Monday, June 17, 2013
Last month I had the pleasure of playing with New York clarinetist Oran Etkin and his Timbalooloo project at the Calgary International Children's Festival. While learning Oran's music I checked out some youtube.com footage of his Jazz-themed children's show from a recent performance at the Paris Jazz club Duc des Lombards which featured none other than American ex-pat, Paris-based Jazz drummer John Betsch on drums.
Now I haven't really heard Betsch's name in a few years however one of my most memorable concert experiences was actually seeing him with Steve Lacy's trio at the Montreal Jazz Festival in 2001. I have to thank Montreal bassist Solon McDade for dragging me out to that show and I'm sure glad that he did! The concert featured mostly Lacy's interpretations of Thelonious Monk's music and I don't think I've ever heard anyone play this music with quite the same deep understanding and authenticity (and Betsch's drumming was certainly a big part of this.)
Here's a taste of Betsch demonstrating some nice custom made drums to give you a sense of this great drummer: