Saturday, January 10, 2015

There is a giant among us. (And Allen Kanovsky knows his Giants!)

Submitted by Al Kanovsky 01/09/15

His name is Federico Britos. Sr. Britos was born in Uruguay and started playing violin before his age was in double digits. He has won several Grammy awards including the Latin version. His recording history reads like the Congressional Record. Last night I was privileged to listen to him and his band "Hot Club of the Americas" perform at Le Chat Noir in downtown Miami. It was a celebration of the release of their CD with the same title as the band name. With Federico were Jorge Garcia (guitar), Felix Gomez (piano), Edwin Bonilla (percussion), Renyel Rivero (bass) and Carlomag(nific)o Araya at the kit. I arrived late and was fortunate to find a seat. Wall to wall JAZZophiles. I was there in time to catch the last tune of the first set, "La Vie En Rose". Every band member is an exceptional musician and their talent is fully displayed with each solo. Seated nearby is vocalist Susan Behar with her husband. In a short while I am joined by Holly Spillane. The 2nd set begins with a swinging version of "Exactly Like You". You can imagine yourself in pre WWII Paris. Listening to Django & Stefan. They take turns with solos and keep inspiring one another to new heights of performance.Edwins piano solo included a quote of "A Train".   It is not unusual for audiences in concert halls to cheer in appreciation. It is seldom that you hear that in JAZZ clubs. Last night cheers rained down after every song. They play a Bossa Nova and then a Django Reinhart composition. Federico's solo portion included some pizacotto phrases. During this tune Edwin was given his turn to shine and shine he did. It was a set up for the amazing solo when the band did "Dark Eyes". This tune was originally a Russian gypsy song. My Dad, a Russian immigrant would sing it in a whiskey laced baritone on Sundays when the family enjoyed dinner. The band does it in clave rhythm. My father would have no idea what they were doing but if he past the third brandy I am sure he would clap and tap along. We are carried back to the Swing Era with "Honeysuckle Rose". Again the solos have the crowd cheering every solo. Carlo(magnific)o is tearing down the walls and Edwin is beyond belief on the congas. The set ends and no one wants to leave the room. It was filled with 'good vibrations' and friendship. Great JAZZ does that to folks. Everyone is talking about the musicians and thanking them for their performance. Joy is in the room. Gio makes me a double espresso and Alexis serves up a great dessert. Gio introduces me to a lovely, young Uruguayan, named Erika. She promises to "hook" me up with her Mom. A picture is shown and you can see where Erika got her good looks. Erika (accent on the last syllable) lets me know her mother is very smart. I don't know, but I think I am showing more interest in dumb blondes!!!

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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