Tuesday, March 4, 2014

How can you tell...(Why don't you tell us how, Allen Kanovsky?)

Submitted by Al Kanovsky 03/3/14

...if you were having a good time. Easy. Look at the clock when you leave and then again when you return home. I left at 5PM and got back at 5AM. But what happened in between is what really tells the tale. Got into my car and put the top down. I head for BJB's (under new mgt) taking the beach route up A1A. It takes a few minutes longer but the scenery (gals in bikinis on Ft. Lauderdale Beach) is better. Anthony Corrado fronts a jam during happy hour with Paul Banman on piano and Wayne"Big Apple" playing drums. Anthony plays all the other instruments known to the modern world. Sitting in were Gene Petrello(trumpet) and Bob Ullman(guitar). My buddy Bill Rutan was already there and on his 3d martini. An adjacent table is jammed with 4 ladies bobbing there heads in time to the music. My good time is well under way. Think about it---bikini bathing suits---gals bobbing heads---. Anthony is playing alto and an interesting arpeggio to introduce "Georgia On My Mind". The tempo is perfect for my beloved "Fish". I ask the ladies if anyone knows how to do it.---Noooo!
"I would be willing to try". It's Elaine Marlin. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. We take to the floor and Elaine is a willing student. With rhythm. It takes only a step or 2 for us to be back in the cellar clubs of my 'yute'. Some be-bop, California dreaming, Greek and flamenco bring Anthony's show to a close. It takes a while for Lourdes Valentin's rhythm section to set up. Ranses Colon on bass, Abel Pabon(piano) and Louis Macias at the kit. The band starts their program with some instrumental, full rhythmed salsa. I can't resist and take Lourdes hand to guide her to the dance floor for a short 16 bar warm-up. Latins in the band, clave permeating the room. Suddenly I am thinking ahead. This Saturday, Arturo Sandoval in Mizner Park. It's one of the few occasions that I know in advance where I am going to be.(With the Lords help)
Lourdes takes the stage with her opening number "It Isn't Even Spring". The tempo a mix of samba & salsa. Ranses does a fast-paced solo that is a reflection of his mastery of the instrument. "The More I Love You" is done to a nice and easy 'swing' tempo. A tune that dates back to 1929, "Tea For Two" starts out as a slow ballad and then 'morphs' to cha-cha-cha. From "Oklahoma" Lourdes does "Oh What A Beautiful Morning". My other pal, Jimmy Belize, has arrived and is enjoying Lourdes' and the bands performance. Now she does "Someone"--(Summer Samba) and shows off her scat chops. Ms. Valentin  adopts unusual rhythms for her songs. "Consider Yourself Well In" is done to a salsa beat and I get to dance with Lourdes during the instrumental portion. Lourdes has been commissioned to write a song for Valerie and Anthony's wedding in April. The tune is titled "Our Love Will Never End" and she does it for us. A very nice melody with a great love story lyric. She follows with "Afro-Blue" reflecting all of her rich multi-racial, multi-ethnic background. Lourdes picks up her guitar to do the 'traditional' "Wade In the Water". The set ends with a tune from "The Wizard of Oz", "If I Only Had A Brain", starting out as a ballad and concluding in the Brazilian rhythm of 'samba'. Sr. Colon does an unusual solo using the 'glissendo' handling of the bass. I would run through the play-list for the 2d and then final set but it would be too much writing and reading---Let me hi-light it instead---nice mix of tunes---tasty drum solos---clave filled piano solos---chances with melody & rhythm by Lourdes---An original "Crossroads" which impresses my buddy, Jimmy---and I will never forget my dancing with Lourdes' friend, wedding planner, Eileen Morales---(here I will invoke my poetic license)---If I were to die dancing with Eileen, I would do it with a happy feeling in my heart. O.K. The music has ended---we are all a little hungry---all-night diner---PeterPan on Oakland Park. Lourdes, Ranses, Abel, Jimmy and I. Eggs, coffee, great home-fries and even better conversation. Music, JAZZ, BLUES, R&B, Rock and Roll, other talented musicians, subjectivity vs. objectivity. The talk goes "round and round". I wish it would never end but as all good things do, it does. We say goodnight and promise to do it again. I am sure e will.      

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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