Thursday, January 29, 2015

There are sections of society...(And Allen Kanovsky crosses all those sections!)

Submitted by Al Kanovsky 01/29/15

...that consider double dipping chips as 'gauche'. If  politicians do it, it's absolutely corrupt. JAZZophiles, like me, do it at every opportunity. I'm talking about catching two different performances, at two separate locations, at different times of the day. 

Early afternoon in Coral Gables for the Miami JAZZ Co-op weekly 'JAZZ In The Gables' concert and in the evening Danny Burgers Showcase in Ft. Lauderdale. I did catch a brief nap in between. The concert------The lovely Dr. Lisanne Lyons, accompanied by John Hart on guitar & Tom Williams playing bass. Simple, concise and absolutely wonderful. The program opened with John & Tom playing "Days Of Wine & Roses" immediately catching the audiences attention. Lisanne, tall, blond and beautiful is dressed for the weather. Black leather jacket, boots and all. She opens with "You'd Be So Nice To come Home To". the operative line being "You'd be so nice by the fire"  . There is a chill in the air but we are all warmed by the performance. Tom and John's hands are somewhat affected by the weather but their solos provide the necessary 'heat' to keep the circulation going. Lisanne scats a chorus or two and you can't help being impressed by her range. She does "In The Still Of The Night" in bossa rhythm and audience members are leaning forward to catch every note. Next was "I Thought About You" with Tom & John doing extended and super solos. Lisanne's scat portion displays a creative understanding of melodic and rhythmic lines. She knows JAZZ. The set ends with "You'd Be So Easy To Love". I look at her. Listen to her and think "How true!"------Ms. Dr. Lyons is engaged. He is a great guy.
The 2nd set has the duo doing a bopper and has us all T'n and C'n. Lisanne takes the mic to do "One Note Samba" Scat lines abounding. She is making people dance in their seats . No! That is not what is commonly called a "chair dance". One of my all-time favorites, from way back 'when' is "All Of Me". Lisanne swings it and includes her own JAZZ'd up lyrics. Tom does some stuff on bass that is close to unbelievable. A very tender "Nearness Of You" tells us all what love is all about. When Dr. Lyons does "The Way You Look tonight" she takes the opportunity to display the dynamics of her vocalization and her deep understanding of the JAZZ idiom. They close with "Stardust". Lovely. None of the audience wants to leave but the curtain has come down on this afternoons wonderful performance..
I am starving. (not unusual for fat guys). I am fain to admit it but Taco Bell has some good(was going to say great but good is more like it)stuff for a buck. I spend 3 and stuff my "fach". Home for that nap. 

Monday night a bunch of us helped Maria Rivas celebrate a G-d Blessed birthday at the Miami JAZZ Co-ops Rent Party at the Open Stage. I believe in the Lord and I believe in birthdays, having celebrated a few myself. Last night we continued this celebration of His 'gift of Life' with Maria's appearance with Danny Burger (the brushmeister) again with Brian Murphy on the piano and adding Nicky Orta on bass. My friends(snowbirds) Michael and Joseph have finally made it to Fl. and have some family with them. BJB's is packed. The usual suspects (sans Babette still in recovery) pack the house. 

I have brought Maria a birthday gift of some of Flo's jewelry. It is all costume and not custom. Flo,may she Rest In Peace, knew it was how it looked rather than how it was priced. Maria selected a pair of earrings to wear this night. She and Flo were good friends. Maria opens with "Our Love Is Here To Stay". She swings and scats as Brian brings it to greater and greater heights. As I have said before, performers have a penchant for doing "Lush Life" when I am in the house. Tonight, Maria dedicates it "to me".  Nicky delivers a moving bass solo, enhancing the mood of the tune. I recognize the next one but can't recall the title. It is a bop riff with no lyric and therefore no clue. Maria does straight scatonics and Danny, Brian and Nicky catch-up and hang on. OOOOWEEEE BABY! It is a burner. Maria takes a short break as the trio does an instrumental. Maria returns with "Autumn Leaves" in French, Spanish and Portuguese. Both Brian and Nicky are brilliant on this one. There are all kinds of lyrics fo "Night In Tunisia". Maria's version is in Spanish and it is hot, hot, hot. Brian does one of his, almost expected, 5* solos. Danny will not be outdone and 'blows' the kit up. Only Maria can get awat with doing "Funny Valentine" the way she does. Funky, and I mean FUNKY. Lots of scat and plenty of rhythm provided by the section. I am introduced to Ignacio Izcaray, a South American composer, who has written a song, in English, for Maria which will be presented at Maria's next perfromance with Danny Burger. Paying tribute to Jobim, Maria opens the 2nd set with the lovely ballad "Poco, Poco" Romantic as only Latins have been known to be. She follows with "Girl From Ipanema" A true Samba beat which intensifies and increases in tempo until Maria scats it out at an incredible speed of tongue. There is no way to follow that except for the Yiddish swing tune "Bei Mir Bist Du Schoen". It is done in moderate 'lindy' time. Brian does a little 'rag' some 'stride' and even a little 'Ellington'. Nicky's solo has everyone clapping in time. Maria dos "I Got Rhythm" up tempo, with lots of scat lines. Brian and nicky keep pace and Danny is doing his thing with brushes. I must have said it one hundred times before but no one does "Besame Mucho" like Maria. It is fun. It is tragic. It tells of love. It tells of heartbreak. Maria invites me up to dance with her, off-stage. It is a thrill. The trio does one and then Maria returns with two tender songs, "We'll Be Together Again" and "All The things You Are". She and I have spoken about how someday we will all be together again in His house. When they return  Maria does her inimitable "Summertime"  She follows with dedicating "My Romance" to Flo & I, Debbie & Nicky and all those who have had true ROMANCE in their lives. Nicky's solo shows he knows what it is.  Her "Rte 66" is unusual, to say the least. I have invented the word 'scatatronic' to describe it. She has had such a good time that when she wants to do "Night and Day" she starts with the opening lines of "One Note Samba". Hey listen, there are no mistakes in JAZZ. They transpose, change keys and go right into "Night". She laughs, the trio laughs, most n the audience didn't know what really happened. What confused Maria was the Samba rhythm the trio had started with. They trade 8's to take the song out. Maria closes the show with singing an emotional "Jinjee", verse and all. During one of the breaks Maria sketched a self-portrait on my notepad. ----see below.  

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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