Wednesday, October 29, 2014

"It's just the gypsy...(Allen Kanovsky takes in another side of JP Soars at The Funky Biscuit)

Submitted by Al Kanovsky 10/29/14

…in my soul.” It lives there with my love of BLUES, JAZZ, LATIN, Opera, Ballet, Symphonic and BOOKS.

That same gypsy lives in the soul of JP Soars. It was planted there by Django Rheinhardt a famed guitarist dating back to the 1930's. J.P. has 2 bands. The Gypsy Blue Revue and The Red Hots. Some members cross bands and play in both.

Last night at The Funky Biscuit there was Steve Laudicino (guitar), Scott Ankrom (reeds), Chaim Rubinoff (trumpet), Chris Peet (drums) and Noah Hall on bass. They all wore jackets ala bands of the 30's. They played mostly Django hits with wonderful solos by all the band members. The BLUES are never far away from J.P.s guitar including his composition "The Viper". Scott's clarinet and tenor sax solos reflected both the Gypsy mode and the JAZZ Era Swing. Chaim brings along every trumpet mute known to mankind and uses them to perfection. His range takes you both high above and below the scale. J.P.s affection for Django has infected Steve as well. His gypsy technique grows with every performance. Included with Rheinhart’s compositions were American tunes done in Gypsy style. "Sweet Georgia Brown", "See You In My Dreams" and "It Don't Mean A Thing" were a few of the JAZZ numbers with Gypsy intonation. J.P. has a unique voice. He ain't Frank or Perry. He ain't Dean or even Bing. He's J.P. and when he does Muddy Waters "Deep Down In Florida" and Rev. Gary Davis' "Cocaine" there is something special about it.

They played Willy Bobo's "Fried Neck Bones and Home Fries" to a bolero beat. Scott really digs in with his sax solo and it inspires Chaim to play trills and quotes from Latin hits and reminiscent of some Paquito Rivera. Now to a rhumba rhythm they do "Call My Baby, Tell Her I'm Not Coming Home".

Piano Bob is sitting at the bar with my Cuban fellow traveler Tania Haftel, her friend Tina(pronounced TYNA) and Jeff who is new in town. The beat catches me and I ask Tina to dance. She is agreeable and does know how to dance. Again, really nice solos all around and it morphs to the BLUES  and "Got To Let You Go". Part of the lyric is "Got nothin' in your head, 'cept stage, screen and radio. Do any of you remember Louis Jordan and the Tympani Five? How about a tune titled "Caldonia"? I'm sure every iving 'jitterbug' remembers it. J.P. sings it. Scott and Chaim just plain blow their natural tops. Man oh Man oh Man!!!!!!! The audience demands one more and they conclude with "You Used To Be My Girl".

I must mention that the Funky Biscuit's famous $5 Hamburger Special is available on both Monday & Tuesday nights at the Funky Biscuit. There is no better deal anywhere in the entire world. A bun-sized burger, lettuce, tomato, slice of onion and French fries. I have yet to finish the whole plate. Al Poliak (proprietor) is brought to tears every time one is ordered. It definitely takes a bite out of the corporate earnings.   

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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