Saturday, January 31, 2015

There's no fool like...(And Allen Kanovsky ain't fooling around here!)

Submitted by Al Kanovsky 01/31/15 old fool and there's no JAZZophile like a really old JAZZophile. This one did the JAZZ marathon yesterday. 

It started at the Miami Wine Exchange (open only 6 months) where they have live JAZZ, Bossa, and BLUES. The musicians were Maryann (vocals) and Michael (guitar). They did employ some rhythm tracks. I normally don't review acts with tracks but Michael had laid these tracks down himself so no engineering tricks were employed. Maryann's voice is well suited for JAZZ/BLUES and Michael's backing complements her stylings. The place is small, 8 seats at the bar and 10 tables for 2. There are hookahs available for use and a very nice wine selection at $6 & $7 a glass. Interesting menu. The duo played just as advertised. Some Bossa/Samba, some JAZZ and some BLUES. They did "Desifinado", "The Way You Look Tonight", "Caravan" and "Summertime" in Bossa time, "Drink Muddy Water", "Stormy Monday", the "oohba" tune with Michael playing 'dumbek',a novelty, "Be My Sugar Daddy" and closed the set with "A Day In the Life of a Fool". I thank Felicity (owner) for dedicating herself to a live music program and take off for "Soykas". 

The owner has made presenting live "JAZZ" at his restaurants part of his life work. It is truly commendable. Tonight they had Mike Orta (piano), brother Nicky (bass guitar) and Carlomag(nific)o Araya playing drums. Mike and Nicky's Mom was in the audience and their and my friend Carlos showed up as well. When I sat down, a soft voice sounded over my shoulder. "Can I get you a menu, or something like that?" I turned and said, "Yes, something like that." The voice belonged to the owner's lovely daughter. I told her that one of my first poetic endeavors was titled " or sumthin like dat" written for a fellow inmate named "Cheech". The trio is playing a tune titled "Old Folks". They follow with "You and the Night and the Music". They take turns with the solos and I settle down to 'good listening' with Kathy (the Orta's Mom). They do "Doxy" to a Latin beat and then "Joy" to end the set. The 2nd set turns out to be one of those moments we spend our time, listening to music for. It opened with "Autumn Leaves". The audience, filled with chattering diners,stilled to listen. Mike is brilliant. Nicky won't be left behind. Carlomagno keeps them in line trading 4's with each. They follow with a composition whose title starts with "Para ???????-I didn't catch the rest. The tune changes rhythms and time signatures several times in its course. Latin, ballad, swing, are all employed. Carlomagn(ific)o shows why I call him that. Next was "Skylark". Carlo uses his brushes and all the dynamics of drumming. Carlos has requested "Just In Time". The trio does it up-tempo, jumping it. Nicky 'shows off' and then they trade 8's all around. Everybody loves "Georgia" but no one will ever duplicate Mike's solo last night. Breathtaking would be the only word to describe it. The next tune was "What Are You Doing the Rest of Your Life" and romance returns to the room. 

Talking about romance, Mike and the lovely Luz Marina Salazar will be at The Fish House on St. Valentines Day. 

Things don't stay calm for long. "Jitterbug Waltz". I don't know if it's Mike's first sip of wine in over a year that's making him play like he is but, man oh man oh man. Sibling rivalry brings Nicky to incredible heights in return. All three of them should be placed "under arrest" for violation of normal play. They have us all shakin' to the rhythm of "One Note Samba" to end the set. 

I'm off to Le Chat Noir for an Israeli import Nadav Remez (guitar). With Nadav are David Leon (alto sax), Jamie Ousley (bass), Tal Cohen (piano) and Michael Piolet on drums. Unfortunately, I didn't catch the titles of the tunes played but did get the message. The harmonics were definitely Middle Eastern. You could hear 'temple calls' and synagogue chants in the chord structures and rhythms. Nadav and David were playing beautiful solos as well as some dynamic unison work. The songs included one that Nadav had written for his Grandmother shortly before her passing. Another was a traditional melody played on the eve of the Sabbath. The mix of today's JAZZ and the mystique of the Middle East was intriguing. David's Mom and Dad were in the audience and enjoyed the presentation. David and Nadav had met last year at a Conference For Creative Music held in Canada last year. They prove to be a formidable force in today's JAZZ world.      


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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