Friday, April 12, 2013

It's a long way from A1A to------to the heart of good music, but Al goes anyway....

Submitted by Al Kanovsky 4/12/13

It was going to be a really good night. 2 joints with live music. One right around the corner from the other.

At times my father would call me a dunce. At times he was right. Last night was one of those times. It took me a while until I figured out that A1A is not 1. Collins Ave and Biscayne Blvd. are not one and the same. Duh!!! Mo Morgen and his Jam is at Lucas' Cantina on 71 St. on Miami Beach. Debbie Orta and her quartet were at Moonchines on the corner of 71 St. in Miami. Fortunately the 79 St. Causeway is on 71 St. in Miami Beach. Did I lose any of you, with that? Hey, I didn't lay out the streets.

Back to the music. Mo plays keys and horns and his guests at the Jam play everything else. I only stayed for one set but had the opportunity too hear Mick Stevens(tenor sax) and Mo doing an interesting scat vocal accompanied by a scat sound coming from his Rollins keyboard. The Cantina serves an excellent "house" Pinot Grigio and has an interesting menu.

On to Moonchines via the 79 St. Causeway on 71 St. The place is new to me and was a pleasant surprise. Parking in the rear. Tasty music lounge. Well lit stage. Good sound system. Eclectic Asian menu. Fabulous desserts. Best of all, live JAZZ. Debby Orta with hubby Nicky on bass, Jaui Schneider(keys) and  Dr. Carlmagn(ific)o Araya at the drum kit. Swinging and grooving. Samba, Bossa Nova, BLUES, American Song Book, originals, JAZZ standards. They did 'em all. I was surprised to find my pal, Bill, already there. He gets to places early and has to leave early. Unfortunately he is under strict house curfew rules. Also in the audience was a cute young lady (8 years old) named Isabella. When asked, she said "Oh, I come here a lot. I love music". I know she does. She claps and taps in perfect time. The sound is engineered by a young man called "Flex" which is a contraction of Felix. Debbie and the band did a super rendition of James Taylor's BLUES, "Steam Roller Baby". She sang Billie Holiday's "You've Changed" and mesmerized everyone in the room. Debbie's favorite lyric line---"every time we say goodbye I die a little". Her answer  brought a tear to my eye. Due to Flo's business program, we said "goodbye" fairly often and would sing that whenever she returned. When I asked Nicky what solo would he have loved to play, he answered with no hesitation----"Anything by Clifford Brown".

Heading home with the Real Tracy Fields(on the radio) she gave me a chance to chuckle. She played something by Clark 'Mumbles' Terry and followed it with Joe Carroll and Dizzy doing a thing from 1952, "Oop Shooby Doo". It was fun then and still is. As Jesse Jones Jr. says "Peace. Love. JAZZ.

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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