Tuesday, July 29, 2014

When I spend more...(Allen Kanovsky keeps IN time while having a good one at The Funky Biscuit!)

Submitted by Al Kanovsky 07/29/14

...time in a joint than I do at home you have to now that there's got to be good reason. The only good reason for me, excluding female clientele, is music. It can be hot or cool, JAZZ or BLUES. But, it must be good. Consistently good. I spent Saturday night at The Funky Biscuit. I should say Saturday night and Sunday morning. It took me all day Sunday and a good part of Monday to recover. 

The Monday Jam at the Biscuit is a music magnet to me. Jimmy Belize, Denise, Janet & Tania were there as well. On Stage were Chris(or Rick) Friedman (guitar/vocals), Drew Preston (guitar), Jim Reese (B3), Craig(bass), Brian(drums) Collin James(tenor sax) and Bob Grabau (alto sax/vocals). The first number was "I Like To See You Boogie".  Drew took the first solo. Pure Preston. Colin's tenor solo 'funked it up' and Bob's alto solo was strictly 'bar walker' style. Jim's B3 solo had Denise falling in love (There goes another dance partner) and Friedman closed it out with real boogieing riffs. Of course you can't play a boogie that I can resist dancing to, so Denise and I did not resist. They follow with a shuffle, ""Tell Me How Does It Feel". Chris/Rick sings the s--t out of this number and both saxes respond. When they play "I Don't Love You No More" Colin moves to the keyboard. Both Bob's and Drew's solos are impressive in their intensity. N'Awlins creeps into the house with 2d line rhythm and "Iko-Iko". If you like the way Colin plays sax, pay attention to his keyboard skills. Drew is having such a ball playing that I wonder what amazing thing happened to him earlier in the day. He claims he was cleaning house. I wondered what else got cleaned. Colin cooks the keys and all are just jamming. Not even in the Big Easy have I heard it done better. They do an instrumental (title unknown to me) and all have a chance to show off a bit. The 2d set starts with Bob at the mic to sing "I'm Broke" He almost had me believing it. Jim's B3 solo gets Denise and Janet up to 'boogie' a bit. A young lady named Page, is invited up to sing "Moon Dance" and does it well. Again Colin catches our attention with his piano solo. Bob has switched to tenor sax and once more I'm reminded of the days of 'honkers and bar walkers'. Now Colin and Jim switch places and they play "Going Down the Road" in jump time. You now what happens then --- Denise and me (I) do it one more time. Bob shows his 'tender' side when he sings and plays "My Love Will Follow You As the Years Go By". The lyric is meaningful and Bob treats it with respect. Colin's B3 solo caps it off in style. Some other musicians arrive and join in. Nobody mentioned names soooooo --- then Billy Gilmore took the stage with an electric banjo and Drew returned as well. 

Too many rum and tonics. Too much of that great $5 burger with a load of fries. Too little sleep --- had to go and was sad about it --- until I turned the radio on. The Real Tracy Fields (WLRN 91.3FM) was speaking to Eddy Balzola in studio. Alongside was Ezio Chiavone of Le Chat Noir. I call Eddy "el gato fresca" = 'the cool cat'. Le Chat Noir = the black cat. I've got Tracy and 2 of my favorite cats in one place at one time. 

A word about JAZZ & BLUES in South Florida. By baby steps the music is finding more venues. Here is my view of some that I visit:
Arts Garage. Only a couple of years old. Bring your friends, food and wine. Best shows in town.
Most luxorious is JAZZIZ Nightlife. Strictly "Boca Raton."
A short distance from JAZZIZ is The Funky Biscuit. Complete opposite. In my words "a joint."
Latest on the scene is "Open Stage". Roomy comfortable. Enough stage for 'big band'. 
Blue Jeans Blues. 7 nights a week.  Generally good music. Friendly staff. Good pizza.
In the real downtown Miami. Le Chat Noir. This is a JAZZ club. Ala Greenwich Village 1947. In all honesty "Le Chat" is my favorite. Cordial hosts. Great wine list. Ambiance & atmosphere. 
Most of all --- JAZZ.   

(All of which are in the music listings 
at Jazz & Blues Florida!)

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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