Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Have you ever been to...(If not, just ask a Miami Jazz Cooperative member like Allen Kanovsky for directions!)

Submitted by Al Kanovsky 04/07/15

..."Riff City"? 

No it's not an imaginary joint like "8 BEAT 88". It's a place you get to when you are listening to JAZZ played by creative, imaginative and talented musicians. 

I was there last night when it happened at the Miami JAZZ Co-op's Rent Party at the Open Stage in Coral Gables. On stage were John Hart(guitar), Chuck Bergeron(bass) and on the 4 cymbal kit, John Yarling. Along for the 'ride' with me were lots of musicians including Joe Donato, Lisanne Lyons, Randall Dollihan, Mr. Lapin and Jim Gasior. "Civilians" were Bill Rutan with his daughter-in-law Gabriela, Joel Kruger , Jeannette Pina and about 60 others. The opening tune was "I Hear A Rhapsody". John Hart played the intro and first solo. He travelled far afield with very original thoughts and mixing in some "Long Ago and Far Away". Chuck followed and provided an impressive solo. John Yarling was using brushes brilliantly. The trio rode to the finish with a series of refreshing 8s. They followed with the too seldom heard "Chelsea Bridge". The trio matched the work they had done on the first tune. As the audience listened to the music, they sat in rapt silence, enjoying every riff, pleased by every note. I didn't get the titles of the next 3 but titles were unimportant. The musicianship was and I paid close attention. Chuck continued to amaze me. The 2 Johns, guitar & drums, played off each other in a language that only music provides. 2 original compositions of John Hart's were next. Complex melodies and even more complex charts for all. Hoagy Carmichael's "Skylark" is a JAZZ favorite for good reason. If you want 'flights of fancy'  this tune provides all the possibilities. They did a Thelonious Monk tune at a breakneck tempo. Chuck took command-----John Y using the brushes to create excitement-----John H. adding 10,000 notes and ending with a long series of 4's.The 2nd set opened with a swinging tune which I assume had n title. Just a solid rhythmic swinging melodic line. That's the tune that brought to mind 'riff city. Another John Hart original, "Indivisible" and the th JAM as on. Taking the stage was Gary Keller(tenor) along with John Hart's 2 sons Jake on alto and Sa on keyboard. Diego Melba took over on guitar. The group did "All the Things You Are" and "Stella By Starlight". Gary and Jim led the young'uns to a really 'good listening' experience for them and all of us. 

Thanks for the music.   

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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