Thursday, January 1, 2015

It was just one of those...(One of the many, many nights for great jazz for Allen Kanovsky & The Miami Jazz Co-op!)

Submitted by Al Kanovsky 12/30/14

...nights. One of those moonlit South Florida nights.

The Open Stage in Coral Gables and the incredible Miami Saxophone Quartet is there as the main show for the Miami Jazz Cooperative's weekly Rent Party (*see below). Ed Calle, Gary Keller, Gary Lindsay and Mike Brignola. If you love JAZZ like I love JAZZ that would be all that I should have to say. Just use an alphabetical list of superlatives to describe the music I listened to last night. 

Add Ian Munoz, Joe Donato, Jaui Schneider and Wendy Pedersen  to make it complete with coffee and cake. The rhythm section wasn't chopped liver either. Gary Thomas (bass), Max Farber (piano) and Jack Ciano (drums). 

The program started with the Quartet playing without a rhythm section. Most of what they play are originals with members contributing charts. The opener was a holiday staple, "Winter Wonderland". I was collecting 'the rent' at the door and missed many of the titles. I didn't miss any of the music. The Quartet held the audience spellbound as they played tunes going from "Winter" to Jelly Roll's "Black Bottom Stomp" to Gary Thomas's solo on "Con Alma". Kurt Weil to Toots Theilman to Paul Desmond to tunes like "Blue Monk". It was a first set that will be well remembered. 

The 2nd set is the Jam and young (11, maybe 12 years) Ian Munoz steps up with his tenor sax, which is only a few inches shorter than Ian. He and Gary Keller put it into gear with Bop melodies. Now the rhythm section is in place and 'the joint is jumpin'. Wendy can't or won't sit still and let this just go by. She joins the group as Jaui takes over the keyboard. Gary Lindsay accompanies her as she does "Lover Man" and "Lullaby of Broadway". Tom Williams has joined the band on bass. Gary Keller and Gary Lindsay both give it all with their respective solos. Joe Donato takes the stage with his horn but chooses to start "What Are You Doing New Years" vocally. 

I do live for his singing (but barely). Now he plays the sax and my heart starts beating again. Wendy doesn't give Joe a chance at singing the final chorus and I'll be forever grateful. Don't get me wrong. Joe can carry a tune and sell a song. It's just that --- I don't know. And that's true about a lot of stuff. 

Mike Brignola is holding Jackie D. in his arms and moving his feet. It's almost dancing. They look good together. 

Joe calls "My Buddy" done in waltz time. It's a perfect way to end the evening --- and then the sky came crashing down.

Car trouble --- tow truck --- long wait. Saving grace! The 'angel' Wendy hangs with me until the tow truck comes. We covered the music'biz', politics, faith, how to raise kids and solved most of the world's problems. Thanks Wendy. You are not only "The Take Out Queen" you are a 'stand-up' gal.

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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