Monday, April 28, 2014

Slide Hampton Octet with Vinnie Ruggiero

I spent a couple of great days with Joe LaBarbera last week and over the weekend while he was in Alberta. I took a wonderful lesson with him and we spent our time together working on brush technique and, in particular, exploring his approach to playing ballads (more on this later!) Needless to say, he knows what he's talking about having played with the likes of Bill Evans, Tony Bennett and many, many more. His light touch, huge vocabulary and total command of the instrument is astounding. His big band drumming with Calgary's Prime Time big band on Saturday afternoon was also equally impressive and a real testament to Joe's overall musicality and complete artistry as a total drummer.

During our conversations Joe suggested that I check out this following footage of the Slide Hampton Octet from a concert date in France featuring Vinnie Ruggiero on drums. Vinnie spent a great deal of time in Rochester, New York and was good friends with Philly Joe Jones. As you'll see below, Ruggiero was one real swingin' drummer:

To learn more about the drummer Vinnie Ruggiero, check out this website maintained by his son, L.A. drummer Charles Ruggiero:

In particular, scroll down this page and check out his hand-written transcriptions!

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