Friday, January 23, 2015

5 Young Men...(...and Allen Kanovsky and Danny Burger, who are timeless!)

Submitted by Al Kanovsky 01/22/15

calling themselves the Stamps Quintet, held me transfixed and listening closely for 2 hours yesterday afternoon. 

The event was the weekly "JAZZ in the Gables" concert presented by the Miami JAZZ Co-op.
Sam Hart (alto saxophone), Alden Lombard (trumpet), Quinn Sengupta (piano), Bob Bruya (bass) and Marcelo Perez (drums) are all scholarship students at UM. The University of Miami has one of the finest music programs in the nation. This quintet, under the direction of Chuck Bergeron proves it. They opened with If I Were A Bell". Sam had the first solo. He absolutely caught the audiences attention. Quinns portion showed great technique. The next tune was "It's Alright With Me". Sam & Alden played some very imaginative progressive JAZZ and Alden impressed with his tone and alacrity. Bob's bass solo was equally impressive. Sticking with standards the quintet did "Darn That Dream". I and others were T'n and C'n. You cannot do a JAZZ program without "Gren Dolphin Street" which included an outstanding drum solo by Marcelo. He picks up the brushes for "Tea For Two". Brush use seems to be a lost art amongst young drummers. Marcelo did not lose it., believe me.  Sam & Alden trade solo sections and then do a unison/contra portion that has me on my feet in wonder. They swing "You and the Night and the Music". I hadn't heard that song in a long while and it brought back loads of pleasant memories. They closed with a BeBop melody giving each on a chance to show their respective "chops". I would be remiss if I didn't mention Marcelo's  mastery of the dynamics of his instrument. All of them are well deserved of the scholarships they were awarded. Thanks to UM for their program. Thanks to Chuck Bergeron who has these young men under his tutelage and thanks to the Miami JAZZ Co-op for bringing us these free Wednesday afternoon concerts.  

Yo! You didn't think that ended my musical day did you? It's Wednesday. It's Danny Burger's Showcase at BJB's. It's Joe Donato and Matt Bonnelli and Brian Murphy and Danny himself. I'm gonna see Denise and Martine and Jacques. Babette is missing and in rehab recovering from a fall. I get there in time for the second set and Danny let's me know the I missed it. Missed what? They had started the first set on time. That may be the first time in modern musical history that that had happened. JAZZ men starting on time? Unbelievable. Unless Buddy Rich was leading the group! The set opens with "Let the Good Times Roll" and it gets the joint jumping. Joe is his usual irrascible self and the audience loves it. Joe sings? the lyric and I control myself. They follow with "A Train" and really swing it. Joe again using his vocal talent? scats a few bars. Couples are up doing the 'jive'. They do "Night Train" which tempts Martine & Jacques to the floor. Brian quotes "Chatanooga Choo-Choo"  and Joe quotes "Hey Bop a Ree Bop". It is fun!  They do "Honeysuckle Rose" in Eb and I take to the floor with a young thing named Claudia. It's what keeps me alive and well(read tired). Joe invites songstress Kathy Chamberlain to the stage. It is Kathy's birthday. She tells Joe that she's a sexy senior citizen and hoes he's a dirty old man. When the laughter dies down, Kathy sings "I'm Confessing That I Love You". For "Bluesette" Joe goes to picollo and Matt delivers a dynamite solo. Danny & Brian trade waltz time 8's. They do "Rte66" in F. How do I know the keys? I have perfect pitch. If you believe that I have this bridge in Broo---

I really dance a 'lindy' with Sandra who can and loves to dance. She smiled the whole way through. "Sweet Home Chicago". Now Denise is my partner. If I say so, we dance well together. Joe challenges the dancers to dance to "Take Five". Noone dares. Brian takes his solo. I'm listening. Is that boogie-woogie I'm hearing? How in the world do you get 8 beats in to a 5 beat bar and make it fit?  I guess you have to be Brian Murphy. Danny as only Danny does blows up the drum kit to close the set. There are a scant few in the house for the last set. Folks should have stayed for this one. Joe opens with an original written for the Miami JAZZ Co-op. It's titled "Cookin' at the JAZZ Coop". It is a 'cooking' bop influenced tune and makes for good listening. Next was Cole Porter's "I Love You". Joe did not sing this one. But it didn't last. Gershwin's "It Ain't Necessarily So" is accompanied by a tale of George's coming to temple and the song was inspired by a Rabbinical chant. Joe attempts a few Jewish phrases. His Yiddish has a Neapolitan flavor. Brian and Joe are featured on a Chick Corea tune. Joe does some masterful sax work on a soft and tender "Send In the Clowns". 

They close the show with "Yardbird Suite" and send me home happy.

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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