Thursday, April 17, 2014

Some do it...(and those that don't probably don't read this blog, right, Allen Kanovsky?)

Submitted by Al Kanovsky 04/17/14

...for love. Some do it for money. Some do it for the love of money. Some do it for the money needed for love. JAZZ musicians definitely do not do it for the money. They do it for the love of the genre itself. It takes unequaled dedication to your art. The sacrifice of personal time. Sometimes even the destruction of a comfortable relationship. The rewards are measured in small audiences and smatterings of applause. 

Last night the Orta brothers Mike and Nicky and Nicky's wife Debbie performed at BJB's on 33d. It was Danny Burger's JAZZ Showcase. And showcase it was. In the audience were pianist/educator Mari Bell, bassist Paul Shewchuk, dancers Martine & Jacques, Babette, my buddy Jimmy Belize and Mike's girl friend Luz Marina Salazar. Oh, I was there, also. Prior to them Ms. Glenda Grainger entertained us with her lovely voice doing a Cabaret show. Tunes from yesteryear, the American Songbook and standards made her performance very pleasant and enjoyable. She even asked me about Alice Faye. Do any of you even know the name. She was a musical comedy star and married to swing trumpeter Harry James.

The band noodles around and then Debbie takes the stage. She is wearing something new. Something purple. Something short. Something definitely hot. I am eyeing Debbie. Nicky is eyeing me. It's a good thing I am a family friend as well as a fan. The rhythm is salsa, the tune "You Make Me Feel So Young" is appropriate to my mood. Nicky displays that Latin machismo with his bass solo. It sets the tone. It's gonna be a great nite for JAZZ. Danny sets an easy swing beat and Debbie sings "Love Me Or Leave Me" Mike's solo proves me right about a great nite. The pace really picks up with "I'll Remember April". Full speed ahead. With Mike's pedal to the metal and Nicky trying to chase him off the road. Back in the days of the "Charleston" barber shop quartets sang " If You Could See Me Now". Last night Debbie did a tune with that line but it was a meaningful ballad The 2d set opened with"Old Devil Moon"  giving me the opportunity to ask Ms. Luz to dance. Martine and Jacques joined us on the floor. I tried my best to keep pace with their stylings. The rest of the program went from Irving Berlin to Duke Ellington to Frank Sinatra to Jobim. "In A Sentimental Mood" in samba rhythm to "Grooving High" (Whispering) in the language of be-bop. Ballads like "Crazy In Love Am I" to a swinging "Skylark". 

Our server was Shannon. She kept us liquified and sated. Had a great time and headed home thinking about what I might write about this night. The word LOVE kept coming up. It is a word that describes what the Ortas' feel about their music.   

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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