Monday, January 9, 2017

Mike Clark & Ed Soph: PASIC 2016

It's been several years since I've had the opportunity to attend the Percussive Arts Society annual convention (maybe next year...) Fortunately I can still get a hint of all the great things that go on at PASIC thanks to the internet! Here's some highlights of two great sessions to take note of in particular featuring Ed Soph and Mike Clark respectively:

Monday, January 2, 2017

The Monday Morning Paradiddle

And…we're back.

Welcome to 2017! Hope you all had a pleasant Christmas and New Year's break. Thanks for checking in and thanks again for all your continued support.

Anyways, let's get down to business. Here's a few items of interest to get us started in the New Year ahead...

- GQ magazine recently featured this hip article on several of our Jazz elder statesmen:

It's hard to argue against the fact that Roy Haynes is clearly still the hippest and baddest dude to walk the planet earth.

- New York Times also featured this photo essay "Photos That Give the Drummer Some":

- Canadian Musician Magazine offers this column on musical drumming from contributors Mark Kelso, Terry Clarke, Larnell Lewis and Anthony Michelli:

- Carl Allen interviewed over at Harmony Central:

- Clarence Penn is interviewed at The Drummer's Resource Podcast:

Check out the other great audio interviews found here with the likes of Kenny Washington, Peter Erskine, Ed Soph, Ralph Peterson Jr., Michael Carvin and many, many others...

- A special shout out and thank you to my correspondents over at (of which I've been a member since 2005!) who informed me that the legendary John Von Ohlen (affectionately known as "The Baron") has recently released this book:

This is the first I've heard of this publication and look forward to checking it out.

John is also featured in this radio podcast from WVXU:

And thanks to Todd Bishop over at his superb blog Cruiseship Drummer for digging up this great interview with Von Ohlen from 1985:

- Jerome Jennings recently released his album "The Beast" (highly recommended) and took a break from his busy schedule (including playing with the likes of Christian McBride!) to speak with Neon Jazz about his new release:

- Ali Jackson Jr. and Jimmy Cobb both rummage through some old Jazz records that bring back some memories...

- Lewis Nash and Jeff Hamilton get busy in a serious percussion discussion:

And Nash and Terrell Stafford continue with their own duo...

- It's amazing to me that when Lewis Nash plays a drum set that isn't even a real drum set that Lewis Nash still sounds like….Lewis Nash!

- Thanks to the kind people over Vic Firth here's Justin Faulkner playing some serious drums:

- And what else can possibly bring a smile to your face than Ringo Starr playing some drums on a beach?

- What am I listening to these days?

Ted Warren's Warren Commission "The Great Regina Pizza Debate" - Ted Warren (drums & compositions)

Jerome Jennings "The Beast" - Jerome Jennings (drums)

Rudy Royston Trio "The Rise of Orion" - Rudy Royston (drums)

Tom Harrell "The Number Five" - Johnathan Blake (drums)

Pat Metheny "ECM :rarum Selected Recordings" - Danny Gottlieb, Bob Moses, Paul Wertico, Jack DeJohnette, Billy Higgins (drums), Gary Burton (vibes)

Grant Green "Street of Dreams" - Elvin Jones (drums), Bobby Hutcherson (vibes)

Joe Henderson "Power to the People" - Jack DeJohnette (drums)

- And today's Final Word(s) goes to Bruce Lee with some words of wisdom, inspiration and motivation to prepare us all for the year ahead:

Friday, December 30, 2016

Ludwig Drum Co. Contest Solos

This is our last blog post of 2016 and we'd like to leave you all with a few things to practice over your holiday break. So dust off your drum pad and get to work! (perhaps this might be a chance to work off some of that turkey and extra piece of pie hmmmm?)

I'd like to thank Greg Way for giving me these sheets (and several large boxes of percussion literature!) back in the mid-90s before he left Regina, Saskatchewan for Ontario. If I had to guess I'd say this was some sort of educational promo material that the Ludwig Drum Company printed and distributed back in the 60s (?) Anyways, there are some real gems here that are just as relevant now as they were back then.

