Saturday, January 25, 2014

"The stars at night shine...(Allen Kanovsky, are you looking at stars or stage lighting?)

Submitted by Al Kanovsky 01/25/14

...big and bright, deep in the heart of Aventura." ---Aventura???. Yep padnuh, Aventura. The Turnberry Club and Spa has JAZZ in their lounge on Friday nights. The Noreena Downey trio is the featured act. Noreena is one of the most innovative JAZZ vocalist I have heard in recent years. Last night the trio was completed with Jeff Padowitz (piano) and George (masterful) Mazzeo playing drums. That does not complete the star list. An added early feature is the piano artistry of Brandon Goldberg----He will be 8 years old in a week or so. This is absolutely the coolest 7 year old since I was that age. The difference being, Brandon is talented. He has the gift of 'perfect pitch'. He has some formal  classical training but his love is JAZZ and it shows. Whether playing solo or accompanying Noreena's vocal, "Little 88" is in charge. He listens and is quick to learn. He thinks he would like to study "drums" next. He backed up Noreena on "All Or Nothing At All", then did a solo stint with Billy Joel's "New York State of Mind". They continued through Ms. Downeys considerable repertoire including "No Moon At All', "In MY Gentle Way", "Quarter to Three", with Brandon laying down a dynamic bass line on the last tune. Noreena sings Billie Holidays "Good Morning Heartache" followed by Diana Krall's "Popsicle Toes". Noreena is the only vocalist I have heard do that tune. If I asked 50 JAZZ musicians if they knew it, maybe 10 could play it without the music. Brandon with aplomb asked "What key?". They cut Brandon loose to play alone.

"Strangers In the Night", something from "Phantom", and now "Little 88" is surrounded by girls. He straightens his jacket, puffs up his chest and throws all of them that charming smile. I'm glad my granddaughters are too old for him. His grandparents share my Russian heritage and to close his part of the evening, Brandon plays "Oche Chornia" aka "Dark Eyes". My father, after consuming 3 or 4 brandy shots and 1/2 bottle of vodka would sing it in a drunken baritone. It is the young mans bedtime and he reluctantly leaves the girls behind. As Noreena's program continues I notice a good looking woman, bobbing her head in time to the music. Being my usual shy self I ask her name. Wendi Passer and she is an ardent JAZZ listener. "You'd Be So Nice To Come Home To" has me dancing a few 'hop' steps with Noreena. Her rendition of "Nature Boy" is mixed with Noreena's playing with the rhythmic pattern of the song. 

I could go on but this blog could turn into the "Great American Novel" --- maybe not so great. I'll wrap it with my buddy Bill, dancing a few steps with Noreena when they played "You Don't Know What Love Is". The band played 'til past midnight---I drank until about the same time --- a double espresso and a short ride home --- nighty night!!!!!! 

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