Boston-based trombonist Brian Thomas, originally from Rochester, is releasing his first solo album On The Bone, which features a composition by the late Roger Eckers, Turn On (a cut from a 1972 Eckers record), which Thomas recorded in his memory of Eckers, who passed away on March 23 last year at 78. "Dr. Eckers was the first person to hand me a trombone at Crane Elementary School and was my band director at Rush-Henrietta High School," says Thomas, who is. "so thankful to have worked with Dr. Eckers and for his continued support and encouragement as I became a professional musician and music educator." Former Eckers student Scott Mayo of Earth Wind & Fire and The Voice also joins Brian on the track, adding a soulful sax solo that they think would make Doc proud. Mayo recalls "I miss him so much and am thankful fo ho he prepared me to be a professional." The album includes 5 additional original soul jazz compositions backed a classic organ trio and percussion rhythm section.
The new album was available as a CD as of January 27th, and is also available to buy as a digital album (or by track) on Bandcamp (I've embedded it below and Turn On is the first cut). In coordination with Eckers' wife, Brian will be contributing 100% of the proceeds from sales of the Turn On track in Roger Eckers' memory to the University of Rochester Eastman School of Music, Performing Arts Medicine (if you want to send something more, you can send it to P.O. Box 270032, Rochester, NY. 14627-0032).