Monday, December 22, 2014

'Twas 4 nights before Christmas...(And Allen Kanovsky was lighting up the town!)

Submitted by Al Kanovsky 12/22/14

...and the cats and chicks were havin' a ball. 

If you are under 60 the interpretation is the guys and gals were having a partaaaaaay. It was at that joint on toity-toid that has the initials BJB's. The reason for the carryin'-on was several birthday celebrations including my 83d. 

Nancy, Denise & Jimmy

I was surrounded by friends including (not in any specific order) Dr. Jules, Jackie D. Vickie, Eric & Jeanne, Isabel, Denise, Nancy & Jim, Bill, Shannon & Ryan. On stage were Tony Nicolosi (guitar/vocals), Mitch Goldstein (Hammond B3), Steve on drums and the inimitable, lovable, huggable, tall and slender Miss Rita Wilburn-Tolliver. (photo attached --I hope). The opening instrumental titled "Chicken Shack" got the packed house into the right mood. It is called 'party down'. Of course they would play Mel Torme's "Christmas Song" to celebrate Chanukah. The new slim and ever elegant Miss Rita takes the stage, in bright red, to sing "Fever" and she does make the temperature rise. "Give Me A Reason To Stay" has Nancy & Jim on the floor. Rita follows with "Who Will Be the First To Say Goodbye". Nancy & Jim are still the only couple dancing but this time it's up close and very personal. I blush at the sight. Blush????? "You Make Me Feel So Good" and naturally I ask Jackie D. to the floor. Ms. D's moves inspire others to join us. Rita loves the BLUES and when she does "Every Day" it shows. My critique is in one word "WOW". She won't let go and follows with "Unchain My Heart" and have the joint is boogieing. 

Jackie D & Dr. Jules
The set ends and ladies are coming by to kiss me. Some on the cheek and some on the lips. You can tell the girls from N.Y. & Philly. Guys come by to shake my hand. A few attempt a kiss. Again you can tell which ones grew up in the big cities. 

The 2nd set opens with the band playing Wes Montgomery's "Road Song. Rita steps on stage, now wearing shimmerry grey/silver sequins (can I start writing fashion reviews?). No woman who sings the BLUES can get off stage without doing "At Last". I have heard most. Rita's is in the top 2. Ray Charles' version of "Georgia" is inimitable. Rita's touches your heart. I'm in love --- again --- and ask Ms. Rita to dance. Thus the pic. Light-footed and light-hearted I am dancing the night away with Jackie and Denise. A young woman named Nyla is invited up to do "In A Sentimental Mood". She definitely makes an impression on the audience. She remains on stage with Rita and they jump "Summertime" and do it again a bit slower to end the set. Tony and Mitch have delivered great solos all night long. The pair must know every bit of American music ever written. No music sheets in sight.

Rita returns. Now in all black. Uh-oh. There's a line in the BLUES song "Rock Me Baby" that goes "'til my back ain't got no bone". Rita's rendition has Denise and I up and rockin' it. A great way to end a most joyful 4 days before Christmas. 

Earlier in the evening Anthony, Shay and Jim entertained the happy hour 'gang'. Gene sat in on trumpet and Vinny joined in playing a 'tenor horn'. They set the tone for an evening of happy thoughts. 

I must thank all those who sent birthday greeting on Facebook. You don't realize how many good friends you have until moments like that. Tonight Troy Roberts returns to S. Florida. At the Open Stage for the Miami JAZZ Co-ops Rent Party. As I say I don't promote acts. The reason I mention it is because I want JAZZ lovers to know about and enjoy the wonderful artists in our midst. 

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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