my favorite jazz singer, Sony Holland, I've gotten to know quite a few of them.
I jokingly call myself a "Shota Osaba groupie " ( well, maybe it's no joke since
I always try to hear his fabulous piano music whenever he accompanies a
vocalist and, through him, I've come to enjoy some of the Bay areas wonderful
performers - Margie Baker, Valeriana Quevedo, Anne O'Brien, Amanda King,
Kathy Holly, Lost Weekend, and several others.
Last week, I got an email about a benefit to be held last night for Jim Rothermel,
a fabulous reed player, who is a member of the Golden Gate Rhythm Machine
for the past 25 years. I first heard Jim at a peformance of Lost Weekend,
a western swing group, for which both he and my friend, Shota, the pianist,
perform. I was just blown away by his talent.
Well, Jim, has leukemia and has been undergoing chemotherapy at Stanford. He
has been accepted for a bone marrow transplant as soon as a donor can be
found. His recovery will be long and tedious and he will probably not be able to
work for nearly a year following the procedure. His fellow musicians proposed
last night musical event, with three groups, as a fund raiser to raise money to
help during that time.
What a joy it was to be there, with all these incredible jazz musicians, and share
in that outpouring of love and support. I felt like I was taken back forty years to
the New Orleans of my youth, listening to the great jazz in the smoky bars ( but,
thankfully, there was NO smoke last night ) in the French Quarter. There were
several great New Orleans songs, plus a couple of hours or other terrific music
by the group of which Jim is a member, the Golden Gate Rhythm Machine,
Pat Yankee and her Gentlemen of Jazz ( Shota Osabe was the gentleman at the
keyboards ), and others.
"I Saw Her Standing There" from Shota's CD, "Happy Coat"
"Way Down Yonder in New Orleans" - the Golden Gate Rhythm Machine
"Why" - the Golden Gate Rhythm Machine