Tuesday, November 18, 2014

A Night At the Ope... ( Allen Kanovsky knows "Grand" when he hears it!)

Submitted by Al Kanovsky 11/18/14

No, not the Met or La Scala. I do love opera but don't write reviews of it because I don't listen to enough of it to be informative. 

My night was at the Open Stage in Coral Gables. The regular Monday night Miami Jazz Co-op Rent Party and Jam. Last night Joe Donato (saxes) was the featured artist. The band had Danny Burger on drums, Brian Murphy (piano), Matt Bonelli (bass) and Randall Dollahon on guitar. This very same band had been had appeared regularly at the Tuscany in years gone by. Joe had decided the program would include some JAZZ history. Amongst the listeners were many musicians including Jim Gasior, Gary Keller, Lenny Steinberg, Larry Lapin, Max,Keanu, and Nanami Irikawa. Some would join the Jam in the 2d set. 

They opened with a Jerome Kern tune and followed with a Coltrane BLUES for which Joe has written a lyric dedicated to Bessie Smith. In the past I have made some remarks about Joe's vocal chops. I take most of it back. He can sing the BLUES. He remembers the first of the JAZZ saxophonists, Sidney Bechet, by doing "Petite Fleurs". It is a beautiful, haunting melody. During Brian's solo he quotes a Christmas carol. The history lesson continued with Ellington's "Satin Doll". Joe plays two saxes at a time to create the harmonic tone. Kathleen Donato is invited up to do the Johnny Mercer/Hoagy Carmichael collaboration "Skylark". She is definitely the vocal part of that union. Brian contributes a great solo. By request, the band plays "My Little Swing Shoes" a light hearted tune. Danny blows the kit up during his solo and Brian added a little Latin flavor. 

After the break Gary Keller joins the band with Larry Lapin at the piano. You could pick Gary Keller out of any horn section in the country. Tone, Technique and imagination make up what Gary is. "There Will Never Be Another You" with Jamie Ousley now on bass. Keanu on alto joins Gary and Joe to do "Night in Tunisia". Kathleen returns to do another one. They conclude with Joe doing the double sax to "Sentimental Journey". 

Like I said in the opening, I love opera but I was glad to be at the Open Stage last night. The MJC deserves your support. You will hear South Floridas best JAZZ musicians every Monday "night at the Open". 

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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