Tuesday, December 2, 2014

I am a betting man (...And Allen Kanovsky is always a winner whether he is betting or not!)

Submitted by Al Kanovsky 12/02/14

...and am willing to lay 9 to 5 that given 10 seconds you cannot name a Japanese restaurant in the U.S.A. that has live jAZZ. It's even money that if I tell you the name and address of this place you won't find it on your first try. The Fuji Japanese Restaurant is a hidden treasure in Darien Ct. The music is played in its bar. I went there last night and found the same faces that were there when I visited last year. They greeted me warmly and Doris (whom I had danced with on my previous visit) and I shared 'war' stories.-----

I know, the music. Let me start by saying that there are few musical unions that are truly meant to be. Last night I was fortunate to listen to Maria Tiscia sing while being accompanied by David Oliver playing a Kurzweil pc3 keyboard. I would describe Maria as a cabaret singer with a distinctive JAZZ style and a really nice contralto timbre to her voice. David is a sensitive, creative player with vast knowledge of American music history. The audience knew Maria and David and they in turn knew almost everyone in the audience. Outside it was cold and nasty. I walked into the room while Maria was doing "I Got My Love To Keep Me Warm" I opted for a hot sake.She followed with "My Dream Is To Be Loving You". The song was new to me and I asked if it was 'original'. David answered "No" and that it was a seldom heard Joabim song. Of course being the holiday season there were a number Christmas songs from Bings "White Christmas" to Eartha Kitt's "Santa Baby". In between there were American standards. "This Can't Be Love", "You'd Be So Nice To Come Home To", "Stardust" and "Misty". That's an Erroll Garner hit and David reminded us that Erroll, being very short, always used 2 yellow phone books on his piano bench. 

During the rendition of "Misty" I thought about---let's see --- Jackie & Denise --- Isabel & Tania ---on & on, on & on. 

The 2nd set had a Frishberg fun song, "My Attorney Bernie" quote "He says sign, I sign". "Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire" was and is a long lasting holiday hit. David informed us that it was written by Mel Torme.

They did Brenda Lee's "Rockin' 'Round the Christmas Tree" followed by "Goody, Goody" with the audience joining in. I requested "You Don't Know What Love Is". There was something special in the way Maria approached the song. She finished the song with tears in her eyes. The program ended with "But Beautiful" which is probably as beautiful a song that was ever written. 

Returning to warmer climes today. See ya!!! 

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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