Monday, January 16, 2012

The Monday Morning Paradiddle

Good morning everybody and happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Let's all take a moment to reflect on the meaning of King's important message that still resonates today.

Here's a few things of interest worth checking out today:

-Props to Rubim DeToledo and his crew that performed music from Mile Davis' "Bitches Brew" and "In A Silent Way" over the weekend at the Beatniq Jazz & Social Club. Rubim, along with Jim Brenan, Bob Tildesley, Ralf Buschmeyer, Chris Andrew, Tyler Hornby and Raul Gomez Tabera really nailed it and they all sounded great.

-Following the recent death of saxophonist and composer Sam Rivers, NPR's A Blog Supreme published this very thoughtful article about some of the important lessons that Rivers has taught us:

-Drummer Rakalam Bob Moses gives us this personal and inspiring article on his relationship and mentorship with the great Edgar Bateman:

-I came across this footage of Terry Clarke performing with a chamber string-ensemble:

About 2/3 through the clip Clarke plays a very cool brush solo on his signature Ayotte drums (with a single 10" mounted tom)

-Billy Drummond is one of my favorite all-time contemporary drummers. Not the greatest footage, but here he is with pianist Renee Rosnes on Thelonious Monk's "Four in One":

I heard Rosnes and Drummond play together several times over the years as a trio with a variety of bass players and it was always killing!

-What am I listening to these days?

Dana Hall "Into the Light" - Dana Hall (drums)

Dave Holland Octet "Pathways" - Nate Smith (drums), Steve Nelson (vibraphone)

Shelly Manne & Friends "My Fair Lady" - Shelly Manne (drums)

Dave Liebman "We Three" - Adam Nussbaum (drums)

John Coltrane "Dear Old Stockholm" - Roy Haynes (drums)

Eric Harland "Voyager" - Eric Harland (drums)

-Have you seen this old footage of Greg Hutchinson warming up in the studio?


-Here's a couple of classic pieces to watch and reflect is Elvin Jones performing with the John Coltrane Quartet on the pieces "Afro Blue" and the moving "Alabama" from Ralph Gleason's Jazz Casual television series:

-Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. - "On the Importance of Jazz"

"God has wrought many things out of oppression. He has endowed his creatures with the capacity to create, and from this capacity has flowed the sweet songs of sorrow and joy that have allowed man to cope with his environment and many
different situations.

Jazz speaks for life. The Blues tell the story of life's difficulties, and if you think for a moment, you will realize that they take the hardest realities of life and put them into music, only to come out with some new hope or sense of triumph.

This is triumphant music.

Modern jazz has continued in this tradition, singing the songs of a more complicated urban existence. When life itself offers no order and meaning, the musician creates an order and meaning from the sounds of the earth which flow through his instrument.

It is no wonder that so much of the search for identity among American Negroes was championed by Jazz musicians. Long before the modern essayists and scholars wrote of racial identity as a problem for a multiracial world, musicians were returning to their roots to affirm that which was stirring within their souls.

Much of the power of our Freedom Movement in the United States has come from this music. It has strengthened us with its sweet rhythms when courage began to fail. It has calmed us with its rich harmonies when spirits were down.

And now, Jazz is exported to the world. For in the particular struggle of the Negro in America there is something akin to the universal struggle of modern man. Everybody has the Blues. Everybody longs for meaning. Everybody needs to love and be loved. Everybody needs to clap hands and be happy. Everybody longs for faith.

In music, especially this broad category called Jazz, there is a stepping stone towards all of these."

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. - Opening Address to the 1964 Berlin Jazz Festival

(thank you to Kenan Foley who sent me this important message this morning)

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