Well it's finally September. Welcome back and now that summer is pretty much over (yikes!) the office staff over here at Four on the Floor are slowly making their way back to their cubicles and hard at work. Frequent blogging will now resume and our foreign correspondents have accumulated a wealth of fun things to share in the weeks and months ahead. Thanks for your support and please come back often.
Here's what's buzzing around Four on the Floor HQ these days:
- New York Latin Jazz drum Steve Berrios passed away earlier this summer. Here's a few nice articles from around the web about this very influential and yet underrated percussionist:
I first heard Steve play with the Fort Apache band at the Sweet Basil in New York around the year 2000. I had just come straight from my audition at the Manhattan School of Music and was determined to hear this alleged master of the Latin Jazz drumming continuum. And I wasn't disappointed. His drumming had all the roots of both Afro-Cuban and Jazz drumming mixed and matched in a very personal and musical way. I don't think I've ever played a cowbell with my drums the same way since.
I was first introduced to Steve's drumming when his name was mentioned in an interview with Jeff "Tain" Watts. Apparently Steve was the drummer that Tain sought out after he had left the Tonight Show Band and moved back to New York. You can definitely hear a modern Latin Jazz/Timba influence in Tain's drumming at times and a lot of this comes via Steve.
Here's a few videos of Steve Berrios doing his thing:
- Here's a couple of things from drummer Carl Allen to check out.
First, a roundtable chat with Allen and Allison Miller:
And here's a masterclass from Carl taken from the Montreux Jazz Festiaval:
If you didn't catch Carl's masterclass on ride cymbal playing from last year's JazzEd Conference, here are some highlights:
- My good friend, New York Jazz drummer Alvin Atkinson Jr. has a cool series of interviews on-line called "The Drummer Speaks". Check out this episode featuring none other than Gregory Hutchinson:
- Here's Adam Nussbaum in action from a recent masterclass over at Drummer's Collective featuring guitarist Oz Noy:
- What am I listening to these days? I've been checking out a lot of great music over the past few months. Here's what's been spinning on my CD player, turntable, mp3 player and car stereo lately:
Jackie McLean "Swing, Swang, Swingin" - Art Taylor (drums)
Elvin Jones "Puttin' it Together" - Elvin Jones (drums)
Christian McBride Trio "Out Here "- Ulysses Owens Jr. (drums)
Alan Jones Sextet "Climbing (Rough)" - Alan Jones (drums)
Miles Davis "The Birth of the Cool" - Kenny Clarke/Max Roach (drums)
Mike LeDonne "Speak" - Joe Farnsworth (drums)
Igor Stravinsky "The Rite of Spring"
Erik Satie "Gymnopedies"
Ted Nash "The Creep" - Ulysses Owens Jr. (drums)
Warren Wolf - "Black Wolf" - Jeff "Tain" Watts (drums)
David Virelles "Continuum" - Fransisco Mela (drums)
Fort Apache "Rumba Buhaina" - Steve Berrios (drums & percussion)
Sonny Stitt "Sonny Stitt and Hank Jones" - Shadow Wilson/Roy Haynes (drums)
- A nice quote here worth considering from former US President Theodore Roosevelt:
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.”
- Finally, I'm very pleased to announce that my latest album "Sunalta" has been nominated for "Best Jazz Recording of the Year" by the Western Canadian Music Awards. The conference and awards ceremony take place in Calgary this coming October. http://breakoutwest.ca/2013-wcmas/
Thanks again to all who helped make this album happen!