Monday, February 14, 2011

The Monday Morning Paradiddle

It's been a fun and busy few weeks travelling across Western Canada working with great musicians and teaching great students. But it's nice to be back home in Calgary and now with my laptop back in tip top shape I'm ready to go...

-I had the opportunity to do a lot of listening to a lot of great music during my travels lately. In particular, the drive between Regina and Calgary is pretty uneventful, so my car's CD player always gets a good workout ! Here's a few albums that made the drive more tolerable:

Wynton Kelly Trio with Wes Montgomery "Smokin' at The Half Note" - Jimmy Cobb, drums

Griffith-Hiltz Trio "Now & Then" - Sly Juhas, drums - Don Thompson, vibraphone

Steve Kaldestad "Blow Up" - Jesse Cahill, drums

Dean McNeill Large Ensemble "Prairie Fire" - Ted Warren, drums

Joe Henderson "In 'n Out" - Elvin Jones, drums

Victor Lewis "Three Way Conversations" - Victor Lewis, drums

Herbie Hanock Trio "Herbie Hancock Trio '77" - Tony Williams, drums

Dave Liebman & Phil Markowitz "Manhattan Dialogues"

-A few readers took a shot at identifying my red sparkle drums from last week's post (a Valentine's Day special perhaps?) So for all the gear heads out there, this "frankenstein" kit consists of the following:

-12x8 and 14x12 Premier XPK toms (early 90s vintage and from the first kit I ever purchased!) with custom wood hoops made by Jody Lutz over at Stellar Drums & Hoops. The original finish was a black wrap and I had Ed Peck from EPEK Percussion recover them in a slick red sparkle wrap.

The wood hoops look and sound great. They really give the toms a warm, round sound and feel, even when cranked up for relatively higher tunings. I really appreciate the fact that they are more subtle and less bulky than the Ayotte or Yamaha style hoops.

-16x14 bass drum with matching red sparkle wrap custom made by Billy Blast drums from Orange County, California. Billy does fantastic work as well. The bass drum has a Gretsch decal on it as it was the only 16" inch Remo coated ambassador bass drum head I could find in Calgary (!)

-Only one reader managed to identify my snare drum in that setup, a 14x5.5 Yamaha Roy Haynes Signature Copper snare. It's a fine drum but damn is it heavy...

These are really fun drums to play around with these days. I originally considered selling the Premier kit about a year ago but I'm really glad that I hung onto them and invested some time and money into bringing some new life to them. I've put a lot of drumming kilometers on that kit over the years.

Here's a couple of interesting clips I came across lately to keep everyone entertained:

-Bill Stewart and Bill Carrothers piano/drums duet:

If you haven't heard the duet album these two already released, check it out !

-Yet another fine Max Roach piano & drums duet, this time featuring pianist Mal Waldron:

-And to finish out off today's Monday Morning Paradiddle, here's some brief (and rare!) footage of Toronto Jazz drummer Bob McLaren in action:

Bob is a great, hard swinging drummer and a good friend. I had the privilege of studying with Bob for a year during my time at the University of Toronto. His approach to Jazz coordination on the drum set is compelling and in depth. Make sure to check out Bob out whenever you can !

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