Saturday, May 18, 2013

Music?? Magic?? or------

Submitted by Al Kanovsky 5/18/13

This is not a test. No grades will be given! The question is hypothetical. (if you need a dictionary you need not read any further) If you take a musician, add a generous portion of talent and multiply by 4 what you will have is a night of Musically Magic JAZZ. That's what I was treated to last night at Joe's Stone Crab in Miami Beach.

Let me start with the evenings beginning. I had arranged to pick up my pal and patron of the arts, Dr. Jules Oaklander for an opportunity to hear Wendy Pedersen perform. During the pleasant ride we took the time  to discuss a wide variety of subjects including women, women and also women. The good Doctor's knowledge of the subject is broad (what?) to say the least.

We arrived at Joe's and were pleasantly surprised to find Ed Bell(WLRN FM) already there. Mrs. Hernandersen (Wendy) and the band, Jim Gasior(keys), Josh Allen(bass) and Harvel Nakundi(drums) were setting up and enjoying a bit of repast. Dr. Jules and I joined Ed Bell at his table, ordered a beverage and a bite to eat and quickly entered into a lively discussion that included a number of things including(but not limited to) JAZZ, women, musicians we had met, women, JAZZ, local clubs, women, JAZZ---"on and on. on and on, on and on". Had enough babble? OK!  We will get to the subject at hand i:e Wendy Pedersen, Jim, Josh and Harvel.
Musicians use instruments to play the music. Can you be a musician without an instrument? No sax, trumpet, trombone or sticks in your hand. No keys or strings at your fingertips. If you are Wendy Pedersen, you are an instrument. A wonderful sounding musical instrument. An integral part of the genre known as JAZZ. Ballads, jump tunes, funk or BLUES, she does them with imaginative originality and style. She and Jim Gasior are a study in creative unions. Josh Allen is a really talented bassist and Harvel brought depth to the quartet.

Wendy opened the set with "What A Wonderful World" and then a very unique version of "I Don't Want To Go To Rehab". Next came Fats Waller's "Jitterbug Waltz", "Exactly Like You" "Favorite Things" with Jim quoting the Beatles "Norwegian Woods" under the melodic line. A finger poppin' "Tea For Two" and closing the set with a dedication to Jim's wife Peggy, "Centerpiece". Sitting nearby was a couple, who left their food sit while they listened, intensely, to the music. They are Susan and Roy Slade. Susan and Roy enjoyed every moment and like all the rest of us, stayed until the last note was played.

At the break I spoke with Peggy Gasior about how she and Jim came to be married. Peggy was happy to relate the tale. They had mutual friends who would gather at Tobacco Road on Wednesday nights when Jim played there. Peggy spent months of Wednesdays listening to the talented pianist.She thought he was "cutesy" and soooooooooo-------- .

By the time the 2d set began the audience included Lisanne Lyons, Nika Garcia, Aaron Lebos, Jeannette Pina, Susana Behar and several students. The band opened the set with a tune written by Jim(I did not get the title). Wendy took to the stage and her opener was a very unusual "Night In Tunisia" with one of the best "scats" ever. A true "tone poem". "Love For Sale" done with a 2d line rhythm pattern---WOW!!

Jim's student Francesca listened to every note and phrase. Listening and learning. A very stylized "I'm Getting Sentimental" had me "Getting Sentimental". I refrained from taking 'Doctor Jules' hand in mine.

Two of the students joined in on "Caravan", Ivan Malespin(trombone) and Rain on alto. And then the rousing finale with Lisanne and Nika joining them and getting us all to tap 'n clap.

JAZZ at Joe's Stone Crab is happening every Friday and Saturday night (closed 5/24-5/25) thru July 27th. They will feature Lisanne Lyons, Brenda Alford, LeNard Rutledge, Nika Garcia and Wendy. Check the schedule. It is held in a small room adjacent to the bar. The service (Jennifer) is gracious with an expanded bar menu. Portions are generous so don't be afraid to share. Reputation alone is enough for you to know that they have knowledge in mixing a drink. It can get crowded. I suggest you get there early. I apologize to all of my JAZZophile friends to whom I promised to keep this place a closely held secret. 

Tonight----BLUES at Arts Garage in Delray Beach. Be there or be-------    

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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