Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Most guys know what a 'hat trick' is...(And it isn't grabbing your hat and leaving before the check arrives, right, Allen Kanovsky?)

Submitted by Al Kanovsky 07/28/15

Most women (note the use of the politically correct usage) do not. Most people of either sex know the term triple play. A hat trick is 3 goals scored by one player in a single hockey game. A triple play indicates getting three "outs" in a single play. I didn't have any idea what a hat trick was until the winter of 1955 when I was dating a young lady from Chicago. She had me at Madison Square Garden whenever the Blackhawks hit the Apple ice. She taught me what a 'hat trick' was. There were other lessons as well. This weekend I achieved that wonder.

It didn't happen in one place or at one time but it seemed that the 3 events were seamless.

It started with the South Florida Jazz Hall of Fame inductions on Saturday. Later in the evening it was Maria Rivas, Danny Burger, Nicky Orta and Maria Rivas in my hang in Ft. Lauderdale. The capper was the Miami JAZZ Co-ops Rent Party which hosted Sammy Figueroa's CD Release party.

The latest of Sammy's prolific career is characteristic of the Latin JAZZ of the future. How does an all-star band look? Let's start with Silvano Monasterios on piano & keyboard. Add Mr.Gabriel Vivas on upright bass. Put 2 horns, John Michalak (tenor/soprano) and Cisco Dimas (trumpet/flugelhorn). Hidden in the back is Mike Piolet on drums and putting himself out front (actually behind the congas) Senor Sammy Figueroa.

The tunes they played were all off the album titled "The Imaginary World" and included compositions/arrangements by Gabriel and Silvano. The first one was Silvanos's "Bittersweet". The melody and rhythms were beyond complex but maintained your interest due to the outstanding play of all on the stand. Lots of new ideas and imagination. A clue to the CD title. Technique and the understanding of dynamics are what make percussionists outstanding. Sammy stands alone. The young Mike Piolet is fast building his reputation. I think every JAZZ bassist in S. Florida was there to dig Gabriel Vivas, including Matt Bonelli, Paul Shewchuk and Nicky Orta. Vocalist Debby Orta was there as well. Gabriel's composition "Misteriosa" is a study in musical perfection. I spied Yoel Del Sol (Oriente/congas) picking up on Sammy's figures.

At the start of the 2nd set Sammy played an instrument known as an "oudoo". It looks like a jug but has all the tones of a 'cajon'. Twice during the evening Sammy used mallet sticks on the sides of the congas for repetitive rhythms. The first one went Tokatikatok. The other one went Takatikatik.. I would need a Doctorate in Percussive rhythms to explain the difference but they were definitely different. The final tune was again a Silvano composition, "Pearl of the Flow”.

It was SRO. Giselle and Steve did a great job at the door. Rick Katz announced all the upcoming events. (August 3: Hal Roland Trio; August 10: Maria Rivas; August 17: Tom McCormick) The music was over and I turned my full attention to one of the most beautiful women who was in the room. She is Cisco Dimas' girl friend. 83 years have stolen her name from me, but not her image. I asked her if her Mother had ever told her about trumpet playing JAZZ men. She replied in the negative. I moved just a little closer and tripped over a trumpet case.!!!!!!!! 

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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