Monday, January 19, 2015

There aren't many things...(... that Allen Kanovsky misses out on, like Martin Hand's first Sunday at Q-Bar and local performances by Allan Harris!)

Submitted by Al Kanovsky 01/19/15

...that can get me away from watching a championship football game. Harder yet when there are two to be seen. 

Well one of these things is a chance to see Jesse Jones Jr. and Allan Harris together. Throw in Doug Wimbish on bass, Dave Chiverton playing drums and Michael Ferre on piano/keys and I had 5 good reasons to turn off the tube. Last nights performance by this quintet not only provided musical enjoyment but an insight into black history dating back to the days when slavery existed. It was told by Allan & Doug. No boring dates or facts. It was history as lived by them and their families. Lore handed down by word of mouth and not written in books. Telling about the Black Seminole slaves escaping to the West and becoming legends as cowboys when the west was still wild and unsettled. I learned more about the Freedom Movement of Martin Luther King than you can find in any tome. This 'show' should be in every schoolhouse, every house of worship of every denomination. It should be heard by folks of every color, as Doug put it "No matter black, white, blue, red or green." The message could bring us back to the America we all love so dearly. Back to when the flag flew over "the land of the FREE and the home of the brave" and school children pledged allegiance to that flag. The musical program was interlaced with the stories. Allan's first song was "Summertime". It's from the American opera "Porgy & Bess" which tells of the lives of poor Southern 'colored' folks. Doug tells of his family history. He grew up in 'modern times'. Raised in a musical family with a rich background. He is a distant cousin of James Brown. His musical accompaniments "The World Is A Ghetto". Both Doug (bass) and Michael (piano) play moving solos. Allan tells about Jimi Hendrix and the social mores of the time when Allan was a youngster growing up in Bed-Stuy in Brooklyn. It was told with feeling and delivered a powerful message. Doug plays the intro to a funky, clave laced version of "On Broadway". Jesse gets his chance. Playing sax,scatting and then singing through his horn. What can I say except Jesse Jones Jr. During this song, Allan tells of the times 'down South' when the only employment open to folks of color were "pluck, plaw or plant". Doug stands up and delivers a top end bass solo which has every one in the audience gasping in utter amazement. I, personally, have never heard anything like that before. Dave gets to show off his touch and draws a well deserved round of applause. "Blackbird" is a song handed down for generations. It is the story of a black girl seeking escaping to freedom. Allan invites audience members, who know the lyrics, to sing along. Jesse takes a solo on flute. 

A story about slavery is told musically by Doug. 'Those That You Know, Out The Way". The final tune was "What's Goin' On" with Allan singing and soulful solos by Doug, Jesse and Michael. This show should be on nationwide tour. 

Somebody out there that wants America to come back together should think about it. 

It's way early and the Q-Bar is initiating its Sunday JAZZ program. The Martin Hand (guitar) trio with James McCoy (bass) and Kirk Driscool (drums) will be the host band. They have just started when I arrive.

All three are masters of their instruments and you don't have to be a musical savant to recognize their talent. I'm in time to hear them do "Doxie", "Green Dolphin Street", "I Get a KIck Out Of You", "'round Midnight"  and "Sir Duke". Monl to Wonder and back. But it's all JAZZ. And great. Made even better by the arrival of Ms.Jackie Deering. During "'round Midnight". Doug played his drums with his hands a la conga players. It was effective and added an unusual flavor to the rendition. Martin and James both did vocals. Instrumentalist rating: Superb. Vocal rendition: Better than Joe Donato. 

The last set opens with a really jumping "Jitterbug Waltz". It was written by 'Fats" Waller in the early days of "jitterbugging" (mid-30s) and is still a favorite of JAZZ musicians. Both Martin and James serve up outstanding solo portions. They follow with "Let's Stay Together". "Billie's Bounce" a be-bop standard, gives James the opportunity to really show-off. Let it be known that James will never pass up those kind of opportunities. Martin does not let him get away with it without delivering on his own. 

The Q-Bar is new venue for live music in S. Florida. It's owner, Chef Laurent, is dedicated to the mission. It is worthy of the support of JAZZophiles and BLUESiacs and even the 'snowbirds'.        

Allen Harris

The Bridge

Doug & Jesse

Live at QBar! Martin Hand Sunday Night Guitar Trio Every Sunday Night!

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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