Friday, August 14, 2015

It' gotta be...(Allen Kanovsky knows a sure thing when he hears it!)

Submitted by Al Kanovsky 08/13/15


As a matter of fact in some countries it is. I am talking about "live" music. JAZZ & BLUES in particular. Why did I say that? 'cause it's so much fun. Last night at The Fish House in Kendall the fun aspect was over the top. Last night fun was spelled Wendy Pederson, Jim Gasior, Chuck Bergeron and exclamation point John Yarling. If a night of music opens with Monk's "In Walked Bud" prepare yourself for pure unadulterated JAZZ. Wendy dedicated the first set to 'summer'. Her opener was "Summertime", done soulfully slow. The packed house was so still the only sounds came from the bandstand. I was surrounded by friends like Bill, Serita, Elaine and Georgine. At an adjacent table was Lisanne Lyons and her fiancee. Another table had David Leon's parents and Ian Munoz's dad. Wendy followed with a really nice "The Things We Did Last Summer". Wendy has a way with tempo and melody that creates 'mood'. How many vocalists would find a tune from a non-descript musical, circa 1936, to sing in 2015. The show was "Sing Me A Love Song" . It wasn't long lived. The song is "Summer Night" and Wendy's rendition sent a shiver up my spine. An original, Pederson/Gasior song  "Summer In July" gave full range to Wendy and provided opportunity for interesting solos by all. There is something about 2nd line rhythm that touches something deep inside me. It makes me feel happy. It makes me clap my hands and tap my feet. It takes me to New Orleans a week before Mardi Gras. Wendy used the beat for an up-tempo "Love For Sale". All I can say is 'Man O' Man O' Man'.Topping it were John's intricate, Chucks inimitable and Jim's creative solos. A seldom heard but never the less great song "Once Upon A Summer Time" kept the audience in complete silence. Not even a fork on a plate could be heard. "A Summer Rose" brought back the summer of '47. I had a summer gig in the Catskills and Rose(my childhood sweetheart) arranged several visits. Start with a JAZZ standard and end with a BLUES, that's a set. "Everybody Gets The BLUES" ended the set but not before there was a sensational section with Wendy scatting to John's drum patterns. The 2nd set would not let up. Wendy, who always finds the fun, does a Chick Corea song, "Humpty Dumpty" and continues with "How Could You Do A thing Like That To Me". Changing moods. Wendy does, "Cry Me A River"  then get's back to fun with a funky "Jump Out The Back, Jack". Wendy invites Lisanne Lyons up to do "You'd Be So Nice To Come Home To". Young pianist Francesca, accompanies her. The the Jam is on. Ian Munoz and Keanu open it on alto sax. Ian just turned 13. Keanu is maybe 17. Ian might be 4'10". Keanu is an easy 6'. Ian, soaking wet may be 80 lbs. Keanu tips the scales at well over 220. Ian white, Keanu black. In conclusion they add up , to a dynamic saxophone duo. The cats(kids) can blow!!!!. They do "Softly" and it's anything but. Bop riffs fill the air and Francesca uses every key on the piano. Young musician after young musician stepped up. Horns, Guitar, Bass, Drums. Sorry I couldn't get all the names but I would be remiss if I didn't mention the drum play of Marcus Grant and Jonathan Hulet. Visiting from Texas was altoist Art Martinez, Outstanding!!! Some folks missed me at Danny Burger's Showcase, featuring Debbie Orta. Well, outside of a few times in the past, I find it impossible to be in more than one place at one time. Additionally, The Fish House and its owners Angela and Juan are dedicated to promoting live JAZZ & BLUES. They contribute to many worthy causes including summer music camps for young musicians. One night is a youth Jam. Another BLUES and another JAZZ. The Backroom is for music and gets none of the chatter background that pervades other venues that will remain unnamed. Thanks to all who played for my pleasure. 

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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