Long Beach

I got off the plane and slept at the airport hotel, instead of at home & went straight to the festival grounds. Yes, this is called hit the ground running. We just closed out a busy 5 week tour in Europe, but being home & in familiar territory somehow has it’s own way of refreshing you & making you ready to hit it. Long Beach does that nicely, so many familiar faces, even big Dudley the security chief backstage. And dear sweet Pat Prescott (of “The Wave w/ Dave” Koz) who has become a pillar & cornerstone of this yearly gathering, brings a classic classy touch that lets everybody know they’re in the right place. Peter White has just finished his set & Pat gives me one of her cool eloquent introductions – we’re on.

Even though it’s late & they’ve been there all day, the Long Beach Jazz Festival audience greets me with a roar & we give ’em the oldies, the middies & the newies too. An encore for desert & everyone is full & satisfied. The only thing I’m worried about is whether or not I embarrassed my son Ryan on his birthday by mentioning it from the stage & pointing him & his girlfriend out as they danced down front.

OH, YES!! Kem came to say hello. I didn’t even know he was in town. We talked & shared some mutual admiration laughter & even some ideas about the future, etc, etc. Can you guess?

What a night. Thanks Pat & LB Jazz & Kem. And thanks y’all!!!

— A.J.

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