Here's a clip of the great Frank Arsenault performing the very same version of "The Downfall of Paris":

And J. Burns Moore playing the "Connecticut Halftime":

Here's "Hell on the Wabash" as performed in period uniform:

And the Hellcats lay it down on the "Three Camps" (this is a chops buster...):

Thank you all for your continued support.
See you in 2017!

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Neil Peart Warming Up...

 I think this is amazing.

And it's no coincidence that the foot ostinato that Peart chose to use was directly inspired by Max Roach's "The Drum Also Waltzes" (I recall reading about this in Modern Drummer magazine, maybe back in early 90s sometime?)

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Tim Mah's Top Jazz Picks of 2016

Calgary's Tim Mah is a good friend, a huge supporter of the local scene here in Calgary and has excellent taste when it comes to food, wine, coffee, fashion and, of course, Jazz music. Tim was nice enough to contribute today's guest blog post, his choices for the best Jazz albums of 2016.

"Tim Mah's Top 2016 Jazz Albums" by Tim Mah

In December, many “Best of the Year” album lists are published and the Grammy Awards nominations are announced.  I like reading these lists, as they serve as a filter for the thousands of albums that are released each year. I often discover albums that I have not had the opportunity to hear.

Below is a list of 20 Jazz albums for 2016 that were among my favourite Jazz albums of the year, in no particular order:

1. Branford Marsalis Quartet with special guest Kurt Elling “Upward Spiral”

2.  Gregory Porter “Take Me to the Alley”

3. Murray Allen & Carrington Power Trio "Perfection" 

4.  Jack DeJohnette, Ravi Coltrane, and Matthew Garrison "In Movement"

5. Jeremy Pelt "#Jiveculture"

6.  Ben Wendel "What We Bring"

7.  The Pedrito Martinez Group "Habana Dreams"

8.  Tord Gustavsen, Simin Tander, and Jarle Vespestad "What Was Said"

9.  Takuya Kuroda "Zigzagger"

10.  Francisco Mela "Fe"

11.  Logan Richardson "Shift"

12.  Theo Croker "Escape Velocity"

13.  Alfredo Rodriguez "Tocororo"

14.  Camila Meza "Traces"

15.  Darcy James Argue’s Secret Society "Real Enemies"

16. Seamus Blake "Superconductor"

17. Champian Fulton "After Dark"

18. Esperanza Spalding "Emily's D+Evolution"

19. Jane Monheit "The Songbook Sessions: Ella Fitzgerald"

20. Kris Davis “Duopoly”

"Honourable Mentions…"

Jerome Jennings “The Beast”  

Melissa Aldana “Back Home”

Brandi Disterheft “Blue Canvas”

Ingrid & Christine Jensen “Infinitude”

Al Muirhead “Oop!”

Bria Skonberg “Bria"

Marquis Hill “The Way We Play”

Dominic Faranacci “Short Stories”

Warren Wolf “Convergence”

Quinsin Nachoff “Flux"

Rudy Royston Trio “Rise of Orion”

Donny McCaslin “Beyond Now”

Robert Glasper Experiment “ArtScience”

Laurence Hobgood “Honor Thy Fathers”

Avishai Cohen “Into the Silence”

Terrace Martin “Velvet Portraits”

Ibrahim Maalouf “Khaltoum”

Metalwood “Twenty”

Snarky Puppy “Culcha Vulcha"

Norah Jones “Day Breaks"

Monday, December 19, 2016

Billy Hart's Three Career Stages...

During the summer of 1998 I attended a short-lived Jazz workshop in Lake Placid, New York and Billy Hart was the guest drum teacher.

During one of Hart's masterclasses, he shared this comical piece of wisdom, his take on the career trajectory that Jazz musicians often take:

Stage one: "Who is Billy Hart?"

Stage two: "Get me Billy Hart!"

Stage three: "Get me someone who sounds like Billy Hart!"