Sunday, March 9, 2014

A perfect evening???? (For Allen Kanovsky a night of Arturo Sandoval at Festival of the Arts Boca is just that!)

Submitted by Al Kanovsky 03/09/14

You can bet your sweet bippee!! Let's start with finding a parking space just a few step from where you will enjoy dinner with 2 charming and lovely women. A tall rum & tonic, dragon roll made with a whole lobster, interesting conversation with Tania and Jackie, a Brad Pitt look alike, Donovan, as our waiter, and it only gets better. 

Arturo Sandoval with the Henry Mancini Orchestra celebrating the music of Dizzy Gillespie. 5 piece saxophone section, 4 trombones, 4 trumpets, guitar, bass, drums, congas, timbales and piano. I recognize Chuck Bergeron (bass) and Shelly Berg (piano). Unfortunately, I wasn't able to get the rest of the band members names. I say unfortunately because each and every one was worthy of mention. The sponsor of the concert was J.M. Lexus. The performance began with a tune I didn't know. It mattered not. The alto took the first solo, then the guitar, followed by Arturo. Senor Sandoval's tone is incredible and his alacrity beyond belief. The young altoist and Arturo trade 8's and then 4's. The sax man is no slouch either. Arturo plays some of the upper register notes that are usually out of a trumpets range. Arturo introduces the next number, a Dizzy original titled "And Then---She Stopped". He quips "stopped what?". It is done to a samba beat with Greg Fields (drums) leading the charge. Arturo shares the spotlight with another trumpet player (name unknown) who stands and plays side by side with Sr. Sandoval. Shelly Berg is his own inimitable self on a solo which has me and Miss Jackie dancing in our seats. It is followed with a Chano Pozo/Dizzy collaboration called "Around in Tiny Dar". It is another opportunity for Arturo to play notes beyond the scale and Shelly again be-bops the heck out of the song. Arturo's chatter between songs is full of humor and good feelings. He describes how he felt about coming to America and being able to learn to speak 'good English". He tells about moving to Hialeah and that being the end of his education in language. The recognition of Dizzy's accomplishments as a composer comes when they play "Abgo Bueno". The set closes with the unmistakable "Salt Peanuts" (side note) "Peanuts" is the first song my kids learned to sing

The 2d set opened with Monica Mancini joining the band to sing "It Had Better Be Tonight" accompanied by a terrific soprano sax solo. "Moment to Moment" beautifully done and then from the old TV show "Peter Gunn" a tune called "Slow Hard Wind". Monica completely captures the audience with her rendition of "The Shadow of Your Smile" and doesn't let 'em loose when she follows with "Masquerade". Salsa rhythm with Arturo taking to the timbales. Be-bopper or not, clave is in the alma of every Latin musician. Another side of Arturo is displayed when he sits down at the piano and joins Monica in singing Charlie Chaplin's song of the 20's, "Smile" done in a slow ballad mode.

Dr. Ed Calle comes on stage and the performance level is raised beyond belief. I am so enthralled by the music that I don't even make note of the titles. All I recall is that Arturo reaches even higher in his incredible range and then plays low notes that are virtually impossible for trumpet. Dr. Ed is not to be outdone, doing things with saxophonics that have me on the edge of my seat. Dizzy was Arturo's mentor and inspiration. In honor of that he composed "Every Day I Think Of You". Horn players like to think they can sing. Sometimes they can. Other times not quite. This was one of those not quite times for Arturo. It mattered not because the emotion that was shown was true and from the heart. It touched every member of the audience. The closing line of the lyric---"you set me free" is an anthem every JAZZ musician should live by. The closing number, one of Dizzy's first hits, "Things To Come" was the tune that convinced me I would never be the JAZZ musician I wanted to be. Maybe it was meant to be. I learned to listen. And listen I do. Thanks to all last nights musicians with special thanks to Arturo, Dr. Ed, Chuck and Shelly--

Hey wait a sec. Thanks to Tania and Jackie as well!   

More on the continuing Festival of the Arts Boca in our blog at:

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?"       

 ~ ~ ~

~ ~ ~
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