Tuesday, July 14, 2015

If I had to travel to the...(To a RENT PARTY, we know Allen Kanovsky would!)

Submitted by Al Kanovsky 07/14/15

…end of the earth and jump off to hear a repeat of last night’s performance, I would.

The Miami JAZZ Co-ops Rent Party was a double header celebration. The gifted acquisition of a Yamaha C2 piano and the bringing together 2 of S. Florida's most brilliant JAZZ stars, Mike Gerber(piano) and Ira Sullivan(horns). Completing the band were Jamie Ousley(bass) and Marc Berner(flutes). The Open Stage Club was jam-packed and additional seating had to be brought in. Giselle and Steve did a great job at the door handling the overflow. Plenty of musicians in the audience including Randall Dollihan, Nanami Morikawa, Jaui Schneider, Joe Donato, Jim Gasior and Silvano Monasterios. The first tune was "Hello Young Lovers"  and Mike takes no time delivering a multi-star solo which inspires the rest of the quartet to greater heights. Ira selects Illinois Jacquet's favorite "Corcovado" and he joins Marc playing flute. It's followed from a way-back, seldom heard song "Yesterdays Are Here Again". The music is way beyond impressive. Mike is now left by himself to play a tune which I think is titled "Introspect". Part of the beauty of JAZZ is, as I often quote Shelly Mann, "JAZZ musicians never play the same song -----once". The variations Mike played were beyond belief. Additionally there was no,at least to me, recognizable time signature. I was informed by Jaui Schneider that the form is called "Rubato"=free form. Marc helped me with the spelling. Ira picks up his trumpet when they do Horace Silver's "Nutville". Whenever Ira plays that horn you know you are going to hear some outstanding be-bop riffs. Mike doesn't let go of it either. Marc & Ira do a wonderfully executed contra portion and Marc takes it out on flute. Ira loves telling the stories around the songs and he does so, describing Ravel's passion for JAZZ. Ravel's "Pavanne For A Dead Princess" was converted to JAZZ and is known as "When the Lamps Are Low". Ira plays tenor on this one and there is a beautiful duet portion with Jamie and Ira. Mr. Sullivan is of the strong opinion that, like in Europe, applause should come only at the end of the number as opposed to the close of a solo. I personally think that most JAZZ musicians appreciate the applause after a well-played solo. The 2nd set opens with "In Walked Bud" a Thelonious Monk Composition which is in the heart of the be-bop generation. Ira played both trumpet and tenor on this one. Mike bent, if that is possible, the bop tune and Jamie played a moving upper register solo. This was followed by 2 of Ira's compositions, "Gee Matthew" & "Monday's Dance". Ira played flugelhorn on the latter and did a stunning contra portion with Marc on flute. Now it was Marc's turn to show a little more of his talent, singing his own composition dedicated to his father. The tune is simply titled "Dad" and reveals how much Marc admired and loved his. Both Ira and Marc play flute on "Estante". It is played in a soft 'bossa' tempo and provides Jamie and Mike the chance to really display their talent. Mike again is given the stage to do "Speak Like A Child". Ira traditionally closes with "Amazing Grace". When Mike is given the opportunity to solo his imagination and creativity go far beyond the beautiful melodic line. Stratospheric would be an appropriate description.

Once again a dynamic evening of JAZZ that will never be heard the same way again. In un-ending gratitude to all the musicians who bring me so much pleasure, THANK YOU!!!

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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