Friday, January 12, 2018

PSA Regarding Gear Reviews

Hey everyone!

One of the great things about this blog: it puts me in touch with many clarinetists around the globe. I get emails from all sorts--professionals, amateurs, beginners, advanced players. I like being in touch with all of you. Having said that, here are some things you ought to know:

1. My gear reviews are not endorsements. I currently have no endorsement deal with any clarinet maker, shop, company, or person. Other than my reeds, I do not play on any contemporary equipment: all of my clarinets are vintage, and none of the models I play are currently in production.

2. I cannot and will not advise anyone regarding internet purchases. Please do not email me to ask whether you should buy a certain instrument on eBay or otherwise. There is no way I can speculate as to whether or not an instrument plays well from an advertisement, and never having heard you play. Once again, I do not officially endorse any make of clarinet, or any brand.

3. I have never given permission for my reviews or writing on this blog to be used in advertising of any kind, and have never been asked permission (despite the many times I've seen my reviews quoted on eBay and elsewhere). Caveat emptor to anyone who buys an instrument!

I'm glad so many readers like my gear reviews, and have found them helpful. My purpose in writing them has been simply to give the perspective of a professional jazz clarinetist who (in general) prefers the sound world of clarinetists prior to the 1950s. Beyond that, the best advice I can give is this: Play what works for you!

Keep swinging!


Tuesday, January 9, 2018

'Goodbye Bowler Hat' (for Acker)

Here's a song I wrote as a tribute to Acker Bilk. A fan caught this performance on her iPhone one night at the Bop Stop in Cleveland, and graciously shared it with us...

Jazz Clarinet Poll

What's your favorite Pete Fountain Mardi Gras Medal?
A) Blue Jacket & Bow Tie
B) Red Jacket & Pirate Hat
C) Blue Jacket with Purple Sleeves & No Hat
D) Robin Hood Green with Cape
E) Hirschfeld Caricature

(vote in the comments)

Monday, January 8, 2018

Monday Morning Blues (on a Snowy Day In Cleveland)

Hey y''s a snowy day in Cleveland, so here's a little Monday Morning Blues for you...from my studio.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Announcing: 2018 Concert Series at BLU Jazz +


Mark your calendars and be sure to join us this Saturday, January 6th at 8pm as we launch our 2018 Concert Series at Akron's DownBeat rated Night Club: BLU Jazz + 

Our concert series is entitled "Jazz Clarinet Composers from Bechet to Today." 

We'll be featuring original tunes by Sidney Bechet, George Lewis, Benny Goodman, Artie Shaw, Acker Bilk, Eric Seddon, and others--a century of Trad Jazz originals--many of which are brilliant tunes rarely heard live! This is your chance to hear living jazz history...

We lead off with Bechet this Saturday!

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Eric Seddon Originals Live @ The Bop Stop

Our historical jazz clarinet concert series comes to a finale a week from tonight, bringing Trad Jazz all the way up to the present with an evening focusing on original compositions of mine. Hope to see some of you out there for the close of a great season!

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Acker Bilk and Hubert Rostaing at The Bop Stop

I've had a surge of gratitude since playing our concert last night at the Bop Stop. Those who were there know we started with a set of gypsy jazz, dedicated to Hubert Rostaing and Django Reinhardt. The second set was dedicated to Acker Bilk's compositions.
At the beginning of the second, I asked the audience how many folks had ever heard of Acker (he's not well known on this side of the pond). I was surprised that nearly every table had someone enthusiastically raising a hand.
At the very end of the gig, after we'd played "Coffee & Ackercake" I asked them how many had ever heard that song performed live. No one raised a was the first time any of them had gotten the chance to really hear it.
Both my wife (who was in the audience) and the manager of the Bop Stop, Gabe Pollack, told me stories of couples at tables reacting emotionally to what we were doing--excited to actually hear a band playing this music for once.
Acker's music has had a profound impact on my playing and song writing. It's deceptively simple, sunny music. What you find if you play it enough, though, is a unique type of joyful depth, demanding a soulful musical language of its own. To think that we brought that to people eager to hear it last night, in a creative share musical goodness like that...that's what this historical jazz clarinet concert series is all about.
I love the Benny Goodman tributes, and all of those things...they are important and people love that music...but when we can perform tunes that would otherwise be entirely lost or unperformed...when we can essentially start a musical tradition before it can't be an artist, let me tell you, that is truly a great privilege.
Thank you to everyone who came out last night. We play one more in this epic series--two weeks from now we'll focus on my originals (about 15-17 tunes worth of my stuff), and some other that we didn't get to this fall (I want to play "Si Tu Vois Ma Mere" by Bechet and some others yet..) So don't miss us on the 29th at 7pm--the final installment of the 2017 Historical Jazz Clarinet Series at the BOP STOP.

Eric Seddon's Hot Club at The BOP STOP in Cleveland