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Photographer’s Journal: John Abbott’s ‘Perfect Alibi Quintet’ at Pagano’s, Bradley Beach

Words and Pictures by Joe Valencia

The Perfect Alibi Quintet

The Perfect Alibi Quintet

I had the pleasure of seeing The Perfect Alibi Quintet perform at Pagano’s UVA Restaurant and Wine Bar in Bradley Beach on Nov. 15. I am friends with the guitar player and manager, John Abbott, and have been wanting to see them perform for a while and finally got my chance. My only regret is not doing it sooner. John is a long-time Franklin Township resident with a passion for music, particularly jazz. He is a News Anchor at WBGO Jazz 88.3 FM radio where he gets to indulge in two of his greatest pleasures in life: radio and jazz. He considers himself to be lucky enough to go to work every day to do something he loves and gets to spend time with some of the greatest names in jazz: The Manhattan Transfer and the Brubecks, to name but two. He told me last night about a health scare he had a few years ago, after which he totally immersed himself in his music. Since then his health has steadily improved, all without the need for medication. It seems that, while laughter may be the best medicine it certainly isn’t the only medicine for what ails you.

I arrived while the band was still setting up so that I could talk to John a bit and meet the band before their set started. I was also there to take photos of the band for their Web site so I needed to scope out the area to see where I might get the best shots. I also met Al, the man responsible for scheduling the entertainment for Pagano’s, and he turned me on to a small landing off to the left of the band that would give me a good vantage point. At 8:30 p.m. the band took to the stage. John welcomed everyone and, after a quick introduction of the band, they kicked off the set with a terrific rendition of “Sunny.” I knew that I was in for a night of great music. They played for about an hour before taking a short break, after which they opened with “Freddie the Freeloader” followed by “Everything Happens to Me.” They were about four or five songs into the set when Al approached the band and took a microphone. He led the group in a terrific rendition of “Georgia on my Mind” that I think Ray Charles would have more than approved of.

I stayed until the end of the second set having spent about two and a half hours listening to great music and shooting in excess of 120 photos of the band. I was thinking about how great it is that the guys in the band get to spend time doing what they love and entertaining others in the process. Then it occurred to me that I had the pleasure of spending my time behind a camera doing what I love and, hopefully, entertaining others with the result.

The Perfect Alibi Quintet are: John Abbott on guitar, Anatoly Gokhman on bass guitar, Mauricio de Souza on drums, Eric Salkin on saxophone and Erez Lirov on keyboard/trumpet and singer. For more information on the band, check out their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Perfect-Alibi-Quintet/405744259464329 or email perfectalibi@icloud.com.

Photographer's Journal: Joe Valencia


The Franklin Reporter & Advocate welcome submissions to “Photographer’s Journal” from Franklin Township photographers, or photographers with photos of Franklin township people or places. For consideration, email editor@franklinreporter.com.

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