Tuesday, June 21, 2016

The Whole Drum Truth!

A pretty amazing collection of current Jazz drummers, all collaborating together in one giant collective percussion discussion. Featuring Joe Saylor, Willie Jones III and Sylvia Cuenca, all led by the elder statesman Albert Tootie Heath on drums:



I've personally had two significant drum set ensemble experiences such as this, first playing with Joe LaBarbera at the Banff Centre in 1997 and then with Billy Hart in Lake Placid, New York in 1998. In both instances both LaBarbera and Hart insisted that we all set-up and play together during our daily morning, drum masterclasses (anywhere from 6-8 drum sets all at once, with our drums set-up collectively in a giant circle!) It's very rare that we as drummers have the opportunity to play together with other drummers and we should really encourage more of this sort of thing.

I don't think the label "drum battle" really applies to this sort of configuration (not like the friendly rivalry of Rich vs. Krupa for example) but this is more of an attempt to explore the idea of a group of drummers playing multiple drum sets, together as a true ensemble. Once we shed the competitive aspects of playing the drums in a context such as this, ensembles like this really become a positive experience and a chance to share and celebrate our collective love for rhythm, the drums and the "brotherhood" of drumming to which we all belong.

Here's another incarnation of the same group but with different personnel (this time with Billy Hart, Idris Muhammad, Louis Hayes and, again, Albert Tootie Heath):


Monday, June 13, 2016

Lost in Translation: "Jeef" Tain Watts...

I discovered a wonderful new jazz drummer the other day (unknown to me anyways Lol…) Anyways, typo or not, he has lots to say and sounds amazing...







Monday, June 6, 2016

Klook

I discovered these fantastic clips of Kenny Clarke last week and since there's not a lot of footage of Klook out there, these ones (especially the last one with Martial Solal, featuring some impeccable brushwork) are all mandatory watching/listening.

Notice the lack of a mounted tom on three of these clips and, also, as Brad Shigeta pointed out to me when I showed these to him: "Traditional Grip!" Indeed ; )







Monday, May 30, 2016

Lewis Nash Speaks

https://media.npr.org/assets/img/2012/08/05/jacobs-jazzfest-14_wide-46ce3eb6f95f7cdf7e776127aa8b3b4f1c76387e.jpg?s=1400
Definitely not the greatest audio/video quality but definitely some quality wisdom from the great Lewis Nash thanks to an intrepid audience member with his/her iPhone:



As per always, when the Masters speak....we listen.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Andre Ceccarelli 13"17








 I've been checking out a lot of great European Jazz drummers lately and French Jazz drummer Andre Ceccarelli is certainly no exception:



And here's a little masterclass/lesson to dig into:




Thursday, May 12, 2016

Up Close with Billy Hart














A couple of interesting, up and close videos of Jabali Billy Hart in action with his quartet from a recent performance at Bimhuis:





It's always a lesson for me to watch and listen to Billy play. His clear sense of exaggerated dynamics, textural orchestrations and musical accompaniment behind other soloists is always a joy and a clear reminder of what it means to be a Jazz drummer.