Wednesday, January 15, 2014

"Just one of those...(Yes, indeed, it was Allen Kanovsky! It truly was...let's all do it again soon!)

Submitted by Al Kanovsky 01/15/14

...wonderful nights", that you get to enjoy if you venture forth in order to listen to JAZZ, live. The venue was 264 The Grill in Palm Beach. I am with Charlie Boyer (, his sidekick Debby Strickland, their friends, Misty and Lin (see lead photo below!) plus a room filled with JAZZophiles of every age. The featured band in an appearance at 264 is The Nicki Parrott Trio with Harry Allen (tenor sax) as a special guest. Nicki plays the bass and provides the vocals. On drums is Ed Metz Jr. and playing piano is Rossano Sportiello. The program opened with three JAZZ instrumentals, "You Blew Out the Flame In My Heart", "Beats Up" and "I Wish On the Moon". All of the tunes gave the band a chance to 'show off" their musicality. It definitely put me "In the Mood" to sit up, pay attention and enjoy. Nicki sang a Peggy Lee composition, the fun song "It's A Good Day" (title song of the newest CD release) and then another Lee hit "Fever". She a JAZZ vocalist who played the Zinc in New York and has her own style and wonderful rhythmic sense. They swing "What A Difference A Day Makes" followed by "C'est Si Bon". At the end of the song, they have the audience chuckling with their play on French words, like Chevrolet---Coupe---propane---coupon---poupon.

It added the word fun to the performance. The set with a funky "He's My Baby" which continued the light mood. During the break I thought about the music and the musicians. They reinforced my notion that playing in New York influences the style and emotion of performance. The Apple adds a little swagger to the swing. It was apparent in their rendition of "Whirly Bird". During the break, a very tall, very beautiful woman comes up to me. "Do you remember me?"---I don't remember waking up this morning---"I'm sorry, but I don't."---"We danced at Havana Hideaway"---Now I do remember, boy do I remember. It's Deb Silver. Deb is a JAZZ vocalist who worked The Zinc in New York for a number of years. She will be back at 264 in March as well as an appearance at Arts Garage.

The 2nd set opened with "Start All Over Again" which is a clever way to start a 2nd set. Not only does Nicki play great bass, her vocals ain't too bad. They return to instrumental mode with "All Right With Me". Ms. Parrott introduces the next tune with a cute story of a club manager who requested "Where Or When" saying that she could play either one. They played them both. Harry Allen displays an interesting breadth of tone in his solos. Nicki recites a musical poem, "I Returned Everything Except the Baby" and again has us all laughing. Rossano plays Chopin transitioning into JAZZ riffs, back to Chopin, some up-tempo passages, Chopin, BLUES, Chopin. Nicki's solo has a lot of 5th & 6th position work. Now some super tempo classical phrases and then morphing to "Somewhere Over The Rainbow". I can only describe it as an "experience'. One of those once in a lifetime moments.  Charlie and Deb are off to Boston's on the Beach for some Blue Tuesday w/ Terry Hanck and Famous Frank. I am off to bed. As I said at the start "Just one of those wonderful nights".

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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