Thursday, August 16, 2012

Mid-Summer Paradiddle

Just a quick mid-summer update here today. Most of the office staff over here at Four on the Floor are still on summer holidays so blogging will be sporadic until early September. However, there are still many great things to report in the world of Jazz drumming and here's a few cool things to check out.

-Drumming phenom and recent MacArthur Genius grant recipient Dafnis Prieto talks about his latest activities and his group the Proverb Trio over the fine blog Nextbop:

Prieto also alludes to a new multi-volume drum method book of his that is in the works. I look forward to checking that out but I can only imagine what crazy independence patterns and concepts he'll come up with!!!

-Vanguard Orchestra drummer and educator John Riley shares some thoughts about using the melody as a tool while playing time and comping with a rhythm section:

As always, I'm impressed and inspired by Riley's great playing and his ability to clearly articulate his ideas and concepts.

-Thank you to Kenan Foley who recently forwarded me these two pieces featuring the great Michael Carvin. Here's Carvin in a radio interview over at WBGO:

And here's a very informative article from

Here is some footage of a solo drum set performance that Carvin gave in Pittsburgh a few years ago:

This next clip (that I've blogged about before) is from a recently released Jazz Icons 1973 Freddie Hubbard concert recored in France:

I love everything about this solo and this entire concert (which consists of THREE extended songs!) I've been playing this DVD around the house quite a bit lately and I really admire the intensity, power, spirit and commitment that everyone, and in particular Michael Carvin, play with on this recording.

I don't believe that this particular band recorded a CD together (?) but I strongly suggest picking up the DVD.

-What am I listening to this summer?

I've been enjoying quite a bit of great music lately and driving across Western Canada has afforded me the time and opportunity to check out some really great CDs:

Duke Ellington "Unknown Session" - Sam Woodyard (drums)

PJ Perry & Kevin Dean Quintet "Ubiquitous" - Andre White (drums)

Lewis Nash Quintet "The Highest Mountain" - Lewis Nash (drums)

Kenny Wheeler "Music for Large and Small Ensembles" - Peter Erskine (drums)

Kenny Wheeler "Deer Wan" - Jack DeJohnette (drums)

Kenny Wheeler "Gnu High" - Jack DeJohnette (drums)

Dexter Gordon "GO" - Billy Higgins (drums)

Bobby Hutcherson "Dialogue" - Joe Chambers (drums), Bobby Hutcherson (vibraphone)

Ulysses Owens "Unanimous" - Ulysses Owens (drums)

John Ellis "It's You I Like" - Rodney Green (drums)

David Kikoski "Consequences" - Jeff "Tain" Watts (drums)

John Coltrane & Don Cherry "The Avant-Garde" - Edward Blackwell (drums)

Wynton Marsalis "Black Codes From The Underground" - Jeff "Tain" Watts (drums)

Milt Jackson "Bag's Groove" - Dick Berk (drums), Milt Jackson (vibraphone)

-Portland-based drummer Alan Jones is one musician that everybody should know about!

-I'm also always interested in what Cuban-born drummer Francisco Mela is up to these days. A recent conversation with Boston/Toronto pianist Carmen Spada prompted me to search up his name on again. Here is in a great and spirited solo with McCoy Tyner and Esperanza Spalding from a concert in Central Park:

-Jack DeJohnette recently performed at the Newport Jazz Festival and fortunately for those of us who couldn't make it (!) it was recorded and here it is for all to enjoy:

-My good friend Matt Wilson is making his debut as a leader at the Village Vanguard during the first week of September. Don't miss it!!!

I hope you are all having a great summer and please be patient and enjoy the occasional post until we are back full-time in September.

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