Sunday, May 5, 2013

"You Came A Long Way From-------

Submitted by Al Kanovsky 5/5/13 not Chicago) rather Tokushito, Japan. and am I glad you did. Thanks to Jamie Ousley who encouraged this talented gal to continue her music education and career in the U.S. of A. Last night Nanami Morikawa was making an appearance at, the new kid on the block, JAZZIZ Nightlife in Boca Raton. I dressed up. Light tan Cole Haan Shoes, properly creased Gap chino slacks, freshly laundered and starched Polo chambray shirt and my hip Hawwaian stingy brim lid. If any of you have read my poem "and All That JAZZ" you know what I think of JAZZ joints. If it wasn't for the music, I don't think I would frequent any one, anyplace in the world. JAZZIZ Nightlife is the absolute exception. This is not a joint. It is a JAZZ palace. If I had what it cost to put it together, I'd be cruising the Mediterranean on an 80 foot yacht with a matching number of crew and guests. This is where you might take someone you wanted to impress, where you might ask "the question or possibly celebrate "the divorce". You walk into a spacious, high ceiling room. It is packed with beautiful gals in expensive clothes. The lighting is just right. The tables well spaced.----------and a wall of chatter. It is the first set and most people are eating their dinner. The problem being most of them are what I call "Woshups". They just WOn't SHut UP!!. Never mind the fact that is disrespectful of the musicians and those around you, while your sharing your brilliant thought you might miss one of 'magical moments' of creative JAZZ that you can never hear that way again. Shelley Manne said, "JAZZ musicians never play the same thing----once". It is a truism. Jeannette Pena (a devoted JAZZophile) with her niece Giselle were leaving after the first set because of the noise level. I had found a seat in a semi-enclosed area where most of the chatter level was diminished but was disturbing nonetheless. I too was going to leave. I wanted to say 'hello' to Jamie and Nanami before leaving, that's when I ran into JAZZIZ columnist Bob Weinberg. Owner Michael and his son Jeff encouraged us to stay as the chatter would diminish.We did, as a lot of the diners were leaving. I was glad I did. Bob and I found a table in the main room for the 2d set. Seated nearby was vocalist Rita D and her friend Peter. 

Nanami was accompanied by a very talented group of JAZZ musicians. Gabriel Saientz (piano), Randy Bernsen (guitar), Rudolfo Zuniga (drums) and 'Dr.'Jamie Ousley. The first set covered all the rhythm bases with "I Love All Of You", A tone poem(title unidentified by me), "Girl From Ipanema" , a Japanese ballad and an up-tempo "Autumn Leaves" on which Rudolfo played an inspired solo. The second set was strictly "jump". Up beat rhythms that kept you tappin' and clappin'. Nanami has wonderful "scat" chops that are horn-like in tone and original in content. She also has a habit of humming backgrounds to others solos. Much like horn players play behind vocalists. During one of the rhythm laden numbers, 3 women got up to shake a little. A fashionably short sequined skirt, a long to the floor white crocheted dress and a zebra print cocktail thing. They all could move to the music. All the while they were dancing I kept wishing I was 40 years younger. When they returned to their seats I gallantly approached. They were seated with some guys who looked like they didn't know how to dance. They gracefully acquiesced to identifying themselves. Sequins skirt, Ms. Darlene Chanin, White crochet, Ms. Mary Anne Doud and the zebra print, Ms.Lisa Kirshenbaum. Thank all of you and the next time you get up to dance think of what you did to make life a little more pleasant for the old dude in the hat. 

Nanami did a Chick Corea tune and one of Wayne Shorters. Randy is a guitar virtuoso and doesn't need me to say it. The JAZZ world knows it. The title "Dr." says it all for Jamie. I had never heard Gabriel before but it was an absolute delight. They closed with a swinging "What A Little Moonlight Can Do". I said "Goodnight" to all and on my way out met Bob, the managing partner in JAZZIZ Nightlife. He apologized for the first set noise but it is the business and that's the way of it. I left with a smile on my face and Bob Weinberg's promise of some surplus CDs.

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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