Thursday, April 11, 2013

and what a trip it was...Al is on the road, to riches...

Submitted by Al Kanovsky 4/11/13

Tuesday night it was "Peanut Vendor" and Wednesday it was "Salt Peanuts". From the rhythms of the Caribbean to the hip 52nd St. back in the day. "El Gato Fresco to the Professor of Scatology.

Jesse Jones Jr. returned to BJB's for Danny Burger's Wednesday "Showcase." Joining them was Brian Murphy(piano) and recently returned from a stint in Hong Kong, Paul Shewchuk on bass. I knew it was going to be an exceptional night of listening when I saw Jesse enter carrying a beat-up, rusty-dusty and battered baritone case. The horn bears no brand name. It is Army issue and once belonged to the late Hon. Ben Oppenhorn in whose court Jesse served as a bailiff. The band opened with Jesse on alto. On the second tune, Sonny Rollin’s "Oleo" he switched to the bari. The room filled with the rich tone of the instrument and the exciting scat vocalization that went with it. Then Jesse picked up his flute to do "Swinging Shepherd Blues". After the quartet did Coltrane's "Mister PC", Jesse remarked that he was playing with "some cookin' dudes". Yes, they are. They ended the set with "Yipee Iyo Kiyay", more in the style of Thelonius Monk than Gene Autry.

The second set had the quartet still in that "groove". From Cannonball's "Sack of Woe" to "Filthy McNasty" to "Soul Serenade". On "Filthy" Brian did a memorable ‘boogie-woogie' style solo that had everyone clappin' and tappin'. At this point some personal observations. #1) Paul's return to the States after his stint at the Mandarin Oriental has him playing better than ever. #2) Even though I personally have a 'thing' about horn players who think they can sing, I confess, Jesse has a voice and CAN sing. #3) As Danny says, Brian is a pianist with "2 brains". #4) Danny himself is still one of the best--all time. As they were in the final set of the night, they invited Vitale Imereli (electronic violin) to the stage. He did a romantic but swinging "My One and Only One" and then Vitale and the band be-bopped into "Billie's Bounce". They closed the show with Jesse doing a song his brother, Melton Mustafa, had written for Jesse's first CD, "Sneezy Weezy". Jesse said goodnight by saying, "Peace. Love. JAZZ". The solo Jesse wishes he could have played: Cannonball Adderley on "Domination" .

On Wednesday afternoons, before Danny's Showcase, BJB's has Glenda Grainger who entertains in 'cabaret' style with Dave Williams on piano. Her favorite line from a lyric--'Give me someone to watch over me'. All I can say is, Amen.  I think my buddies Bette and Bill would agree.
Back to Jesse for a sec. He started out as a bassoonist but everyday on his way home from school, he heard Cannonball coming from a neighbors window and loved it. And so-----.

Jesse and his wife have total of 26 grandchildren and 2 great-grandchildren. He treasures the moments when he hears someone say "GrandPa". His oldest grandson sits first chair as in the bassoon section at he college he attends.

It's closing in on 1 A.M. I better get going or the Real Tracy Fields(91.3FM) will leave without me.

Closing note: There's a restaurant in Kendall named "The Fish House". Its owners, Jose and Angela, have always supported live JAZZ and BLUES with shows there. They now are sponsoring a competition which will offer young players a scholarship to a JAZZ camp this summer. I think they deserve a big round of applause as well as a hearty "Thank You".

Al's Disclaimer:
A short note: The reason I write this is because I love music and words. I do not book acts. I do not promote acts. I do not accept invitations to review artists. I go to venues of my own choice. When and where is not influenced by anything other than who I would like to hear that night or day. If I don't like what I hear, I won't write about it. When I like it I let you all know. I never mention a name without asking permission. "Pardon me, Miss. Would you like to dance?"       

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