Tuesday, May 7, 2013

I think---- (and, therefore, Allen be(bop) human)

Submitted by Al Kanovsky 5/5/13

Whoa! Talk about oxymorons. I haven't had a cogent thought in 64 years. The last time my thought process was clear was when I enlisted in the Navy in 1949. From that time on someone has done my thinking for me. A Navy CPO or a wife or a prison guard or a girl friend or a boyhood friend and sometimes even a car salesman. So last night when I gave an artist some advice, I realized that I was not the guy to become a career track adviser. But it was already done. The words had been let loose from my lips and words are difficult to recover. 

Enuf philosophizing, let's get to the music. 

Lourdes Valentin was Sunday's diva at BJB's. Larry Karp on piano, Sr. Orlando Machado at the drum kit and a change at bass with Kai Sanchez. Lourdes covers a lot of territory in her repertoire. Broadway to Disney, Leonard Bernstein to Mongo Santamaria. She mixes her "stage" voice with her "scat" in an imaginative way. It was 'Cinco de Mayo' so there was a little more of the South of the Border influence. The band opened with a swinging "All of Me" which quickly transed to a Latin rhythm. You know what happened next. You're right I asked a lady to dance and she was gracious enough to accept the invitation, Gracious response and graceful dance partner. her name is Sandra Thompson. That's the 2d dancing Sandra in the last couple of days. "On A Clear Day", "Besame Mucho", "A Dream Is A Wish" and continuing to a short version of the "Mexican Hat Dance" and "La Cucaracha".

They closed the first set with Mongo Santamaria's "Afro-Blue". Orlando was featured and delivered one of his imaginative, mixed rhythm, solos. Jacques and Martine(the Dancers) had come in just before the break. While the band was off stage the piped in  music was playing a "merengue". This is not usually associated with romantic dancing. Well, turn your caps around. J&M danced a love story to this merengue rhythm.

A tale told in the dance steps this couple did. Up close, turns, at arms length---each step a sentence in a romance novel. If you love music, dance and people you would remember this little scene for a long time.

The 2d set opened with Juan Piso's "Perdido and stayed in the JAZZ mode through most of the set. Lourdes invited JAZZ violinist Eric Binoman to the stand he certainly added dimension to the bands sound. Toward the end of the set Ms. Valentin sang the Gospel song "Wade In the Water". Mid-song she was joined by Sista Mary Beth playing the tambourine and bringing a little of Ray Charles' "Hit The Road, Jack" to church. During the break, Lourdes had introduced me to a close friend of hers. Josephine is her name. She loves to dance, is quite pretty and a pleasure to talk with------hmmmmm. Lourdes did "Sentimental Reasons" which had the audience leaning forward to catch every note.  My friend Babette and her gang were there, Mike, Mark, Donna et:al 

I hope my advice to the artist was taken with the thought that it came from my heart and certainly well meant. I am certainly not the smartest guy in the room but I've been around a lot longer. 

Can someone please teach me to keep my mouth shut!!!

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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