Friday, March 21, 2014

There is something about...(And Allen Kanovsky is never lacking in how to tell us about it when Mike Norris' Big Band is the one he is listening to!)

Submitted by Al Kanovsky 03/21/14

...Big Band JAZZ that grabs me in a special way. Maybe the layers of sound--might be all the horns--could be the intricate charts---dunno. Last night in the company of Denise I travelled westward to Ye Olde Falcon Pub and The Mike Norris JAZZ Orchestra. 5 saxophones, guitar, keyboard, bass, drums, 4 trumpets and 3 trombones. One of the trombonists was missing and I am sure that Mike, in his usual kind way, will let the absentee become aware of his transgression. It is only fair that I mention the names of those that were there because each of them contributed to a very enjoyable evening of listening pleasure. The sax section-Carlos Rivera, Bob Vandivoort, Louis Disla, Carlos Perez and Rafael Hernandez. Trombones, Mike Balosh, Mike Egan and Thomas Guiterrez. Trumpets, Tony Pearsall, Johnny Sheu, Mark Ordway and Glen Friedman. Rhythm section Aaron Stans, Juan Nativado, Ariel Ramos and Mike himself. 

The first set opened with a chart, simply titled "Groove". It set the mood for the rest of the evening. Groove we would. A nice swing tempo for "Just In Time" and then Basie's "Basiecally Blue" If you are paying tribute to the Count you can not leave out the Duke. "Satin Doll" was next. They rehearsed a few bars of "Chelsea Bridge" a really complex chart. Then came "A-Train". I don't know anyone who stands erect on two feet who isn't tempted to dance to that tune. Denise & I did not resist temptation. The theme from the Johnny Carson Show was followed by a "West Side Story" medley to conclude the set. During the last rendition a beautiful trombone solo on "There's A Place For Me" and Mike showing what he can do when he wants to. Meanwhile, Denise and I are scoffing down what is probably the best "fish 'n chips' this side of the Thames. Licking our fingers clean, the lady and I dance to "Blue Merchants" which included a very nice trumpet ride. They swing "Begin the Beguine" and although I am fast depleting my oxygen supply, Denise awaits on the small dance floor. I succumb to her wanton ways. The last number is a showpiece bearing the title "The Channel One Suite". It is an intricate chart of crescendo and dinuendo, changing rhythms and tempos. The band executes it by paying close attention to what they are playing. 

I had learned to read music when I was 13. When I was 17, I auditioned for a job with a big band. They asked me if I could "Sight Read". "Sure" was my reply. They handed me my part for "1 O'clock Jump". The following morning I decided to join the Navy!!!! 

Show Details: 
Ye Olde Falcon Pub: 2867 S University Dr., Davie FL 33328 (954)424-0300 8-10pm, No Cover, Every Thur 8-2: Mike Norris Big Jazz Band.

Upcoming Dinner Concert:
All That Jazz CafĂ©: 3491 N. Hiatus Rd., Sunrise, FL 33351  (954)572-9399  April 3: Jazz Dinner & Concert w/ Mike Norris Big Jazz Band, RSVP Required. Call for details.

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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