Wednesday, January 1, 2014

You don't always get...(To live like Allen Kanovsky lives, but your can read about here!)

Submitted by Al Kanovsky 01/01/14

...what you want. Sometimes what you get is awful. But, every cloud has a silver lining. By the way, Happy, healthy and prosperous New Year to all my musician friends, listening friends, drinking companions, dance partners  and even the gals who said NO! New Years Eve of 2013 started for me with some Japanese food shared with my pal Dr. Jules Oaklander. The food was good and made even better when the good Dr. picked up the check. Then off to Le Chat Noir on S. Miami Ave. Their notice to the public was "After Hours Jam". Starting at 11pm and continuing to 9am. Doc and I arrived to sit down at our reserved table shortly after 11. A bass guitar player was working on his amp and I didn't see another musician that I knew in the house. Fortunately, Alec, the prop. of Le Chat is a personable guy and the conversation made up for the lack of live music. After some time I saw trumpeter, Stuart King arrive, horn case in hand. He was coming off a five hour gig. A young man from the audience was toying with the piano. His name is Edgar Pantoga Alsman. Another musician came out of the audience warming up a tenor sax, Juan Navarro. Edgar sat down, ran through a couple of arpeggios and then calamity struck. A woman took the stage, along with the bassist. They will remain unnamed as I wouldn't want them to suffer as they made me do. Handing Edgar some music she said G. An Edgar intro and she started to sing????? "Desifinado". This title in English translates to 'off key'. A few bars in, even a 1 year old would have been brought to tears. "No, no" the vocalist???? said. "We'll start again" My only thought---Oh no!!!--- "G major" she said. "G minor" Edgar said. "G major"---"G minor". Edgar played an introductory few bars. The lady seemed confused about where to 'come in'. Unfortunately she did 'come in', singing in Portugese. At the conclusion of the number and without hesitation she went right into another Brazilian popular tune. Juan Navarro and Stuart King, who had tried to play some underlying back for the lady, had long ago, given up and retreated to a place where they didn't have to listen. The painful performance ended. By this time Holly Spillane had shown up and said that Eddie 'El Gato Fresco' Balzola was coming through the door. Stuart had been the trumpet player for Eddie's band "Oriente" a while back. Juan, Stuart and Eddie along with the unnamed bass player played "Beautiful Love" with the 3 named guys playing respectable solos. Juan stepped aside and Stuart, playing muted horn, played "'Round Midnight". That, all by itself, made the night worthwhile. Intuitive, creative, imaginative. Clarity of tone and perfect execution. Eddie supplying great underlying background.

As the 2d chorus solos were ending the singer??? approached the mic. Alec made a furtive move and turned the mic off. Thank You. Stu followed with a bouncy "Ode To Billy Joe" which got everyone clappin' and tappin'. Juan took his turn, doing the Beatles tune "Yesterdays". Edgar returned to the upright and he, Stuart, Eddie with Holly playing conga noodled a few tunes. I noticed that Stuarts horn was a little unusual. It is a Phaeton, made in Chicago and had recently been purchased for Stuarts European tour. Edgar continued, solo at the piano, playing some traditional Cuban 'son'. I got hold of the claves and provide the 
"pok--pokpok--pokpok". A family note. Both Juan and Edgar are Alec's cousins and he says there are more musical family members still to meet. 

Doctor Jules and I share a sandwich and he is enjoying a "Chimay" dark beer. Another young pianist takes the seat and even though he continues in the rhythm and melodies of 'son' his style is in sharp contrast to Edgars. His name is Papo Delgado and he plays afternoons at Le Chat Noir. Papo did "Imagine" with all the emotion it engenders. His style is more in the classical mode as Edgar was traditional. It is approaching 8 bells (4am to you landlubbers). I would love to stay and so would Dr. Jules but our old bones are stiffening and creaking. My grey haired head is tilting down ward. Time to say "Farewell" "Vaya con Dios" "Thanks for the music"and 

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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