Saturday, January 11, 2014

Like I said...(And Allen Kanovsky expects that you were listening!)

Submitted by Al Kanovsky 01/11/14

...yesterday, there were lots of choices Friday night. I consulted with my crew. Bill Rutan, Jimmy Belize and Frank the Cop. Frank was going to watch TV with his dog Buddy. Jimmy was contemplating his navel. Bill had to escape. We agreed to meet at the Turnberry Isles Country Club. Good choice and close to home. Take notice I didn't say in the neighborhood. Aventura ain't anywhere close to my 'hood at least as far as money is concerned. We arrive at the front entrance where valets are quick to open your car doors and greet you. Now JAZZIZ in Boca is a swank joint. BJB's in Ft. Lauderdale has atmosphere, The Funky Biscuit has an air about it, The Van Dyke has history. The lounge at Turnberry Isles is just out and out plain grand. A large, airy comfortable looking room with great chairs and a polished wooden floor to dance on. We walk in and a 'cat' is noodling on piano. I don't recognize him. He is playing the melodic line on the piano and the bass line on an electronic keyboard. He sounds pretty good so I set my ears to listen. Noreena Downey(vocals) has Abner Torres on drums and standing nearby is her regular pianist Jaui Schneider. She tell them "Fly Me To the Moon" and the guy at the piano asks "What key?". Noreena tells him. He counts it off and 'fly' they do. The cat swings in his solo. Jaui picks up the bass guitar so the guy can play piano two-handed. The guy I'm talking about on piano is named Brandon Goldberg. He will be 8 in February 15. Yep! He is just 7 years old and has never had a formal piano lesson. He plays piano better than I speak English. I will let you know if he expects to 'jam' anywhere else. Noreena has invited him to play again next Friday. Don't miss it. Brandon stays at the piano as they do "All Or Nothing At All" and I dance a few steps with Ms. Downey. "Little 88" as I will call him is now kneeling on the piano stool and playing "New York State of Mind". His solo has me shaking my head in wonder. Noreena asks what he would like to do next.

Brandon is an "Ol Blue Eyes" fan and can name everyone of Frank's arrangers. He asks "Do you guys know "Witchcraft"? Noreena names her key and away they go. His accents during the song are all in the right place and time. When they end the song, his Mom reminds him of his bedtime. Ever the little gentleman he agrees with no argument. He shakes my hand, thanks me for listening and says goodnight. Look to the future, Brandon, look toward the light..The trio does "You Don't Know What Love Is" and then a really swinging "On The Street Where You Live" with Noreena doing her 'scats'. A little 'bossa' "Ooba-oooba" and the set ends with a few instrumental bars. During the break the conversation was all about Brandon.

The 2d set opened with an instrumental "Yesterdays". When Noreena returned she did "What Is this Thing Called Love". Noreena is not afraid of taking chances with the melodic line and so she does. She sings "So In Love With You Am I" which reminds me that Jaui once told me that Cole Porter wrote it because he wanted to sound "Jewish". When Noreena sings it, the tune sounds JAZZish. She takes a break and it gives Jaui the opportunity to play his original Latin composition "LaCuna". He wrote it because he wanted to sound Latinish. It is in the Latin Music Hall of fame. Returning to the swinging mood they all do "It's Almost Like Being In Love" and "Come Rain or Come Shine". They continue with a song I haven't heard anyone do in a long time, "Smoke Gets In Your Eyes". Bill gets that 'stooopid' look on his face as he remembers time gone by. Noreena spies the look and invites him to dance with her. Game-leg and all, Bill holds her close and slow-dances. Beauty and the Beast. She looks at me while she sings "It Had To Be You". Noreena has incredible blue eyes and a lovely voice. Do you know what that can do to an old 'dawg' like me?. Call 911.

When Noreena does "Rte 66" it becomes her original tune. She bends the melody, restructures the rhythmic line and generally kicks it into high gear and real JAZZ. Nobody, nowhere does it like she does. Transing to rhumba rhythm they do "How Long Has This Been Going On". Switching gears for the last tune they come down hard and funky with Bill Withers "Use Me Up". Noreena joins Nicole Henry as the only other JAZZ vocalist doing that tune. Thank you Noreena, Jaui and Abner and thank you Brandon.  The club validate your valet ticket. That's always nice. Hi, Tracy.  

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?"       

 ~ ~ ~
Traveling to catch some of Florida's good music? Check out these places and rates!
Compare hotel prices and find the best deal -
~ ~ ~
Posted by Jazz & Blues Florida
Please visit to see the scene.
Or, just email me at to sign up to have
Florida's jazz & blues news delivered to your inbox.
And, if you like what you see here, please HIT THAT FACEBOOK SHARE BUTTON below!
Did you know that as Florida’s ONLY promotion platform for live jazz & blues:
We have the only monthly publication dedicated to previews of upcoming jazz and blues shows in Florida at ?
We have the most comprehensive festival page for Florida jazz & blues at ?
We have the most complete listing of Florida jazz & blues performances at ?
We have the most comprehensive and active news blog for Florida jazz & blues news ?
We have the most complete and current listing of Florida jazz and blues links at ?
We have the largest email notification system for upcoming jazz and blues events in Florida?

No comments :

Post a Comment