Thursday, February 16, 2012
I recently spent last week working with a great crew of young Jazz drummers up in Edmonton (all studying under the tutelage and watchful eye of their very knowledgeable drum teacher Dan Skakun, who's a fine drummer himself and a disciple of Joe Morello and Kenny Washington). We spoke about a lot of important Jazz drumming related topics during our time together and fortunately the name Art Blakey came up numerous times during our discussions.
Let me make this clear, Art Blakey is one of my all-time favorite Jazz drummers, hands down - ever. The album "A Night at Birdland" with Art Blakey, Horace Silver, Curly Russell, Lou Donaldson and Clifford Brown was one of the first Jazz albums I ever bought and to me the feeling and swing that this band achieves on this recording date is really the essence of what Jazz is all about.
Anyways, in my discussions with Dan's students the topic of the "Blakey Shuffle" came up. This is a very important groove to learn and is deceptively simple. As far as being a serious Jazz drummer, learning it is a must.
Well, here it is from a live date featuring Art Blakey and The Jazz Messengers with Benny Golson and Lee Morgan:
I'm sad that I never had the opportunity to see or hear Art Blakey in person. Seeing him and listening to his introduction alone on that clip is inspiring in itself.
If you don't already own the DVD which this performance came from, then go buy it now here: http://www.amazon.com/Jazz-Icons-Blakey-Messengers-Live/dp/B000H9HWQ4
Drummer Andrew Hare has a nice blog post on his take on the Jazz shuffle as well over at his fine blog The Melodic Drummer
Now if Bu's shuffle doesn't get 5 cheeseburgers on Jesse Cahill's Grease-O-Meter, I'm not sure what does!!!