Wednesday, November 30, 2011

All that Jazz!

Last Saturday night we went to the first concert in our subscription series with the Herzliya Chamber Orchestra, conducted by Harvey Bordowitz. It was an excellent concert under the title "Pastoral Dreams" and featured a soprano, a clarinettist and included Beethoven's Pastoral Symphony (No. 6).

By contrast, this Saturday night we went to the last concert in the annual series of last concerts of Stanley Ross and the Stompers Jazz Band. They play unbelievably great Dixieland Jazz, and they have been playing together for so many years that they really play in harmony. Stanley is now 81, and although his face gets ruddy when he blows he still plays a mean trumpet. Stanley is from Glasgow where he started a jazz band in his teens. The concert was held in the hall of the Young Israel Congregation in Netanya. This was a great concert, with a full complement of excellent musicians: Larry Brant, from Long Island NY on banjo; Ed Mishnov from Russia on double bass; Zack Benson, drummer; Roy Rich on guitar, from Manchester; Evy Tamari on piano from Detroit; Amnon Ben Artzi, the Israeli trombonist; and the diminuitive Jacques Sany, French soprano saxophonist, who is a renowned artist who plays around the world and has played the Preservation Hall in New Orleans. This concert was superb and a great joy. Incidentally Stanley and the trombonist Amnon started the Band 28 years ago.

Monday we went to our regular noon Shearim Concert that usually features immigrants from the former Soviet Union. There was an excellent duo of Ilya Trost, cello and Galina Cheremushkin, piano, and they played Beethoven, Faure and Joplin.

Tues evening we drove to Jerusalem to hear a concert of Flamenco music at the Israel Museum celebrating the 25th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Spain and Israel. We naievely believed that we would see Flamenco dancing, but we were disappointed, it was only a singer and a guitarist. Apparently the performer, Jose Merc, is a famous Flamenco singer, and was greeted rapturously by the audience. He was a tall, handsome man with long gray hair dressed all in black. He was accompanied by a wonderful guitarist, whose complex rhythms were fascinating. He also had two clappers, all they did was clap, although the rhythms were mesmerizing. However, we did not enjoy what passed for singing. Of course, we could not understand the Spanish, but it sounded like someone shouting while being strangled, and drowned. Obviously an acquired taste. Nevertheless, we ate out afterwards and it was a very pleasant evening.


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