Saturday, October 25, 2014

Young band with a Horn... (Allen Kanovsky finds them in the Backwoods (Bistro) of Tallahassee)

Submitted by Al Kanovsky 10/25/14

It's long drive from Hallandale to Tallahassee. It doesn't seem that long if you have a good co-pilot. Charlie Boyer (my esteemed publisher) was in that seat so there was lots to talk about, although most of the time he was busy contacting potential advertisers. We stopped in Gainesville to meet Debby Strickland for lunch at Napalitano's. Charlie & I ordered the special of the day "Corned Beef & Cabbage. Yeah, yeah. You're all thinking C.B. & C. in an Italian restaurant? It was good. Very good, especially with an ice cold Guiness. 

Okay, the music. Later last night we ended up at the Backwoods Bistro close by to the campus of F.S.U. 

The place was crowded with students and faculty. It was also filled with music. JAZZ was in the house. The band is named "JAZZCOPELAND". 
The leader and founder is bassist Brandon Robertson. Gerald Watkins the drummer will make an appearanc witth Longineau Parsons to-nite. Playing keyboard is Evan Powell. Exceptional on alto is Chris Rochester and the lovely Ms.Avis Berry handles the vocals. We arrived in time to catch the last tune of the 1st set but in plenty of time for the final one. The band members are all either graduate students or seniors at the school.They have a mutual vision of the future of JAZZ and how it will be played. Not 'straight-ahead', not too futuristic. Imaginative & creative in ways different than the past or present day. The play list was made up of both original tunes and standards. "Black Nile" was the first tune of the set and Avis had me paying close attention to what she did with her voice. Unusual and lovely. "Night & Day" followed. Chris Rochester's alto solo displayed his unusual approach to the melodic line. It was just enough of 'tomorrow'. Very tasty and fresh. Brandon's bass solo followed suit. "L's Bop" an instrumental original had both the taste of Dizzy & Miles and again that vision of tomoorrow. "One Note Samba" done lively and "Funny Valentine" done with absolutely breathtaking vocal and bass solos. An original titled "Weak" is what every tone poem should be. Chromatically perfect, it gave everyone a chance to express their emotions musically. All the band members are personable, easy to talk with and eager to share their vision. 

Charlie and I followed Jose Rodriguez home. He is our lodging host for the weekend and very gracious (including to animals - he is big into Lost Hope Rescue Organization and his housemates are happy about it!). Jose also has great stories to tell. Jose is one of the organizers of the PatRamsey Memorial Benefit for Big Bend Hospice event to be held at the Bradfordville BLUES Club today from 1:30pm until the A.M. It is the main reason Charlie and I are here. Also The JAZZ, Arts and BLUES Festival in Live Oak. 


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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