Thursday, January 29, 2015

How do you get a...(Around like Allen Kanovsky? Drive, drive, drive!)

Submitted by Al Kanovsky 01/26/15

..nice Jewish boy into a church on Sunday? Easy. Present a live JAZZ program. If you want him to be on time have musicians like Joe and Kathleen Donato, Brian Murphy, Jamie Ousley, John Yarling and Randall Dollahon. It happens once a month at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Miami from January thru April. Joe informed the audience that they would be playing "pop". That is the popular music of the 30's and 40's composed by the most creative of the writers of the time. He started the program with Jerome Kern's "Dearly Beloved". Brian played the intro and then they all took a turn at soloing. They ended the tune by each trading 8s with John. I don't know how but Brian seems to nudge certain tunes toward Latin rhythms. He did it on this one. Continuing with Kern, Joe invites his wife, Kathleen, to the mic to sing "Long Ago and Far Away". One of the lyric lines goes "and now that dream is here beside me". What a lovely thought. Joe mentions that Danny Thomas once remarked that Kathleen was better than Joe. No doubt about it. Especially in the vocal Department. Enjoying the performance with me are buddy Bill and our pal Louise. Also Joe's best friend Joel Kruger and Rick Katz(Miami JAZZ Co-op). Joel was the 'shidach' maker. Introducing Joe to Rick resulting in the birth of the Miami JAZZ Co-op. Next, in chronological order is Irving Berlin. The song was originally written for one of Irving's publishers girl friends and was titled "I'll Be Loving You, Mona". Mona eventually became "Always" and an all time classic. Joe is playing his bent soprano and delivers as tender a solo as I've ever heard. Brian and Jamie reflect his mood. Kathleen returns to do "I'm Putting All My Eggs In One Basket". Berlin wrote it in 1932 in the early years of the 'swing era' and Brian knows how to 'swing it'. Now we come to George Gershwin and Kathleen does a great job on "Someone To Watch Over Me" making you believe every word. Daniell McCloud is in the audience and Joe invites him up to do "Somebody Loves Me". JAZZ,JAZZ,JAZZ. You can't leave out Richard Rodgers and they do "Blue Moon". Brian introduces the tune in a slow ballad time. John utilizes mallets for dramatic rolls and cymbal work.

If you do Rodgers can Col Porter be far behind. Joe returns to alto. John is playing with a stick in his left hand and a brush in his right. Brian and Jamie's solos on "I Love You" are as romantic as the tune itself. Porter, among the sophisticated 'pop' composers also wrote "Don't Fence Me In". We almost got through a whole set without Joe(Yussel to me) singing. Not quite lucky enough. He can sell a song and I visualize him in chaps and a ten-gallon hat, riding fence in Oklahoma, singing "Don't Fence Me In". Fortunately it was only a momentary illusion. Kathleen returns to close the set with Harold Arlen's
"Bye,Bye,Baby". The 2nd set will showcase the JAZZ composers. Duke Ellington wrote "Azalea" for Louis Armstrong. It should be played more often. Joe sits at the piano for this one. I didn't know he played. Somehow or other, maybe it's the song, but he sounds better on this one. He steps away fom the keys and puts both the saxes to his lips for "Satin Doll". The lyric was written by Johnny Mercer but Joe doesn't sing it. 'Is there a saying about 'small favors'? They follow with George Shearing's "Lullaby Of Broadway". Joe plays piccolo. John takes a 5* solo. Now Joe quotes Dizzy's statement of "No BLUES, No JAZZ!" and Kathleen returns to do a duet with Joe on "You're My Centerpiece". During Brian's solo he quotes Monk's "Straight No Chaser". Joe does a credible scat and Jamie bops his solo. Cannonball Adderley wrote and the band plays "Things Are Getting Better All the Time". They all take 2 bar breaks and it jumps. Randall not only plays but is a brilliant composer. They do one of his tunes, which for now is titled "4.99". It is a soft ballad and Joe utilizes the soprano and both he and Brian do really nice pieces. Joe wrote one based on the chord changes of Benny Golson's "Along Came Betty". Joe calls his "Cookin' at the JAZZ Coop". It is dedicated to the Miami JAZZ Co-op and it 'cooks'. 

I escape the church and head for Martin Hand/ James McCoy Sunday Jam at the Q Bar in Ft. Lauderdale. If you are a JAZZophile don't miss these sessions. If you are a musician, bring your ax and sit-in. I'm in time for some of the first set which included "Let's Call the Whole Thing Off", Wes Montgomery's "Road Song", "Moonlight In Vermont" and "I've Got You Under My Skin". Martin(guitar) and James(bass) share vocals and George Mateo is at the skins. I try not to single out musical performance. It would be an injustice if I didn't say if you're not listening to Martin Hand you are not listening to JAZZ guitar. He lifts James and James lifts him to higher heights of performance. The 2nd set opens with "Invitation" They do it to a Brazilian Carnaval beat and George gets a chance to show off. Denise Shuster (one of my dance partners) joins me at the bar. She is delighted with the appearance and ambience of this new music venue. They do a Clifford Brown composition with solos by Martin and James that keep you listening to every note and chord. Probably one of the best melodies ever written is "Harlem Nocturne". Last night was the night to hear it done and done to perfection. The last set is opened with Jocko Pastorius' "Three Views of a Secret". Jocko's compositions are a constant reminder of his brilliance.R.I.P.

No night of JAZZ is complete without a little Cole Porter and so we get to hear "I Get A Kick Out Of You". They close the evening with a little "Sting". "Fragile" is the tune. It puts Denise in a romantic mood. She kisses me-----on the cheek and says 'Good Night'. So much for romance. 

Next week no JAZZ at the Q Bar------Super Bowl!!!!!!!-----Following week, new times. 5PM 'til 9PM. Bring your body and your ax.       

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?" 

 ~ ~ ~

~ ~ ~
Posted by Jazz & Blues Florida
Please visit to see the scene.
Or, just use this FORM to sign up to have
Florida's jazz & blues news delivered to your inbox.
And, if you like what you see here, please HIT THAT FACEBOOK SHARE BUTTON below!

Did you know that as Florida’s ONLY promotion platform for live jazz & blues:
We have the only monthly publication dedicated to previews of upcoming jazz and blues shows in Florida at 
We have the most comprehensive festival page for Florida jazz & blues at
We have the most complete listing of Florida jazz & blues performances at
We have the most comprehensive and active news blog for Florida jazz & blues news
We have the most complete and current listing of Florida jazz and blues links at
We have the largest email notification system for upcoming jazz and blues events in Florida

No comments :

Post a Comment