Thursday, March 22, 2012

Guy Nadon "Le Roi du Drum"

My fellow Canadian Jazz drumming blogger Ted Warren posted this video over at his blog Trap'd last week, but I thought I would repost here myself for a couple of reasons.

This is a Quebec documentary on the French Canadian Jazz drummer Guy Nadon "Le Roi du Drum" (translation: The King of the Drums!) Guy was an iconic Gene Krupa-like figure during the hey day of the Montreal jazz scene in the 40s and 50s. His flamboyant swing style also relied on the use of drumming on pots, pans, soup cans, junk, old furniture, anything really.....sometimes he almost sounds like a French Canadian version of Han Bennink!

I heard Nadon play several times during my time in Montreal, many years ago, most notably with the band Swing Dynamique which for awhile had a steady gig at the Jello Bar on Ontario Street.

Also, in this documentary, starting at around 17:38 in this clip you can see Guy in a drum battle with the legendary and enigmatic Claude Ranger (Canada's "Jack DeJohnette" who went missing in Vancouver about 13 years ago....Claude was also a student of Nadon's back in the day). As you can see in this footage Claude still had his trademark cigarette dangling from his mouth while trading some wild phrases with Guy.

Check out a couple of legends of French Canadian jazz drumming!

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