Monday, December 2, 2013

When JAZZ & BLUES...came back to South Florida with Allen Kanovsky - things were good again...

Submitted by Al Kanovsky 11/xx/13

...moved North from New Orleans it found new homes in Kansas City, Memphis, Chicago and New York. In New York it was the area known as Greenwich Village. JAZZ & BLUES clubs survived through the years. The Bohemians of the 30's, the Beat Generation in the 40's & early 50's. Then the hippies (the least hip, in my opinion). Most of those who lived there were painters, writers or musicians and generally poor. Now it is executive country. I actually saw men wearing ties and women in dresses with hemlines at their knees. Certainly not 'South Beach'. The reason for my being there was the JAZZ brunch at "The Garage" on 7th Ave. South. If I am in The Apple on Sunday there are 2 destinations that are a must. The Garage and Café Loup on 13th St. "The Garage" has JAZZ 7 nights a week. I was meeting my boyhood friend Norm(Chick) Berger and his wife Diana for the Sunday JAZZ session. The band was the Todd Marcus Quartet. Todd plays bass clarinet. With him were David Vance(piano), Bryan Copeland(bass) and Shareef Taher on drums. The place was crowded and even though Diana had made reservations we were relegated to a table in the third tier. We could neither see or hear the musicians. The saving grace was the food, the spicy 'bloody mary' and the conversation. Not hearing the music gave the three of us a chance to reminisce about bygone years and friends. We were glad that the place emptied quite a bit and we were able to get seats at the bar, close up to the band, for the final set. We were not disappointed. Talented musicians, taking their turns at solos and impressing the remaining patrons.  The opening tune was Sam Rivers "Beatrice" which featured a David Vance solo. You can't help but notice that David mouths the melodic line as he plays his improvisations. When asked whether he sings to the playing or plays to the singing, he thought about it and answered that he felt it was the latter. The brain is closer to your mouth than your hands. Automatic to mechanical. The band followed with 2 of Todd's original compositions, "Wahooli" and "Solstice". "Wahooli" employs middle-eastern rhythms and chord structures. Todd's solo on the bass clarinet displayed the depth and breadth the instrument adds with its tone. Bryan 'took his time' with his solo portion allowing for creative riffs. The back and forth piano and drum solos had us listening with perked ears.  "Solstice" is a beautifully composed ballad which lends itself to a lyric. I could almost feel the words as Todd played the melodic line. If you are a lyricist, try to listen to the tune and get in touch with Todd Marcus.  Overall, a great afternoon with good friends, good food and best of all good JAZZ. Back in the Southland on Tuesday--if I can find Jimmy Belize or Jackie Deering, maybe a BLUES fix at Boston's in Delray for Blue Tuesday. 

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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