Thursday, November 20, 2014

There's a first time...(And a another first, and another, and probably for Allen Kanovsky, a lot, lot more!)

Submitted by Al Kanovsky 11/20/14

...for everything. The first time I heard Jesse Jones Jr. was in the lounge of the Council Oaks Room at the Hard Rock Casino. Dale Powers (keyboard/vocals) headed a group that had Jesse (sax/flute/scat), Johnny O (congas/sax), Matt Bonelli (bass) and Lou Abbott on drums. They were there to entertain and they did. A little Louis Armstrong, a little Louis Prima, some Stan Kenton and even the Beatles. JAZZ, BLUES, swing and Rock'n roll. They fit it all in and had me clappin', tappin' and singing along. Toward the end of the 2d set Jesse stepped up to do "Hey Jude". I confess to not being a Beatles aficionado. Some of their stuff is great, some not so and some very commercial. At least in my opinion but I don't argue about it. Jesse's interpretation of the tune had me paying close attention to every nuance. Every riff. His approach to the song was reverent but left lots of room for improvisation. I have been a die-hard Jesse fan ever since.

Wednesday is DannyBurger's Showcase night at a club on 'toity-toid' in Ft. Lauderdale. Mr. Jesse Jones Jr. was the featured artist. Brian Murphy at piano and Paul Shewchuk on upright bass. Later on Bobby Roberts would sit-in on cornet. I was surrounded by beauty and dance talent. Lynn, Denise, Jackie. I felt like the Sultan of JAZZ. 

The band opened with "If I Were A Bell". Jesse, Brian, Paul and Danny put us all in a swinging mood. A romantic "Stardust" followed with an almost unbelievable introductory Jesse solo. Brian kept us starry-eyed. Danny, the Brushmeister kept it smooth and Paul made it mellow. "Black Nile" is a Wayne Shorter composition and Jesse showed off his 'bop' chops. Brian followed suit and was his creative self. I didn't catch the name of the tune that followed but it had me clappin'. I may be mistaken but I think the next song was "Put It Where You Want It". I wanted to put myself on the floor with Denise and we did it. Dance, I mean. Next was a JAZZ samba. I don't dance samba. The girls do and so they did. Coltrane's "Naima" is a beautiful melodic ballad and Danny was wonderful in his use of the mallets to provide the soft rhythms. From the streets of Brazil to 52nd St. in the Apple. "Grooving High" was one of the early day be-bop tunes I heard Dizzy and Miles play at the 3 Deuces way back in 1949. Bobby is matching Jesse with his cornet play. The swing into "Just Friends". Jackie and I discuss the subject. Jesse quotes "Flight of the Bumble Bee". during the tune. Danny & Paul play with each other for fun. Back to  'bop' with "Billy's Bounce".-------I like that-----Back to bop with Billy's Bounce. The evening ends with "Sweet Georgia Brown" and a sweet night it was. Paul says he is going to write a poem about me. It reminded me of a poem I wrote for Jesse on his birthday. It follows. All rights reserved.

'and who dat man overe dere'
Allen Kanovsky for Jesse Jones Jr.
on his birthday 2014
Jazz man, scat man, saxophonist
dancing, singing add those to the list

List'nin' to Jesse, makes me feel good
like no sniff, toke or drink could

Gray hairs appearing on top of his knot
I wish I could know all he's forgot

Happy Birthday, Dear Jesse, my man
Keep swingin' and boppin as long as you can
with warmth and respect

allen Kanovsky

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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