Monday, September 16, 2019

The Monday Morning Paradiddle

Well, we are full into the swing of things now that Fall is here. Hope you are enjoying your time and working hard wherever you might be, back to school or back to work...

This is the first Monday Morning Paradiddle column in awhile now so here's more than a few things being passed around the Four on the Floor offices these days for your perusal and inspiration:

- Check out Ryan Shaw's new Jazz drumming blog Learn Jazz Drums. Lots of really great and practical Jazz drumming tips and advice to be found here on a regular basis!

- Listen to Dr. Collen Clark interviewed by the Drum History Podcast on her doctoral research "The Evolution of the Jazz Ride Pattern"

- Rudy Royston's "Always Listening" from Downbeat magazine

- Dave Douglas interviews drummer/composer Mareike Wiening at A Noise from the Deep. Also check out his interview with Andrew Cyrille!

- Sheila E. on 5 songs that changed her life from CBC Music

- Hey look! Vinnie Colaiuta now has his own podcast!

- French Jazz drummer Andre Ceccarelli offers this series of instructional videos en Francais:

- "Talkin' Jazz" with Herlin Riley, interviewed by WWNO radio

- Clayton Cameron shares Brush Methods of the Masters via DRUM! Magazine

- Trumpeter Nicholas Payton recently offered his thoughts and opinions on the influential comping style of Elvin Jones (via the Instagram) and how to get it right. Definitely some important points to consider here:

"The “Elvin thing” most drummers get into, it often ceases to be conversational and becomes filler. You gotta make sure there’s substance and reason for everything you play. Don’t just play noodlely shit on the drums because you can. All fills and accents have to be about creating an energy, moving the song forward, and a dialog. If not with the soloist, a conversation between the kick and snare or the toms. Whatever part of the kit you’re engaging with, make it purposed. What a lot of kats miss with Elvin is his ideas were about cascading and signaled a buildup to some sort of resolution. He just had a verbose way of doing it. He wasn’t that far off from Philly Joe. He just took longer to get there. Only then does playing all of that stuff inbetween make sense....There’s a code in Black music. Every question has an answer. It’s also about getting into and creating a space when you’re comping. Not about what you’re playing as it is about propelling the energy. You have to speak the language. Certain phrases have a logical answer or maybe several, but there’s a complementary rhythm to every phrase, that’s what “comp” is short for. It’s like boxing where you gotta be able to read your opponent’s move before they make it. But you’re not fighting, it’s more like dancing or playing with LEGOs. You gotta provide the framework and setting to make what just happened make sense and suggest the next possibility. Elvin set up these points of tension and then had a release, but they’d appear to be more busy than what they were. It was all about creating these pivot points leading to a resolution. How you setup the melody dictates what will follow. Don’t default to being too busy on the head in. Maybe there’s nothing wrong with playing that much shit out of the gate, but there has to be a reason to support it. Comping for a soloist is oftentimes like answering a knock at the door. Look through the peephole to see who it is, then respond accordingly. Opportunity could be knocking, don’t miss it! You’re not there to fill up space, you’re there to create space. You’re also there to create resolutions and solve problems. Sometimes you’re both creating and solving those problems. ALERT! Repetitive phrases are always an easy opportunity to interact. But don’t interact at the expense of making it dance. It should feel good, regardless of how bombastic. Be able to keep it dancing in short bursts as well as when playing complex figures with longer resolution points. And don’t just focus on the soloist while missing the chance to lock in with the other rhythm section players. And if you’re going to play a lot of shit, you must justify it with larger points of resolution. And it has to be more about where it’s leading than the shit you’re playing at the moment." - Nicolas Payton, via Instagram

- Vancouver's Mike Allen was recently caught playing this tenor/drum duet with the great Andre White:

- Poly-rhythm maestro Peter Magadini shares this poly-rhythmic paradiddle triplet concept from a recent drum clinic:

- Nate Smith offers a lesson in counting and takes everyone to school!

- Tenor saxophonist Seamus Blake unleashing on Giant Steps with Joe Farnsworth stoking the fire from behind the drums:

- Thanks to Cruiseship Drummer's Todd Bishop for sharing this amazing music!

- What am I listening to these days?

Scott Colley "This Place" - Bill Stewart (drums)

Gonzalo Del Fra "Standards in Dublin" - Gonzalo Del Fra (drums)

Peter Beets New York Trio "Page Two" - Willie Jones III (drums)

Christin McBride's "New Jawn" - Nasheet Waits (drums)

Gary Smulyan "Alternative Contrafacts" - Rodney Green (drums)

Mike LeDonne "Partners in Time" - Lewis Nash (drums)

Nathan Hiltz "Songs Poetic" - Morgan Childs (drums)

Charlie Rouse "Unsung Hero" - Dave Bailey (drums)

Craig Scott "Introducing Craig Scott" - Joe Poole (drums), Craig Scott (vibraphone)

- And today's Final Words go to Ron Miller with these important thoughts on improvising (sorry...the text is a bit fuzzy but it's worth the read!):

And then this one of course...

"Listening is the most important thing in music"

- Duke Ellington


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