trackside. Sunday I had missed J.P at Fishtales so it gave me the opportunity to catch him.

Walking through the casino and observing the "dead heads"---not the "Grateful" kind--- at the slots, reinforced my feelings about gambling and gamblers. The former, an evil. The latter, unfortunate. Don't get me wrong I love casinos. But the way you should gamble is not IN them but ON them. Your chances of winning on the stock market are much better. J.P. Soars and the Red Hots had about 7 or 8 hundred folks away from those brain-sucking machines for a while. Some of them even danced. Keeping those addicts away from those spinning reels is an unparalleled feat but J.P. did it. As the bands final notes drifted away the fireworks began. After JAZZ, BLUES and fireworks are a favorite of mine. It was an exceptional display. It compared well with the 4th of July spectaculars on the Hudson. The fireworks company deserves a round of applause. As I was leaving I spied Graham Drout Woods(Iko-Iko) and Nicole Yarling. They had just finished their gig inside. Back in the short (you know) I headed to Hollywood and the Big Easy. Niles "Red Beans" Blaize was there with well known Jimmy Daniels on drums. Niles playing harp and horn. I am remiss in not getting the guitar or bass players names but my mind was in adjustment mode. Blaize was finishing up the set with all the traditional New Orleans stomps and had most of the audience on their feet, dancin' the night away. So, truly wanting to celebrate my 82 birthday at the Havana Jazz Festival, in December, I headed home to rest the weary but happy bones.
                                                  "Laissez Bonne Temps Roulet !!! 

~ ~ ~

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1 comment :

  1. Al,
    It's Always a pleasure to see you out and about. And Mardi Grass night was no exception.
    Thanks for the mention in your blog. And I can help fill in the blanks. That guitar player is Rob Altar, hence, The Blaize'N' Altar Band. And on bass, Stephen B. Those guys have another project, 'Orange Sunshine', playing all the great hits from the 60s. Catch them down at the Grove this weekend....well worth the trip.!