Saturday, April 12, 2014

The definition of...(Allen Kanovsky's standard fair when he visits Arts Garage, and beyond!)

Submitted by Al Kanovsky 04/11/14

...a 'great night': verb/noun(grate nite) start at 7:30pm. meet good friends, listen to some really good Latin music, dance with several ladies, go to another joint, listen to some really good JAZZ, go for breakfast, tell some clean jokes, tell some dirty jokes, laugh a lot, say good-night(morning) at 3:00am.

Mine started at Arts Garage where I had arranged to meet my pal Jimmie Belize, his friend Nancy and her friend Grace. Piano Bob and his friend Mary were there as well. I said hello to Alyana and Lailani(director and assistant) at Arts Garage. We sat down, unpacked the snacks and beverages, said hello to tablemates Victor(retired NYPD) and his gorgeous friend Alba.

"Orchestra Aragon" (Cuba) took the stage. The band was originally organized 75 years ago and maintains the original sounds and native rhythms of Cuba. Their play-list ran the gamut of the islands music history--'son'-'guaguanco'-'bolero'-'salsa'- 'mambo' and 'cha cha cha'. The tunes included titles like "Cadita", "Isla Del Oreanto", "La Gata", "Carreta" and 19 more. Prior to the music starting I ventured backstage to attempt getting band member names. Fortunately, I met Angie Capo from MM Music Agency. She was kind enough to get me the list and wrote it down in easy to read penmanship: Srs. Rafael Felipo Lay Bravo (dir./violin), Roberto Espinoza Rodriguez (bass), Juan Carlos Villegas Alfonso(Vocals), Eduardo RamonRubio Perez (flute), Horacio Rodriguez del Toro (timbal), Orlando Jesus Perez Montero (piano), Guillermo Gonzalo Garcia Vobles (congas), Jose Palma Cueste Cuesta (guire), Lazaro Dagoberb Gonzalez Sibore (violin) Eric Labaut Lay (violin). They also brought their own sound engineers, Javier Felipe Lay Riojas and Humberto Alvarez Sanchez. 

I know a lot of bands who have less members than these guys have names. 

The music was great. Exceptional conga and timbales play. An emotional violin solo on "Besame Mucho". I have found that the playing has a lot more 'alma' when played or sung by a Latin. I danced with Grace. I danced with Nancy. I danced with Alba. I danced with a couple of unnamed senoitas y senoras. I danced with four ladies at one time. My cardiologist had warned me about multiple partner play. I don't think he was talking about dancing. Al Kanovsky had a ball. I had made 'pico de gallo' and guacomole. Nancy provided cheeses, olives and wines. Grace added her charm and Jim contributed----????? Oh. He drove the ladies.

It was still early and so we along with Piano Bob and Mary headed to Blue Jeans Blues. Danny Burger's Wednesday Showcase had Ira Sullivan (Sax, trumpet, flugelhorn, flute, afuche  cabasa), Marc Berner (alto flute), Brian Murphy (piano) and Dr. Jaimie Ousley (bass). We got there in time to still meet some friends and catch the abbreviated last set. Martine and Jacques, a favorite dance partner 'the hat lady' and her husband, Babbette and Mark. The set started with Ira on soprano sax doing a haunting traditional Christmas song (it's never too early to ring in the season) "The Little Drummer Boy"----'visions of sugar plums'. Very, very tasty solos all around. Marc joins Ira on flute to do "Quiet Nights and Quiet Stars". Jaimie does a thumb position solo that has my rapt attention. Ira is playing the afuche cabasa using all of the facets of that beaded rhythm instrument. Ira with Marc alongside traditionally close wit "Day By Day' from the B'way musical 'Godspell" and "Amazing Grace". 

Off to the Peter Pan 24 hour diner. Bagels, eggs, french toast, lots of coffee, lots of stories and plenty of laughs. George Burns (way back in the day) closed his show with "Goodnight Gracie"---Well I ended my evening with a kiss on the cheek and a "Goodnight Grace". Therein lies the tale of a great evening--more to come--if He grants me the time.

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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