Sunday, December 28, 2014

Do any of you remember...( Less and less everyday, Allen Kanovsky!)

Submitted by Al Kanovsky 12/28/14

...'the schnozz", Jimmy Durante? He sang a song that had the lyric "Did you haver have the feeling that you wanted to go? And then you had the feeling that you wanted to stay." That was me last night. Penn State (I'm a fan) vs. Boston College in Yankee Stadium, followed by USC/Nebraska. I have a granddaughter, Elizabeth, who is at USC. Jesse Jones Jr. is at BJB's. I'm already too late for 'happy hour' prices. Music trumps football. 

I arrive just in time to catch the last of Jimmy Cavallo (Tenor/vocals) with Brian Murphy (piano), Danny Burger (drums), Bobby Reynolds (cornet), Matt Parker & Pat Lang (sitting in on tenor) and Jim Smith (bass). They do "Sweet Home Chicago" and have the joint rockin'. Three tenors side by side blowing the roof away. 

Jimmy calls "That's Life" in G. He ain't Ol' Blue Eyes but he can sell a song. Any one who loves JAZZ, loves "Perdido". Bobby gets the first solo, then all 3 saxophones, then Brian and Jim. They all take turns trading 8's with Danny & then en toto 8's with him. The packed house is on its feet in appreciation and the band closes it down with "Jumpin' With Symphony Sid". 

The best is yet to come! Jesse Jones Jr. with Danny & Brian staying on stage and "Be-Bob" Bob Grabowski on that funny looking bass that has its own attached tripod. Cannonball Adderley is Jesse's idol and inspiration and has been since Jesse's 8th birthday. 

They open with "Sack of Woe". Jesse takes the first solo which gives Brian a direction to go in. Brians portion is part Basie, part Tatum, part Earl 'Fatha" Hines. Put them all together and you get another spectacular Brian Murphy solo. Jesse scats through his horn including some falsetto for the upper register. They follow with Coletrane's "Mr. P.C.". It is a bop standard and Jesse, Brian and Bob's solos reflect the proper respect. Jesse continues singing through the horn. This time with words, when they do "Georgia". The transition from jump to soul is made without a hitch. 

On Monday nights, when I'm coming home late accompanied by the "Real" Tracy Fields(WLRN 91.3FM) her closing selection is Jesse doing "I'm Coming Home". I time my drive so that I catch every note. They do that tune next including Jesse's inimitable scat conversation. Brian has us all clappin' and tappin'. "Belle CeVa" is next and is done with much feeling, a really nice scat portion and Danny shows what brushes are all about. The next tune is a ballad. ?????? title. Lori and Dale get up and show us how you can dance while holding your partner close in your arms. Jesse sustains a note longer than is humanly possible and then some. No way!!!!! Yeah Way!!!!!!. I don't know how he did it and lived. They follow with "Gibraltar" and now Lori with Dale swing it with the band. Great set. 

Jesse's wife Thelma is in the house so I take the opportunity to chat with the charming lady. We talk about how it is to be married to a musician. That it takes an understanding woman who will provide unwavering support. They've been married for more than 20 years.

The band opens with Horace Silver's "Filthy McNasty". Jesse always has fun with this one. Brian quotes Ray Charles "Tell Me What I Say" which has Lori & Dale in full swing mode. I have never seen Jesse perform without doing "Song For My Fathers". It is done with a modified Latin beat but Brian takes it straight to Cuba with a clave filled solo. Bob delivers a solid solo which has me paying attention to every pluck of the strings. Jesse's scats are inimitable. Noone does it like Jesse. You can see the joy in Jesse eyes whenever he does this song. He dedicates "Stardust" to Babette the great music fan who will celebrate her birthday for the ??th time in 3 weeks. Hey, his wife is in the audience and Jesse ain't no dope. He dedicates the next tune "Have You Met Miss Jones" to Thelma. On top of it he asks her up to dance. She does. When she returns to the table she says "I really don't dance". I tell her "Neither does he", and we share a laugh. 

You can't have Danny on drums and not do "Caravan". They do it in up-tempo samba beat that has us all shaking our shoulders. Jesse, Brian and Bob all get a turn before Danny lets loose using all 4 cymbals, all the skins plus rim shots and then blowing it up to change the tones on the tom-toms. The final set of the night opens with Wayne Shorter's "Black Now" with Bob again delivering an imaginative solo. "????? Blue"  has my pal Mark and his girl friend dancing up close and personal. Shall I rent a tux? I ask because Mark is usually a rock 'n roll type dancer. Hmmmm? No set without Adderley and so "Sweet Georgia Bright". It's followed by the standard "All The Things You Are". Love is in the air. "Night In Tunisia" has Jesse qouting 'Joshua fit the battle of Jericho' and Danny, Brian and Bob showing that Be-bop is ensconced in their very beings. Jesse's original "So Then" was written for Thelma. He does it playing beautiful flute and looking deep into her eyes. They riff "A Train" and Jesse says "Love-Peace and JAZZ. 
If you are on stage at BJB's, there are three baby spots that are directed center stage. Jesse tells me that every time he is here and performs under those three lights, they invoke the thought of the Holy Trinity. The Father, The Son and The Holy Ghost. Do you want to meet a man who truly has SOUL?

Today a memorial concert for China Valles at the Miami Shores Country Club.

Later on, Maria Rivas on Toity-Toid.  

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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