Tuesday, December 6, 2011

George Coleman 8tet with Billy Higgins

Listening to Billy Higgins play the drums and learning to appreciate his masterful sense of accompaniment is a must for any serious student of the instrument. He always seems to know exactly what to play and how to make whomever he plays with sound their very best. Plus, his joyful groove and ever present smile always seem to create the perfect environment on the bandstand for everyone else to play with. It's no wonder that he was in such high demand as a sideman over the years. His playing, to me, represents the true essence of being a Jazz drummer and I find tremendous inspiration whenever I hear him play.

Here's an example of Higgins' exceptional playing with tenor saxophonist George Coleman's octet:

After a few informative and inspiring recent emails exchanged between myself and my friend Chad Anderson, he pointed me in the direction of this recording of Higgins playing drums with John Coltrane to check out and muse over:

Chad told me how when he studied with Alvin Fielder back in the day that this was THE recording to check out and absorb, especially in terms of Billy's approach to his ride cymbal beat and how his snare and bass drum figures blended in with the cymbal so perfectly. Thanks Chad !

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