Monday, January 26, 2015

The Monday Morning Paradiddle

Welcome back and looks like this is our first official Monday Morning Paradiddle column of 2015. Now that we are all settled into the New Year, here's a few things bouncing around the office to check out:

- Here are "The Elvin Tapes", some bootlegs of Elvin working with some VERY lucky students in a masterclass, circa. 1984:

- Ralph Peterson Jr. is featured here in this two-part interview:

- Looking for something interesting to practice? Download Pete Lockett's FREE .pdf technique book "Symmetrical Stickings for the Snare Drum"at his website over here:

-  Blogger Vinnie Sperezza recounts some honest and amusing stories about approaching Paul Motian over the years:

- It was "Beat Week" over at NPR and they featured a week's worth of drum/rhythm-centric stories a couple of weeks ago worth checking out:

"Mystic Rhythms: Rush's Neil Peart on the First Rock Drummer"

"The Original Funky Drummers on Life with James Brown"

"How Santeria Seeped Into Latin Music"

"The Tabla Master Who Jammed with The Grateful Dead"

"Female percussionist Bobbye Hall is a Liner Note Legend"

- Eric Harland is featured here on this podcast episode:

- Carl Allen recently performed at the Percussive Arts Society PASIC 2014 Convention last November and offered some interesting approaches to melodic drumming:

- Dan Weiss performs an impressive drum set rendition of the North Indian tabla composition Teen Tal:

- I really dug this footage of Portland's Alan Jones from an on-air radio interview (sorry I can't seem to embed this one!):

Alan has really become a favorite drummer of mine recently. In particular his playing with CDN saxophonist Phil Dwyer and bassist Rodney Whitaker on the album "Let Me Tell You About My Day" is one of my personal favourites. Jones brings a really intense, rolling, and fiery passion to the drum set that I really appreciate. I hope to work with him some day!

- New Orleans' Geoff Clapp is another great drummer who's only recently been on my radar but I really dig his playing. I love his feel and over all vibe that he brings to the music. His album "Bend in the River" is highly recommended. Here's a couple shots of Clapp to check out:

And here in a duet with guitarist Charlie Hunter:

- Some nice guitar trio action with New York/Toronto drummer Mark McLean at Small's:

- Great drumming from Victor Lewis!

- Canadian drummer Claude Ranger has been on my mind a lot lately. Here's a good one of Claude with vibraphonist Peter Appleyard and special guests Hank Jones and Slam Stewart. Dig Ranger's articulate brush playing in this one:

- What am I reading/listening to these days?

Mark Miller - "Herbie Nichols: A Jazzist's Life"

Roswell Rudd "Herbie Nichols: The Unpublished Works"

Herbie Nichols "The Complete Blue Note Recordings" - Art Blakey, Max Roach (drums)

Herbie Nichols "Love, Gloom, Cash, Love" - Dannie Richmond (drums)

Kirk MacDonald "Kirk's Blues" - Claude Ranger (drums)

Al McLean and Azar Lawrence "Conduit" - Andre White (drums)

Don Thompson "Some Other Spring" - Don Thompson (vibraphone)

Barry Harris "at the Jazz Workshop" - Louis Hayes (drums)

- And today's Last Word comes from pianist/composer/arranger Jim McNeely (via Norway's Roger Johansen):

"There's a sound of a drummer reading a chart that I hate. There's that term that a lot of people use: "Oh, he's so good, man. He can read fly shit." And my experience is that a guy that reads fly shit, all you get is fly shit. You know they nail it the first time and they nail it, nail and nail it. I prefer players that can read fairly well, they may fuck up a little in the beginning, but then you hear the tenth time through and the twelfth time through and all of a sudden the lights are going on and they are internalizing the stuff. They're not just reading, they're just using the printed page as a reference from that point on and then it gets really deep." - Jim McNeely

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Sound Prints

I'm eagerly awaiting the upcoming 2015 CD release on Blue Note Records of the band Sound Prints featuring Dave Douglas, Joe Lovano, Lawrence Fields, Linda Oh and Joey Baron. From what I understand, the band takes some of its inspiration from the music of Wayne Shorter in a fresh, original way. In the meantime, here's some brilliant concert footage to give you a taste:

And here's another one of Douglas' piece Power Ranger:

And here's Joey Baron's GIGANTIC drum solo with the same band (yes, I've posted this before but it's my blog and I dig it ya dig?)

And thanks to visionary Dave Douglas over at his own blog Greenleaf Music, here's a podcast interview with Joey Baron:

(thanks to Montreal's Jim Doxas for finding this one...)

Monday, January 19, 2015

Trio3 YVR

Here's a link to my latest piano trio album that I recorded a few years ago but finally just now got around to releasing it to the universe. I hope you enjoy it.

Trio3 YVR

Jon McCaslin - Drums & Compositions

Tilden Webb - Piano

Jodi Proznick - Bass

Recorded by Brad Turner @ Groundhog Sound - May 2012, Port Coquitlam, B.C.

A few words about the music:

1) Devonshire - Based on the changes to the old standard "Stella by Starlight" (a personal favourite), Parc Devonshire was a small, serene, piece of green space located next to my apartment in Montreal, in the neighbourhood known as the Plateau, where I lived during the early 2000s.

2) G.I. Jon - This is a bluesy "Jazz march", inspired by my childhood fascination with my collection of toy soldiers and "America's hero", always ready to save the day...

3) Inukshuk - This is a stone, rock sculpture used by the northern Inuit people to help keep their way while traveling in the otherwise barren northern, arctic landscape. I think it's always important to recognize "markers" and signposts along our own journey that help us find our own way in life.

4) Armstrong's Secret Nine - This bass feature (in the spirit of Duke Ellington's "Jack the Bear"), featuring the ever-so-swinging Jodi Proznick, was named after a neighbourhood, youth baseball team from New Orleans that Louis Armstrong sponsored and generously outfitted with Major League quality jerseys and equipment. They were so touched that wouldn't get their jersey's dirty and, consequently, never won a game!

5) McCallum's Island - This was the first tune I ever wrote, sometime around 1997. It appears on my first record of the same name and was inspired by a painting by Lawren Harris, a painter with Canada's influential Group of Seven.

6) Klook's Touque - Another contrafact, this time based on Dizzy Gillespie's "Woody N' You". I wondered one day "what if?" Kenny Clarke (aka "Klook") had decided to move to Northern Canada instead of Paris during the mid-1950s. Surely he would have needed something to keep his head warm...

7) Blue YQR - I wrote this blues variation, dedicated to all my friends, family and musicians in Regina, Saskatchewan (aka YQR). That's where I got my start...

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Mel Brown on Brushes

Thank you to John Riley who forwarded me these clips of Portland's Mel Brown demonstrating a series of brush patterns he learned from Philly Joe Jones:

And here's some more, shown at a different angle:

I believe that all these patterns are taken from Philly Joe Jones' long out-of-print book "Brush Artistry" that can be conveniently found here:

or here:

That's how it's done folks!

Monday, January 12, 2015

Bobby Sanabria Playing Conga and the Tumbao

Thanks to the kind people over at Jazz at Lincoln Center's Jazz Academy, here's a series of lessons from Bobby Sanabria on the basics of playing conga:

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Rational Funk

Thanks to Toronto's Lowell Whitty for passing along via the Facebook these hilarious but yet informative lessons from Dave King of the The Bad Plus: