Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Last night wasn't...(wasn't the BEST jam night ever at the Funky Biscuit, but it was close, right Allen Kanovsky?)

Submitted by Al Kanovsky 07/08/14

...about the $5 hamburger special, or my pals Jimmy, Nancy and Tania or the cordial host Al Poliak or the great sound system or anything else about the Funky Biscuit. Last night was about the MUSIC & the musicians. 

It started with the Matt Farr trio. Matt at B3, keyboards and vocals with Craig Stevens (bass) and Michael Piolet (drums). I walked in to the tune "Don't Kiss, Don't Tell" which included a well thought out bass solo. Matt played both keys and B3 when he sang "Red Bird." It was followed with some 'funk' and a impressive drum solo. Hey, BLUES, a little 'funk' and now some JAZZ with Herbie Hancock's "Stitched Up" and the trio raised itself to a new level. HolyS---!  

Now back to the BLUES with I'm On My Way Back Home followed by Bob Marley's "Excellence". An original song, "Living Like Ourselves" ended the set while giving each of the trio a chance to 'show off' a little. Bob "Ragu" has his tenor in hand and is joined by Drew Preston (guitar) another guitarist Rob (I think) with Michael still at drums, Matt at B3 & Craig on bass. They choose the Beatles' song "Come Together" to start the Jam and what a start it was. A small group of actresses are still in the house and they are up shaking their collective B&B's. The beat for the next number is what I call "the fish". Slow and intense. Now it is well known amongst those who know, that white boys can't jump. I have often said that white boys, except me, can't dance and it is generally accepted that some white boys should refrain from singing the BLUES. Bob's rendition of "Stormy Monday" belied the latter part of that statement. I have never heard that song done with so much depth of feeling from a male vocalist. It inspires Drew's BLUES, and I mean BLUES solo, which in turn inspires Bob's tenor solo. Matt & Craig are caught up in the emotion and deliver as well. Matt turns to the keyboard to intone a reggae rhythm "I Like To See". Bob catches a groove and there is now way anybody can stop his tenor solo. The cat is 'blowin'. Drew steps to the front for a shuffle BLUES titled "Hit Rock Bottom". Drew's talent on guitar is an accepted fact.You have to be there because each and every time is a new experience of solo guitar. Clay Goldstein (harp) joins the group and you know "it is gonna be a hot time in the old town tonight". Kenny Burgner is now on bass. They do the BLUES tune "Just To Keep From Cryin" with Clay doing the vocal as well as some really intricate figures on the harp. "To Lose The BLUES" has Rob doing a really nice solo. A gal, Stephanie, has stepped on stage to shake her hips and shoulders to the rhythm. She also adds some vocals chord shouts. Jimmy says that all we need now is for a guitar player to fall to his knees. Michael (drums) shows what drumming is all about and Al Poliak has joined in on B3. Drew's solo introduces the next song and he sings "There's A Train A'comin". He and Al take turns in delivering soulful performances. Jerome (French guitarist) joins the group and Craig returns at bass with Matt at the B3. They opt for a Jimi Hendrix number "The Wind Cries Mary". Jerome comes across with a 10* solo and Drew is absolutely incredible with his portion. Another Bob Marley song "So You" with Matt turning to the keyboard to do some 'wah-wah' sounds. Back to the BLUES with "Let It Come Your Way". 

Michael Pollard has been at the drum kit all night. No drum Jammers in the house. It is a marathon performance. He not only drove the bus ----he pushed it, pulled it and carried it on his back. And he can play. Drew and Jerome follow with masterful displays of musicianship. Jamie King Colton is in the house and has an alto sax in hand as he steps to the stage. Jamie grabs the mic to sing "Rock Me Baby". Yeah, he can sing the BLUES too. Jerome has the first solo, then Matt on B3. I have never heard Jamie play a horn before and it is a surprise to hear him tear down the walls with his solo. They follow with "Superstition". Jamie does the lyric and hastens over to the keyboard with Matt on B3, Drew and Jerome on guitars, Craig Stevens on bass and Michael Pollard continuing to push them all to new heights. This is what Jam sessions are all about. 

Mr. & Mrs. Mark Telesca are in the house and enjoying every single note played. He has just returned from a BLUES Festival in Poland. As I was saying "Goodnight" Drew informed me that the drummer with Mark last week is Antoni Livoti not Anthony Lombardi---my thanks to Drew and my apologies to Antoni.


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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1 comment :

  1. The Name Game:
    Bob (saxman & Stormy Monday vocalist) is Bob Grabau.
    Mr. Livoti's name is actually Antony.
    Jérôme Degey is the wonderful guitarist from France.