Monday, October 7, 2013

The Monday Morning Paradiddle

Well, it's been some seriously busy times around here lately following ten days of exciting projects on the go around town including gigs with my Birth of the Cool nonet project, epic gigs with saxophonists PJ Perry and Phil Dwyer and then my own band as part of the Breakout West Festival/Western Canadian Music Awards.

But, as always, here's a plethora of random and interesting things to check out:

- Drummer Dave King of The Bad Plus fame recently sat down with NPR and produced a very thought provoking interview:

I love this quote:

"If your drummer sucks, you suck. Like if your goalie sucks, your hockey team sucks!"

There is definitely truth to this!

Here is another more extensive masterclass with Dave King and as you'll see, he has lots to say!

- Willie Joness III has always been another favourite of mine. Here he is featured with pianist Cedar Walton and dig the Billy Higgins influenced latin groove and drum solo:

- My good friend and percussionist Luis Tovar recently presented his own TEDx Talk here in Calgary:

Luis is a serious percussionist and master of rhythm. You can catch him with any number of great latin bands on regular basis in the Calgary area.

- Bassist Butch Warren recently passed away. I can't begin to think of how many of favourite albums he appears on! Peter Hum over the Ottawa Citizen posted a very nice article about him over at

Jason Marsalis was also quick to remind us of Warren's master of the beat via this one:

- My good friend and former fellow McGill  Jazz drummer Rich Irwin recently gave a drum clinic in Ottawa:

Can you name the tune he's alluding to throughout?

- I thought this one was quite interesting. Here are a series of videos of Canadian drumming icon Al Cross as interviewed by Al Hay. In these clips he talks extensively about Joe Morello and the Moeller technique:

- Here's another great interview with Jack DeJohnette courtesy of George Colligan and

I really learned a lot from this article and, in particular, the part where Jack explains how he develops his bass drum technique:

"Ok, for developing the bass drum technique, at least for my type of practicing, I play with ride cymbal beats, letting the right foot follow the right hand, practicing slowly, always practicing slowly and gradually build it up. You determine what speed and intensity you can do it, so you don't overdo it. You have to develop this technique utilizing the spastic muscle. You're doing this off of your toe, so your heel is up. You can also try and do it flat footed, heel toe heel toe heel toe, doing it that way, or doing both ways. But you get more power out of it when the foot is up, using the heel toe. And then the other thing to do is play triplets, utilize the triplets, and then playing with accents, you can either use your ride cymbal to follow, and just play independently. Then the next thing to try is to play things, ideas that you know, between the hand and foot, or play ideas with the foot that you normally play with two hands, or one hand. It takes some time to build it up. I'm still working on developing it. It depends on the solo I'm doing whether I'll utilize... sometimes I'll take a whole solo with the foot. And you know that's a whole other kind of concept, but doing it in the way so that it communicates something musically. Yeah, its a challenge, but fun."

- Here's one of Jack putting that wisdom into practice from the Drum Boogie Festival held annually in Woodstock, NY:

- Ralph Peterson Jr. has been a real influence lately, especially in light of his recent instructional DVD release. Here's Peterson and saxophonist Bill Pierce discussing their upcoming Art Blakey Tribute. There are also some nice shots of Peterson's drumming and his drum impressions of "Buhaina" throughout:

- New Orleans and 2nd Line funkmaster Stanton Moore recently paid a visit to the Regina Drum Festival and brought the house down with a little help my good friends, the Pile of Bones Brass:

- Irish Bassist Ronan Guilfoyle recently posted this brilliant quote and piece of advice from Elvin Jones:

“There’s only one way to achieve this thing, and that’s hard work. You’ve got to do it. You can’t just dream that something is going to happen; you’ve got to make it happen. And the way to do that is to prepare. And preparing requires a lot of discipline. They used to say, ’Go into the woodshed and practice.’ That’s what it’s all about. You have to get into the shed. A lot of young cats have the wrong idea. They forget there’s a lot of hard work involved. I try to keep them aware of the fact that hard work is necessary to accomplish that. They have to get in the habit of self-discipline, and not just when you think somebody’s looking. You have to do it all the time. It has to be part of what your life is all about. You commit to music in a way that you commit to yourself. If you can’t do that, you might as well forget it.”

There's some serious wisdom in there.

Also, check out Ronan's nice tribute to drummer John Wadham:

- Speaking of Elvin case you haven't seen this pivotal documentary on Elvin called "Different Drummer", I suggest you drop whatever it is you are doing immediately and watch this!


When the masters speak, we listen!

Alright everyone, that's all I've got today. Thanks for checking in and come back soon!

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