Thursday, February 26, 2015

It was a bright & sunny afternoon,(...that led to the brighter neon of 33rd & Danny Burger's Showcase for Allen Kanovsky)

Submitted by Al Kanovsky 02/26/15

...puffy white clouds drifted lazily across the blue sky. And there was music to be heard on the Plaza of the Coral Gables Museum of Art. 

The Miami JAZZ Co-op presents a weekly concert on Wednesday from 12:15 to 2Pm. This day it was the UM's Frost School of Music Choral group. 6 singers and a 4 piece rhythm section. The chorale had an equal balance of guys & gals( I am old enough to get away with terms like that). East, west, north & south were represented. Sherrine Master, Danielle Wetz, & Alianna Eikrug  were the distaff members. Elliot Weeks, Dan Montgomery and Lowell Ringel were the men. All under the direction of Karen Kennedy. The program was designed to show-off this talented groups harmonic capability. It did. 

An audience of a little over 100, sat, listened and applauded the music presented. The rhythm section of Tal Cohen, Harlan Pocquette, Bob Bruyer and Kyle Swan did some work on its own as well.  If these young people are representative of the future of music, I look forward to being there to listen. Among the tune titles were "You Are There", Weightless", and "Shade of the Cedar Tree". The harmonies were complex but were accomplished with ease. It is the result of many hard hours at practice. Thank you all for a delightful couple of hours.

The sun sets. Happy hour pricing is in effect. There are not many things aside from live music and live sex that interest me as much as 2for1 or 1/2 price adult beverages. I head for BJB's not only to quaff but to Danny Burger's Showcase which, this week, features Maria Rivas. To say she is a favorite of mine would be understating the case. Maria is the essence of life. The vivacity of her performance belies the terrible disease she has overcome. She is living testament that faith in the Lord and 21st century medicine can provide miracles. I will now step down from the pulpit and get to the nitty-gritty.

Her rhythm section has Danny (the brushmeister) Burger at the kit. The masterful Nicky Orta on electric bass and the one and only two brained pianist, Brian Murphy, working the 88s.  The house is packed. Not a seat to be found except the very end booth. You know, the ones closest to the 'terlets'. Buddy Bill is expected and so I dump the avoirdupois into the vacant booth. Babette, recovering from a fall, is out for the first time in a long time and she is greeted warmly. Will my blessing ever cease? Denise Shuster (dance partner extraorinaire) is in the house. Oh yeah!!!!. From a funky "Funny Valentine" to a salsified "Night In Tunisia". "Route 66" to "Girl From Ipanema". "My Romance", "It Don't Mean A Thing", "Jinjee", "Stardust", "Our Love Is Here To Stay", "All the Things You Are" and even an impassioned "Come Together". Wait a sec. How about this Venezuelan JAZZ star doing a little accented Yiddish with "Bei Mir Bis Do Shain". I danced with Denise as long as my legs held out. Maria joined us a couple of times. 

The last note faded into the the half-moon night and off I went with thoughts of a day and night well spent.

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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