Sunday, January 26, 2014

You should take note...(And if you know Allen Kanovsky from out-n-about town, you KNOW he takes notes!)

Submitted by Al Kanovsky 01/26/14

...that when you reach your 50th birthday, you are only halfway there. Last night I was privileged to have been invited to Mike Stocker's birthday celebration. Mike, besides a stellar career as a news photographer, owes a good portion of his fame to his talented son, Ben (tenor sax). 60 or so guests, taco truck in the driveway, pasteles, pastries, cakes, fondues, Claudia McCullums 'cupacupacup' and enough beer. wine and booze to float the Queen Mary. To top off the festivities, 2 bands, The Ben Stocker Quartet with Charlie Steiner( drums), Chris Mills (bass)nd Zack Auslander on guitar and the Dewey Steet sextet with Bruce Hicke, Greg Sutherland, Tito Torent, Dave Klindle and Mitch Egber (a rock band). It should be noted that Ben and Zack just auditioned for entrance to UM's noted music school. The JAZZ group started with the be-boppers national anthem "How High the Moon". They take turns at doing solos and as always I am impressed by the acumen of the students who attend Dillard High School under the tutelage of Christopher Dorsey. He turns young men into Jazzmen. "Darn That Dream" and a jumping "What Is This Thing" are part of their play list. They end their set with Thelonius' "Straight, No Chaser". The rock band takes the stage with "Write Me A Letter". When they do "Oye Como Va" to a back beat shuffle it is time for me to hunt up an 'Al Pastor' taco on a really good corn tortilla. I am knocking down a few rum shots (which I had brought as a gift for Mike) and the rock band is sounding better when they do "Play That Funky Music White Boy". Sue, Mikes wife takes the mic to tell the beautiful story of how the met when they were 12 and again in college -- Go 'Gators--. They blindfold Mike -- He's thinking strippers, Sue is thinking Pinata. Guess who was right. We all sing "Happy Birthday" and Ben's band plays "Blue Moon" which is the tune which was their first dance when Sue and Mike were married. They get a little funky with "Proposition" and then pay respect to their BLUES roots with Stevie Ray Vaughans "Pride and Joy". The rockers get back up with "Tell Me No Lies, Keep Your Hands To Yourself". It's that time. The girls are up doing you know what and Sue is playing the tambourine. There is quite a dent in the beer, wine and booze supply. More music, rock and JAZZ --- a salsa rhythm and I am dancing with a lovely Puerto Riquena whose name is Isaida. The party and music continued long after the police should have arrived. I am happy for the Stocker family and even happier that they consider me part of it. Many Happy Returns.

This old man is off to Harald Neuweg's BLUES Fest in Coral Gables. Then Wendy Pedersen and Jim Gasior at the Universalist Church and then back to the Blues Fest. I wish we could return to the days of 30 cents a gallon and most of the girls I knew were 19.   

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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