Monday, February 11, 2013

the saga continues... Al's continuing search for the meaning of Mardi Gras

Submitted by Al Kanovsky 2/11/13

My quest for Mardi Gras fitness continued thru the weekend. Sunday afternoon I went to church to-------listen to some JAZZ. The Unitarian Universalist Church has an ongoing JAZZ program. This Sunday the church presented two of the most sensitive and creative artists I know. Wendy Pedersen/Jim Gasior or JimGasior/Wendy Pedersen. When performing they are as one person. It is surprising for a number of reasons. Opposite gender, different personalities, one bubbly the other a bit reserved, a piano player vs. a singer (No, make that a vocalist and a pianist). Yet they have melded the voice and the instrument into what can only be described as a perfect union. Wendy/Jim's version of" O' What a Beautiful Morning" in Gospel style brought Oklahoma to church or vice-versa.  The duo did "Felicidad', one of the many songs from my favorite foreign film "Black Orpheus". Juan Carlos Jobim wrote the music for the movie, including "A Day In the Life Of A Fool". They chose to do a Cole Porter tune in a bossa rhythm. Wendy's patter, while introducing "My Heart Belongs To Daddy" was laced with double entendre and sexual innuendo. So much so that even Wendy blushed. Her rendition made me blush. I have said it before but, somehow, when performing in church musicians are lifted just "A Little Bit Higher". A great afternoon spent with two great JAZZ artists.

Then, it being the Chinese New Year I opted for Chinese food at Christina Wans in Fort Lauderdale. Belly full and ears awaiting more JAZZ I headed to 33 St. and BJB's where the Sound of Vision was playing with Charmaine Forde. Parking was a little difficult and I ended up in front of Fishtale's. As I exited my short(if you don't know, don't ask) I heard a familiar voice coming from the BLUES bar. I recognized it as MS. Rita Wilburn. Not being one to turn away from a BLUES singer (or band) I made my way into a packed room. Rita, recently referred to me as her "weekend man". If you know Rita, that didn't really make me special. Only one amongst many. She spied me from the stage and immediately let the audience know her "weekend man" was in the house. A dozen women asked me to dance. I'm guessing there are a lot of gals in Ft. Lauderdale looking for Rita's kind of man. The event at Fishtales was J.P. Soars and the Sunday Jam. The Rockin' Jake Band was on stage with Maurice Dukes on drums, young Steve Laudicina on guitar (Rita was making Steve her "weekend man" when I walked in and so the young man will have to wait his turn) and Rockin' Jake vocalizing and playing harp. J.P was taking a break. It seems strange to me that there are so many Jewish cats playing the BLUES on the "Mississippi Saxophone". I mentioned a few to Jake and he named even a few more. Goldstein, Markowitz, Jake----So if you are planning a briss or bar mitzvah---------

I left Fishtales with Ms. Rita on my arm. We strolled across to BJB's. The lovely Babette was at her reserved spot at the bar and Charmaine Forde was on stage with the Sound of Vision--Valerio at the piano, Orlando on drums and Scott playing sax and the EWI. Charmaine's repertoire included stuff that took you around the Caribbean and all the way back to New Orleans. During one of the reggae tunes I heard the sound of "steel pan". I looked at the stage trying to find a machine playing "tracks". No such thing, It was Scott on the EWI. The sound was authentic down to the little after ring the real instrument produces. The EWI (electronic wind instrument) is truly amazing. The hands on the clock moved past 11. I was starting to crash. It is imperative that I get through Monday's training program and be fresh for the decadence and debauchery on Fat Tuesday. I went home!!!!   

p.s. Ira Sullivan will be at the U.U. Church on St. Patrick's Day. Hopefully with Brian Murphy. The church does have "refreshments" available.

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