JAMMIN' AT THE JAZZ FORUM

WOW!!! What a great time we had Sunday, December 16th in Santa Monica at the Jazz Forum. This was the Christmas event for this jazz club which meets every 3rd Sunday of the month at the Moose Lodge on the corner of 16th Street and Ocean Park Blvd. The club's president, Barry Anthony, a great trumpet play, band leader and vocalist, put together a truly wonderful group to back me up for this event: Tom Owens on piano, Bill Ryan on guitar, Ron Javorsky on bass and Don Hooker on drums. We had the added treat of the legendary John Setar sitting on clarinet. What a sound! I mean, these cats could lay it down, and lay it down they did. A plateful of jazz and standards, a handful of ballads, a pinch of latin, a saucer full of swing, a cup full blues, a few Christmas songs and a splash of funk here and there and you have the recipe for a great afternoon of music. There were a lot of new faces, young and older, but they all had the look and feel of pleasure as the afternoon unfolded. I tell you, between the caliber of the music, the great vibes in the room, the spirit of those both listening and dancing, the tasty meal prepared by Gail Doner and dessert by Mary Ann Sereth, a good time was had by all. Pat Kerry, the Jazz Forum's treasurer, came over to me a couple of times after my set to comment on the great turnout, and that several people had come her way to express their appreciation of my performance. John Ryan, my new friend and Webmaster and Editor of the Valley Jazz Club newsletter, had invited his friend John Setar to hear me. Mr. Ryan has taken an interest in promoting my music, and is the reason I was hired for this gig, and I just want to express my gratitude and appreciation for his friendship and generous support since we met in October 2007 at the Valley Jazz Club. This was the month another new friend and fine pianist, Teddy Yamada, who engineered and mastered my new CD, was introducing me to the world of local jazz social clubs. The Valley Jazz Club was the first he took me to, and that's when I met John Ryan. After sitting in on their jam session, John approached me, introducing himself, expressing his appreciation of my performance, wanting to know a bit more about me and what I'd been doing. During the course of conversation, he strongly suggested I check out the Jazz Forum, that he could hear me performing with big bands, and that he wanted to introduce me to Barry Anthony, who, in fact is a big band leader and the current President of the Jazz Forum. On the 3rd Sunday of October I went to the Jazz Forum and met up with John Ryan. An added bonus for me that day was that my sister, Lecia and her husband Bobby Allman, were meeting me there, it would be the first time meeting my new brother-in-law and it would be the first time he would hear and see me perform. Lecia heard me for the first time about 6 or 7 years ago when she took an impulsive trip to California with my youngest sister Kristie, via Las Vegas, stopped over in San Bernardino to pick up my brother, Orlando Chandler and drove to the Smoke House in Burbank to have dinner where, at the time, I was performing regularly on Saturdays. Ironically, on this trip Lecia and Bobby had come to town from Michigan because Orlando had passed away on October 16, 2007, and we were going to be attending his funeral in San Bernardino, along with other relatives who were flying in later that week from Michigan. Back to the Jazz Forum, John introduced me to Barry Anthony like a proud papa just before the Jam Session began. Marty Harris was sitting on piano and didn't see me until the break after the first set. It was nice to see the look of surprise backed with pleasure when my presence registered with him. I hadn't seen Marty for a couple of years, so it was a pleasant surprise for me to see him there. He was among those sitting in behind me when Barry called me up to sing, along with Ron Javorsky on bass, Bill Ryan on Guitar and Burr Middleton on drums. We started out with two songs, and over the course of the afternoon, they called me back up a couple more times and I wound up singing six numbers. What a day! What a reception! They hired me to do the December gig on the spot! December 16th, 2007. I feel like this is the beginning of a new cycle.

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