Rob Wood imagines he is the accidental, great great grandson of Fats Waller.
I’ve been a reporter, speechwriter, magazine editor, teacher, and riverboat deckhand . . . all honest work.
While I was teaching at Xi’ian International Studies University, my Chinese students called me
“Grandfather.” Perhaps that captures my musical weltanschauung. I tend to take a long view. I’m
interested in the intersection of jazz with art (Portrait in Seven Shades by Ted Nash;
Romare Bearden Revealed by Branford Marsalis), jazz with history (The Jazz Age,
copyright Museum Music, Inc.) and jazz and politics. These days I produce a jazz program for an Ohio
university (WLFC 88.3FM). I tell the kids that Duke Ellington is just as important as Thomas Jefferson.
My Jazz Story
Published on: 2018-09-09
Music isn’t just music. It’s a cultural marker. My childhood home had an upright piano. Hello, Middle Class. I labored diligently over my
Thompson piano course.
However, I noticed that it was jazz that my trumpet-playing mother loved. Likewise our circle of friends who worked as promotional
artists for the nearby Vega
banjo factory. (Think Eddie Peabody.) It was jazz. They were riffing; they were improvising. And that’s what I still look for and love, be it
Marquis Hill on the horn or
Steve DiBonaventura on the banjo. Check him out: his “Joy Spring” will convince you that the banjo is not just for beer and peanuts. I, of
course, still love playing
my Vega four-string. Built in the 1920s, it’s my own personal cultural marker.