Saturday, April 12, 2014

A day and....(more in the life of Allen Kanovsky!)

Submitted by Al Kanovsky 04/12/14

...night in the life of a music lover starts at the studios of WLRN where Ed Bell is hosting a live broadcast of 21 year old JAZZ vocalist/pianist Ariel Pocock. On stage with Ariel are David Leon (tenor sax), Aaron Lebos (guitar), Matt Buckner (drums) and Chis Croce (bass). In the audience were Ted Grossman (WLRN),  my friends Deborah and Duane Crisp, the good Dr. Jules Oaklander who was accompanied by Maria Garza a lyric soprano with the opera company. 

The broadcast started with Ariel doing an introductory chorus on piano and then singing "The Very Thought Of You". You are immediately struck by her originality of thought both instrumentally and vocally. Aaron does not fall short with his solo portion. David joins the band when Ariel does "Emotional Girl" and his solo reflects the deep feelings of the melody and lyric. Chris's bass cadenza introduces Ariel's original "Dappled" done as an instrumental. The melodic and rhythmic lines are complex and make for interesting listening. Where would JAZZ be today if it hadn't experienced the birth of be-bop. "East of the Sun" is a classic example. And WOW do they do it. Ariel embraces the genre with her solo including a short quote of "OOh Pa Pa Da". Aaron & Chris show their bop chops. Her vocal variations  of the song are greeted with enthusiastic audience response. Ariel's piano intro's a Monk/McRae love song titled "A Dream of Love". This is a really lovely ballad and Ariel treats it as such. Ms. Pocock steps away from the keys to sing "Kiss My Baby Goodbye". A slow swing ballad handled with tenderness. Her encore, which is the title tune of her CD, "Touchstone" tugs at the heart-strings of anyone who has ever been in love. Allow me to turn critic as opposed to being a reviewer. It is easy to compare Ariel with Diana Krall. They are both pianist/vocalists. Ariel is no Diana. She is pure, 100%, unadulterated Ariel Pocock. Her style and improvisations are hers alone. She is a true musical artist in her own right and desrves all the success that I am sure is in her future. The backdrop behind the band displayed a slide show which included ads such as---Billy Eckstine at the Club Savoy($2 admission)---Ira Sullivan with Dolph Castellano at The Rancher---Flip Phillips at the Traveler---Nat King Cole at the Lord Calvert Hotel and Pearl Williams at her own 'spot' in the Boulevard Hotel---Memories-------and JAZZ still lives in South Florida.

A stop at Panera for a pecan roll and some coffee. Home for a shower and change of clothes and off to a PARTY. Specifically the birthday of Luz Marina Salizar. Luz is the loving and lovely girl friend of JAZZ pianist Mike Orta. She is also a song stylist. I arrived before many of the guests. Mike, his brother Nicky and their Mom were already there. Luz's Mom & Dad, Mari and Tere, were there, up from Colombia for the event. Also enough food and wine to feed and liquify all the Russians at the Ukranian border. Guests from the musical world that surrounds them started to arrive. Carlomagno Araya his wife, children and brother Ramses, Carlos Triano and his wife, Maria Saaveeda a Colombiana with a set of pipes, Gabriel Cifuentes and his wife with an absolutely 'killer smile' and a lady I had met before Maria Castaneda. Also a couple a lawyer and his wife. She gave up law to paint. Good for her. Unfortunately I didn't get their names. The artist in her showed up when the music started and she got up to shake her hips, just a bit. A room filled with Spanish speaking musicians, a blogger whose 'espanol' is limited to "Mi vida, Mi corazon, Mi alma" and "Quanto". Fortunately, I had found a chair next to Mike and Nicky's Mom. She interpreted for me and is a lovely and cultured woman. I didn't understand a word whether spoken or sung. But you don't need to know a language to get the meaning or emotion of a song. Love songs, fun tunes, rhythms of Colombia, Venzuela and Argentina. Carlos Triana is a multi-talented vocalist/guitarist/raconteur who entertained thru-out the evening. Gabriel Cifuentas(guitar) a maestro in every meaning of the word. They even got my old friend Carlos Verdicea up to sing. Luz sang. Maria Isabel sang. Gabriels wife sang. At times the three of them sang together. Mike and Nicky were happy, displaying their Latin roots. I danced with the birthday girl in spite of the daggers in my back directed by Mike. They played a tune to the rhythm of 'cumbia' and everyone one in the room was up and shaking it.

It wasn't Luz's "quinzenera" but it was a great party. I hope to be there when she turns 35----again.  

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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