Sunday, June 28, 2009


Last nights trip to the Calgary Jazz Festival took me to the Gateway Lounge at the SAIT campus where we saw the John Abercrombie Organ Trio featuring Abercrombie on guitar, Gary Versace (B3 organ) and the amazing Adam Nussbaum (drums).

The group performed Abercrombie's original compositions and was an impressive performance, probably the best of all the concerts I've seen so far this week. We were sitting near the back of the room and I was very much taken back by the group's dynamic variations which ranged from a whisper to a roar.

Alot of this was due to the due diligence of master drummer Adam Nussbaum who's loose and Elvin Jones inspired feel propelled the group through one longer set with the utmost discretion and musicality.

Adam has always been a favorite drummer of mine and I was really impressed by his loose feel and energetic approach. It was cool to see him in action and I really dug his loose movement which noticeably translated into such a full, loose and flowing sound on the drums.

Something I plan to work on for sure !

Here's an older video of Adam Nussbaum playing with the Abercrombie trio featuring Dan Wall on organ.

Adam is also a master of the brushes and he demonstrated this several times last night on a couple of ballads and a straight-eighth, latin type of piece.

He recently co-authored an excellent instructional DVD with Steve Smith that deals with the brushes. Here is a brief clip of Nussbaum showing how the brushes are meant to be played !

And another clip of Nussbaum demonstrating a basic and important brush stroke:

And finally, here's a short clip of Nussbaum giving a clinic somewhere in Europe, demonstrating his approach to timekeeping on the drum set. Notice how he exhibits the loose and flowing movement that I mentioned before:


I have to leave for Edmonton momentarily to play with the Brenan Brothers this evening, but here's a few other gigs I caught this week that got my attention. I'll elaborate more later when I have time:

Beatniq Jazz Club
Calgary, AB

I played a fun set with the Brenan Brothers on Friday night at the Beatniq. I stayed afterwards and saw a GREAT band of young musicians from Vancouver lead by the talented pianist Amanda Tosoff. They performed mostly original tunes that were masterfully crafted and full of creative ideas and good melodies (something lacking in today's original jazz music, but that's for another post !). I also really dug the obvious Duke Ellington influence in both her playing and writing. Inspiring to see that young musicians are checking out Duke !

Morgan Childs was playing drums and sounded fantastic. I could relate to his style and obvious influences and I look forward to hearing more of this great drummer in the future. I think he has a CD of his own out there, so I will have to try and pick that up. Swingin' !

Here's a clip of Amanda playing with another great Vancouver-based drummer, Dave Robbins:

Okay, I have to hit the road here but before I leave, I also caught NYC drummer Jerome Jennings with Steve Hudson's Outer Bridges Ensemble and Tyler Hornby sitting in at Calgary's Auburn Saloon earlier this week and they all sounded great.

More later !

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