Tuesday, January 20, 2015

If you gamble at all...(...you can take Allen Kanovsky's word that Miami Jazz Co-op's Rent Parties are a sure thing!)

Submitted by Al Kanovsky 01/20/15

...you know that 'doubling down' is a risky betting manuever. You take no risk whatsoever by doubling down with consequitive performances by Jesse Jones Jr. Last night he was the feature at the Miami JAZZ Co-op RentParty at the Open Stage in Coral Gables. The non-risk was enhanced by the all-star rhythm section which had Brian Murphy(piano), Jaimie Ousley(bass), and Lenny Steinberg(drums). The audience wasn't chopped liver either. Randall Dolihan, Larry Lapin, Joe Donato, Gary Keller,Donna Blue, Jim Gasior and Steve Kronicks were among the JAZZ stars in attendance.The 'civilian' population included my buddy Bill, Deborah and Duane, Jeannette Pina and many familiar faces. There were several rookie couples who told me later that they loved it and would be back. Jesse opened the program with "Black Nile". The tune provides lots of opportunity for improvisation and Jesse etal took full advantage. Jesse took the first solo, Brian next and then Jaimie. The formula would remain the same for most of the program. Next was Cannonball's "Sack Of Woe". The Brian/Jaimie team did themselves proud with their sections. The next tune was"Belle Ce Va" which affords Jesse the chance to do some cat vocalization. Jesses interprettion of Hoagy Carmichael's "Stardust" is a tribute to that ever enduring song. You want to swing. O.K. You do "The Best Things In Life Are Free" and pull no punches. Jesse scats it. Brian swngs it and Jaimie definitely has the audiences attention. It would not be a JJJ show without "Song For My Father". Jesses solo is deserving of countless stars. Brian, who Danny Burger, describes as having "2 brains" adds a little clave rhythm to his portion. They open the 2nd set with a Bop tune and Lenny is great using brushes. Jesse opts to do the tune that the "real' Tracy Fields uses to close her Monday night shows, "I'm Coming Home". Jesse utilizes flute on this one. Addtionally it is his chance to do what has become the traditional 'she said' scat. Now it is time for the Jam. Jesse & Co. are joined by Joe Donato(alto), Gary Keller(tenor), Keanu on bari and Steve on percussion. It looks like the rebirth of 'The Four Brothers". They proceed to tearing it up with dynamic solos by each while doing "Just Friends". The tune is one of my favorites and becomes even more so when they all trade 8's, then 4's, then 2's and bring it to a rousing, do your own thing, finish. ooooweeee baby!!!!. I don't think there is an American over 30 who doesn't know Fats Domino's "I'm Walkin'" and it's lyric. There are very few who have heard it JAZZified. I did. Last night. Talk about jamming! Horns blowin', rim shots, keys tinklin', bongos & congas, bass riffin'. It was like the Golden Age of JAZZ. Deborah can't resist and is shaking it in the aisle. Her brother and his wife are visiting. I'm not sure he approved of his sister's behavior but he was enjoying the music. Joe really got into it and is totally exhausted by the time it ends. They slow it down a little with a bouncing "No Greater Love". Gary, Jesse and Keanu are the only remaining saxes as Joe is trying to recover. I have to give Keanu his just do. He is, I believe, still in his teens. He plays a difficult instrument. He stood on stage with the best saxophonists south Florida has to offer. He was more than up to the task and deserving of a big "hand". Steve got his chance with the closing bars and his efforts were well appreciated. Jesse and the trio closed the show with "Caravan" and Jesse's saying,"Peace, Love, and JAZZ. 

I say "Thanks for the music and the life I lead".    

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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