Two hundred tunes ago, I showed up at a pre-gig session with a medium swinger called “Claire’s Idea”. A month after, my long-time bari player told me: “You know, Joel, I like that new number…and not just because it was my idea!” What was Claire’s idea? In retrospect, an eminently reasonable one: that I re-name the band. When I’d put Claire and David Hofstra together, we three became The Differents. With Denis Charles added, we were PEOPLE LIKE US. We stayed that way through Denis’s death into periods with the excellent drummers Ronnie Williams and Peter Grant. But from the moment Matt Garrity took the drum chair and Vito Dieterle joined up on tenor, we were truly a different band: younger, more internally-conflicted, ever-so-slightly stranger. We become JOEL FORRESTER & THE TRUTH; I often say to audiences: “As if the two existed in separate categories.” I had no idea how long this outfit might possibly endure. (As Lucille Ball, divorcing with Desi, said of her marriage, “Me, I didn’t give it two weeks.”) Yet the quintet is in its seventh year now and we even get to wail at Minton’s Playhouse! I love what these people do with my tunes. And that’s the truth.