I'm happy to announce that I've been asked to take over Bill Fuller's "In Tune" column, which he's written for nearly twenty years, in the Earlyjas Rag--the newsletter of the Earlyjas Society here in Northeast Ohio. My first column will be published in June's issue, then Bill and I will alternate for a few before I take over full time next year.
Folks on the scene here know Bill as an accomplished early jazz drummer--he's played with all of the top early jazz bands in Cleveland for decades. He's also one of those musicians who cares deeply about the history of jazz. Two decades ago, dismayed by the amount of misinformation and colorful, yet inaccurate, legend surrounding Roots Jazz, he began "In Tune" as a corrective. Since that time, he's filled the column with historical facts about recording dates and personnel.
When asked to take over the column a couple of months ago, my main concern was whether I'd have time to read all of his past writings. Bill put that to rest immediately, encouraging to make the column my own, with my own direction. Readers of The Jazz Clarinet will know that's a specialty of mine--the only challenge will be the word limit!
I was introduced to the Earlyjas Society just this past winter, when Gene Epstein asked me to play with her group, Gene's Jazz Hot, at their annual Earlyjas Fest. I was deeply impressed by the commitment this society has to Roots Jazz, and how fun the whole experience was. If you're looking for a way to get involved with the musical scene in a meaningful way, and you like this soulful, accessible music which is so fundamental to our cultural infrastructure, I encourage you to consider joining--especially if you are local here in Northeast Ohio. My group, Eric Seddon's Hot Club, will be performing for the society in October--hope to see some of you there.