Tuesday, July 21, 2015

A Celebration of...(Or, in the case of Allen Kanovsky, ANOTHER celebration w/ the Miami Jazz Co-op)

Submitted by Al Kanovsky 07/21/15

…Cole Porter and the American Songbook.

Cole Porter was "to the manor born". He was privileged to say the least. His family paid tuition both at Harvard & Yale. They wanted him to be a lawyer. He chose writing songs.

Last night at the Open Stage in Coral Gables, the Miami JAZZ Co-op, paid tribute to this prolific composer and lyricist. The rhythm section had Kai Sanchez on bass, Lenny Steinberg at the kit, Sandy Poltarack playing guitar and the affable Jaui Schneider at their recently acquired Yamaha C2 and doubling as host.

The show opened with Joe Donato clad in a bright purple satin shirt, matching tie and pocket puff. Fortunately he did bring his sax. He also chose to sing. (No comment). I defer because he helped found the Co-op for which I will be forever grateful. Joe opened with "Anything Goes" an example of Cole Porter's lyrical acumen. Then it was all fun with "Don't Fence Me In" with Joe defining the word 'hobbles" for those of us who didn't pass High School English. Sandy had the chance to shine with beautiful guitar work on "I Love You". Jack Siegel, flugelhorn in hand, did "Get Out Of Town" with everyone taking a solo shot. Harvey Nevins (clarinet) was celebrating his 90th birthday. Jack said that Harvey was really 91 but that he was sick for a year.

The first time I heard that joke was in 1947 when B.S. Pully had it as part of his routine.

They did "It's Da Lovely" and then "What Is This Thing Called Love". The years have not cost Harvey any of his JAZZ chops. They ended with an all-around round of 4's. Daphna Rose and son Charlie (bass) were up to do "True Love" in a bossa rhythm. Ms. Brenda Alford, well recognized children's educator and JAZZ vocalist, did an unusual version of "Miss Otis Regrets".

Then it was Wendy Pedersen's turn. Hair up. No make-up. Slow BLUES shuffle rhythm and "My Heart Belongs To Daddy". If you didn't hear it last night you will never hear it ever. A once in a lifetime rendition that brought the audience out of their seats. Jaui was inspired enough to do what I can only describe as a powerhouse solo.

Super-glamorous Paulette Dozier to the stage to enchant us with "I Get A Kick Out Of You". Jack Wishkowsky accompanied Paulette on trumpet. Debbie Orta always makes my heart skip a beat and she did it again last night with "You'd Be So Easy To Love". Sandy does wonders on the guitar along with Jaui on the piano. Hana Dolgin is next, playing alto and doing a seldom heard tune "Every Thing I Love". Kai has an opportunity to show his finesse on bass. Lucien Williams is up to do "I Love All Of You". No vocal variations or tricks. As written.

An old friend, Kevin Campfield, is next with his rendition of "I Got You Under My Skin". Kevin has every woman in the audience wishing.

At last. A man with a horn. Tom McCormick (tenor sax) to do a jumping, jiving, JAZZy "Love For Sale". Sandy, Jaui, Kai and Lenny all pitch in. Brenda returns to do "Night and Day" in a duet with Tom. Real nice!!!. Kevin is back to do "After You". It wasn't the one as done by June Christy with the Kenton band a thousand years ago. Keanu playing soprano sax joins Wendy for an up-tempo "It's All right With Me" --- you betcha! --- Lucien again playing it straight (no chaser) does "Begin the Beguine". Only the Guy Lombardo band could have played it more as written.

Debbie Orta gets to close the show. Well past the 11PM time with "Every time You Say Goodbye" the line that follows is "I cry a little". I didn't cry but was sad that such an incredible night of music was ending.

At my table were Bill Rutan and Jojo. Bill loved it because he knew the words to all of the songs. At the next table was long-time friend Bette Forman with Susan Brender.  Susan hosts a podcast, V for Vitality and she charmed me with her smile and exuberance. Thanks to all the musicians who made last night very special. ------- Maybe it's Susan's honey-blond hair.

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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