Thursday, March 20, 2014

Beauty and the... ( and both are in the eye of the beholder, and Allen Kanovsky has a pretty good eye for such things!)

Submitted by Al Kanovsky 03/20/14 This is not a fairy tale to be told at childrens bedtimes. Instead its a story about people who love to make music, love one another and most of all love LIFE. I fully realize that the purpose of my blog is to review the music I hear. In that course I meet musicians, music lovers, gals, guys and even bartenders of both genders. I will start with beauty. It took the shape of Debby Orta, JAZZ vocalist. An afternoon appearance for the Miami JAZZ Co-op. With Debby were her husband Nicky (bass), keyboard player Pete Wallace, Tom McCormick (sax/flute) and Carlomagn(ific)o Araya at the kit. Debby loves Nicky. Nicky loves Debby. All of them love what they do and it shows in their play. The program included seldom heard tunes like "Peel Me A Grape" to standard ballads i;e "All Or Nothing At All", Latin as "Brigas Nuncia Mas" (no more fights) to the whimsical "Ding-dong The Witch Is Dead". Debby's voice filled the afternoon with joy. Solos by each of the aforementioned were JAZZ as it was meant to be played and heard. Carlo is working on a new project with Federico Brito. An album of Latin flavored Gypsy JAZZ. Sounds good to me. 

A great afternoon --- to be followed by an even greater evening and a meeting with the monster. Whom might that be? 

Let's try Jesse Jones Jr. He is the monster of the alto sax and scat vocal. I don't know which I enjoy more. Those incredible saxophone riffs or the syllabalic/vowel filled unintelligible words. A monster that doesn't breathe fire better have some friends along. How about Brian Murphy on piano, Paul Shewchuck on bass and Danny Burger (it's his showcase on Wed. nite at BJB's) playing and blowing up the drums. If you are going to be in the presence of a monster you surely should have bodyguards that can dance. I had Jackie Deering and her friend Gloria, as well as Denise Shuster. Just to make sure that I survived the evening I had Dr. Jules Oaklander and his son Darryl at my table as well. Better safe than sorry. Mari Bell was seated behind me and a new guitarist in town, Randy Langione alongside. It was be-bop night at BJB's. Opening with "Black Night" and then Bobby Timmons play on words "Dishere". Putting me and the ladies in a 'moda muy romantico' Jesse and the band play "My One and Only You" with Jesse quoting "Mona Lisa" along the way. I feel like I'm in the original Birdland or Bop City---Nat Adderly's "One For Daddy-O" has the audience loving every note. When they play "Night In Tunisia" transing from Latin rhythm to swing, it gets Denise and Jackie up on the floor and putting on a show of swaying hips that shake this old dude up. OMG!!!!!. It is so enticing that it draws Jesse down from the stage to join in with a few steps himself. To close the set it's "C-Jam BLUES" with Jesse scatting and the audience doing, dida-dida-do-op.

They open the 2d set with Horace Silvers funky "Filthy McNasty". Denise thinks Horace wrote it for me. The funk continues with "Sister Sally". Everyone in the 'joint' is clappin' and tappin'. I do a little with Denise. W.T. Heck, in the audience, thinks I am a golden age wonder. I, personally, am looking for oxygen. Danny asks me to read my traditional St. Patricks Day "Danny's I've Known". The closing lines of the poem read --- "O'toole died drowned and smiling, falling in to a brewery tin. They tried pulling him out 5 or 6 times, but Danny kept jumping back in" --- Oh Danny Boy, the pipes are calling.

Jesse selects Freddy Hubbard's "Gibraltar" as the next tune and displays that scat talent that is exclusiely his and also gives Danny his chance at showing off a little bit on the drums. "Stardust" has me dancing with Jackie and I enjoy every second I have her in my arms----yeah, yeah, I know it's not about me --- "I'm Coming Home" is one of Jesse's signature songs. He picks up the flute to do it and we are all enchanted by those tones. The last set is unadulterated bop --- including "Billies Bounce" and makes you want you to hear more and more----they close it with "Song For My Father" and the final notes are those of "Skylark".

No fairy tale---just a story of Beauty and the Monster. 

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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