Tuesday, January 13, 2015

It's tough to fight...(Dana Paul goes the distance at Miami Jazz Co-op's rent party w/ Allen Kanovsky declaring the winner.)

Submitted by Al Kanovsky 01/13/15

...a cold for everyday guys and gals, like you and I. It's absolutely brutal for a vocalist facing a performance. Dana Paul, brought this oncoming cold to its knees in surrender with his singing last night. 

I haven't seen or heard Dana for a couple of years. He has gone threw several chameleon like changes. Sometimes a dynamic BLUES vocalist, sometimes straight ahead JAZZ, Classic rock, tribute band, on & on. I believe he is really himself when he does JAZZ. Last nights performance the Miami Jazz Cooperative's Rent Party at the Open Stage in Coral Gables proved me right. With the support of Brian Murphy(piano) and Jamie Ousley (bass) the small crowd of JAZZophiles were treated to one of those special nights. In the audience were Joe Donato, Wendy Pedersen, Nanami Miakawa, the Lapins (father & son), Randall Dolahan, my pal Bill Rutan and I. 

Dana opens with "But Not For Me". This set the tone for the rest of the evening. You knew right off the night would 'swing'. Jaimie delivers a rockin' bass solo which leads Dana to a scat portion. Tappin' and clappin' is not out of order. When Dana opts for "Come Home To Me", romance is in his voice. Brian's solo is brilliant(as usual). Dana announces a 'torch ballad'. I think he means 'torch song'. It's a term I haven't heard in maybe 30 years. For those of you who have no grey hairs it means a warm & touching love song. Back in the day a guy would "carry a torch" for a girl, not "have the hots". The song is "Days of Wine & Roses". Brian and Jamie enhance Dana's rendition. Dana has an extreme sense of timing which you keep you leaning forward to listen closely. A rarely heard song "Stolen Moments", enforces that thought. The 2nd set opens with Peggy Lee's composition, "I Love Being Here With You". The only thing missing was a dance partner. The rhythm of the 'swing era' catch Dana, Brian & Jamie and the 'joint is jumping'. Dana invites Louise Gibbs to the stage. 

When Louise and her husband arrived I let them know that the set coming up would be a Jam. She said she sang. I have heard a thousand women tell me that. What I usually get is some form of karaoke singer. Not Louise. She has credible JAZZ chops and proved it with the singing of "Ginjee" and "Autumn Leaves". Dana does a Jerry Nywood (RIP) tune in up-tempo waltz time. His scat is incredible using horn tones.  Keanu Nakundi (bari sax) is a young man dedicated to the JAZZ genre. He does "Lullaby of Broadway" and adds a little funk with the "Work Song". Bari is a difficult instrument to play and carry. His tone and execution was top of the game. Donna Blue is invited up. She opens with some tune about a dead guy. Truth be told, I didn't get it. She instantly redeems herself with a JAZZy styling of "Mood Indigo" in Bb. 

Nanami is next and she delight us by singing "Girl From Ipanema" in Japanese. She has terrific range and an ear for scat and harmonies. She and Jamie are newlyweds and you can see the shiny, new wedding band on Jamie's left hand while he plays bass. 

Dana invites Louise back up to close the show with a BLUES. They improvise lyrics and it is a suitable ending for a night of really good music. 

Wednesday afternoon at the Coral Gables Museum of Art, the MJC has it's season opener at a little after 12. Ample shade is provided. 


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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