Tuesday, August 11, 2015

"Once in a while"...(Isn't probably enough for Allen Kanovsky!)

Submitted by Al Kanovsky 08/11/15

…you get to enjoy something or someone twice. A week ago, Wednesday night, I was at Danny Burger's Showcase. Maria Rivas was the showcase star. Last night the Miami JAZZ Co-op had its weekly Rent Party and Maria was the invited feature.

There is something about a vocalist and accompanist that is a conversation in music. Each has to be comfortable with the other in order to express the feeling of the moment. Wendy and Jim. Davis and Dow. And yes, Maria and Jaui Schneider.

Monday night I was honored to be at the door, collecting the $10 donation and asking for an extra buck for the piano fund. Rick Katz, founding director of the MJC is a former prosecutor and has confidence that an ex-con wouldn't do any funny stuff with collected funds. The room was full of Maria fans, many of them who remember her in Venezuela. Joe Donato was the emcee and would later sit-in on alto sax.

Maria opened with JAZZ classic "Ginji" and immediately captured the audience. Traveling to Sur America she did an all scat Samba and followed with, from the American songbook, "It Isn't Even Spring". Joe joins in and does a face to horn bell duet which is as exciting visually as it is to the ear.  

I am surrounded by friends, old & new. Bill, Serena, Danny and Elaine. Nearby are Leeana and Ken. Close to them are a trio of lovely women who were born in Venezuala and led by realtor, Daisy Bilbao. They owe me a dance or vice-versa. There is no better known Brazilian composer the Carlos Joabim and maria sings one that he wrote, lovingly, for his wife. Jaui is another fine composer and Maria does Jaui's "It's Just Life". The only descriptive word is 'emotional'. She had dedicated it to all her friends in the room. When was the last time you heard "All I Have To Do Is Dream". Just beautiful. For fun she sings "Bei Mir Bist du Shain" and Joe(Yussel to me) adds a swinging solo. Of course Maria cannot do an opening set without her exceptional interpretation of "Besame Mucho" with Joe joining in.

Maria acknowledges the “The Real Tracy Fields" (WLRN 91.3FM) is in the house. which makes me think that the Real Tracy right then on the radio was not the Real Tracy----if the 'Real Tracy" is here does that mean the voice on the radio is not "real" ? Of course not! It is her unique capability of being in more than one place at one time-----It's called TAPE.

The 2nd set is opened with "See What Happens" with Keanu sitting in on tenor sax. They follow with "Ipanema". I think Keanu is a little wowed with being on stage with Maria and it's taking some time to find his groove. She looks at me and dedicates "My Romance" to me. She is joined by Jack Wengrowsky on trumpet. Her vocal is heart-felt and Jack's solo work adds depth and dimension. Thanks to both & Jaui too. They continue with "One Note Samba" Great scat, trumpet, sax and piano sections.

Maria in addition to being an exceptional JAZZ vocalist is a painter as well. Her colore dsketches of renowned JAZZ artists are highly collectable and were on display. Amongst the musicians depicted are Chet Baker, Miles Davis and Nina Simone. Before doing "Funny Valentine" she speaks about them and her artwork.

The evening ends with Maria's JAZZy rendition of Cole Porter's "Night and Day". Before leaving the stage she recognizes Ms. Tracy Fields contribution to JAZZ and offers one her pieces of art in 'Thanks'. Tracy gracefully accepts and selects Nina Simone.

Maria is leaving for Bangkok on Wednesday. Bon Voyage and Happy Landings. Can't wait for her return in November.  

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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