Monday, June 18, 2018

Philly's "Tympany Cross"

Check out this original manuscript from Philly Joe Jones circa. 1968 (while living in London, England). These are a series of crossover manoeuvres around the drums that he calls "The Tympany Cross" (undoubtedly inspired by some of his orchestral percussion counterparts):

You might have to decipher his method of documentation and notation, but there is some cool stuff here for sure. I'll have to check, but I wonder if these might also be written down in Vinnie Ruggiero's book as well.

And special thanks to the person over on the Facebook who first shared this rare piece of Jazz drumming history!

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Three's Company (NOLA Drum Edition)

So apparently this is how three Jazz drummers share the drum throne during a jam session in NOLA:

You can really sense the mutual admiration and respect each drummer has for each other (dig the other two drummers always smiling and dancing behind the drums while waiting their turn...) and this folks, is what it is all about.

Monday, June 11, 2018

A Drummer's Guide to the JAZZYYC Calgary Summer Jazz Festival

Calgary's annual Summer Jazz Festival is back this week, happening across various venues around town June 14 - 17.

Here's my very biased and drummer-centric picks of several not-to-be-missed shows and the great drummers that will performing this week.

1) Undoubtedly my first choice would be to catch New York tenor saxophonist Eric Alexander with legendary pianist Harold Mabern at the National Music Centre on Friday, June 15th 8pm featuring Master swinger Joe Farnsworth on the drums.

Joe is a personal favourite of mine and I've long admired his hard swinging beat & style. If you are only going to see one show this week, this is the one to catch!

2) Happening that same evening, starting an hour earlier at 7pm, and appearing down the street on 9th Avenue SE at the Ironwood Stage & Grill will be Cuban-born, Toronto-based pianist Hilario Duran along with Horacio "El Negro" Hernandez on the drums.

Hernandez is a master drummer/percussionist (ie. a BEAST!) who's coordination and sophisticated blending of Afro-Cuban rhythms around the drum set is something to behold.

3) Also appearing at the Ironwood and opening the festival the evening before on Thursday, June 14th at 7pm is Toronto alto saxophonist Allison Au and her quartet, fresh off of a Juno win and recognition as the most outstanding group at the 2017 Montreal International Jazz Festival. Appearing with Au's group is the wonderful Fabio Ragnelli on the drums.

4) If you are out and about in Inglewood on Sunday afternoon for the JazzYYC Jazz Walk on 9th Avenue SE, check out trombonist Carsten Rubeling's groovy new project VOLK featuring drummer Colin Adhikary. Colin recently completed his degree at Humber College in Toronto and has been back in Calgary for a year now and is really playing great. VOLK will be appearing at the Cold Garden Beverage Company in Inglewood on the afternoon of Sunday, June 17 from 3-5pm.

5) While not "officially" part of the festival, but definitely most worthy of any serious Calgary Jazz fan's attention, is the trio of saxophonist Mark DeJong, bassist Steve Shepard and Jeff Sulima on drums at Betty Lou's in the basement of Devinish Building, just off of 17th Avenue and 8th Street SW. These guys have been holding court at this hip cocktail bar every week for a year now and it's a great place to relax, enjoy a nice beverage and dig some great music in a hip room. Check them out every Thursday night starting at 7pm.

6) And last, but certainly not least, make sure to check out Montreal pianist John Roney and his trio (featuring yours truly Jon McCaslin on the drums!) hosting the nightly jam session at the Ironwood Bar & Grill (Thursday/Friday nights starting @ 10pm and Saturday night starting @ 12am). Come on by and say hello, sit in for a few tunes and tell them that Four on the Floor sent you!

For more information, a complete listing and ticket info, visit the JazzYYC website: www.jazzyyc.com

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Interview with Art Taylor 1994

Another great audio interview from the vaults of WGBH, this time with the great Art Taylor:


You all know the drill:

When when the Masters speak....WE LISTEN.

And in case you need some reminding, here's some killer footage of A.T. with Johnny Griffin:

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Alan Dawson Interview 1994

A nice interview with Alan Dawson from 1994 recently surfaced, so here it is:


Dawson is very articulate and tells some great stories. I was particular interested by his comments on the relationship between Jazz drumming and tap dancing at about the 24 minute mark. Check it out.

As per usual, when the Masters speak...we listen!

Here's some of my favourite clips of Dawson in action:

Monday, May 28, 2018

The Monday Morning Paradiddle

Welcome back y'all and I hope you all had a wonderful weekend. Here's what's cooking over here around the Four of the Floor offices these days and presented to you in this edition of the Monday Morning Paradiddle:

- The ever-wise Victor Lewis interviewed by All About Jazz:


- Ignacio Berroa shares his thoughts over at The Trap Set:


- WBGO gives the drummers some in this column, featuring new releases brought to us by several current drummers:


- An interview with Ralph Peterson Jr. in Modern Drummer magazine:


- Toronto drummer Nick Fraser recently featured in Downbeat magazine:


- Thanks to Adam Nussbaum who sent along these two links to a 1972 concert in Paris featuring Elvin Jones and his quartet!



- Bill Stewart gets busy...

- Billy Hart sets up a tune with his quartet:

- Adam Nussbaum and Seamus Blake get into it with Italian organist Alberto Gurrisi:

- Herlin Riley puts it all out on the line (the second line?) with this one...

- New York drummer Colin Stranahan offers his creative experience on The Creative Mindset Podcast:

- Willie Jones III with some musical advice from a recent masterclass:

- Mark Nelson, a GREAT drummer from Montreal, demonstrates some nice Gretsch drums, brought to us by the nice people over at Timpano Percussion:

- Tenor Saxophonist Ben Wendel with drummer Justin Brown from Wendel's new "Standards with Friends" series:

- Special thanks to John Riley who forwarded along this AMAZING clip of Ruben Bellavia's transcription performance of Tony Williams' drum solo on "Walkin'":

- What am I listening to these days?

Joe Henderson "Double Rainbow: The Music of Antonio Carlos Jobim" - Jack DeJohnette, Paulo Braga (drums)

Al Henderson "Dinosaur Dig" - Barry Romberg (drums)

Kenny Barron Quintet "Concentric Circles" - Johnathan Blake (drums)

Bill Charlap Trio "I'm Old Fashioned"

Bud Powell "Off Minor" - Kenny Clarke (drums)

Don Thompson Quartet "CBC 1977" - Claude Ranger (drums)

- And today's Final Word goes to the late John Birks Gillespie:

"Take care of the Music, and the Music will take care of you!" - Dizzy Gillespie