Monday, May 18, 2020

The Monday Morning Paradiddle - May 2020

And...we're back.

Well, not much has changed lately and most of us are still stuck at home these days. It's just going to take some patience to get through this all.

However, if you can do so, perhaps use this time as an opportunity for artistic growth and renewal. Consider practicing something new that you've been meaning to get to on the drums, listen to some new music, write new compositions for a future project, practice the piano, change your drumheads, work on your rudiments, play the brushes, read books, etc. In the words of writer Austin Kleon, the most important thing is to Keep Going in whatever way works best for you (oh yes, and don't forget to keep your distance and wash your hands!)

Onwards & Upwards.

Thanks again for all your support. I'd love to hear from you all (any comments? requests?) Please feel free to drop me a line at fouronthefloorblog@gmail.com anytime or contact me through my Facebook, Twitter or Instagram pages (see the links at the side of the page).

Okay, so now on with the show! Here's what's on the program for the May edition of The Monday Morning Paradiddle column:

- A BBC feature on the late Afro-Beat drumming legend Tony Allen

- Jazz.org offers The Pulse of Jazz - An Introduction to Jazz Drums; a great, brief intro and playlist highlighting the dynamic history and evolution of jazz drumming

- Nick Fraser is one of Toronto's busiest jazz drummers but he still had time for an interview and feature with The Jazz Hole, discussing many of the creative projects he's currently involved with

- Stewart Copeland interviewed by Rolling Stone Magazine on life in quarantine and remembering his friend Neil Peart

 - JazzTimes magazine offers this Before & After feature with Kendrick Scott and Dave King, Jeff Tain Watts and Terri Lyne Carrington speak to The Plight of the Drummer-Composer

- Adam Nussbaum interviewed by 60 Minuten. Here's Part 1 and Parts 2 & 3

And also another older 2018 Q&A feature with Nussbaum from Downbeat Magazine

- Check this out: here's Chick Corea talking about the significance of the iconic flat ride cymbal that Roy Haynes played on Corea's 1968 trio masterpiece "Now He Sings, Now He Sobs":

- John DeChristopher continues with his acclaimed Live from my Living Room series, this time featuring Peter Erskine and Adam Nussbaum:

- Jazz Student Culture offers this interview with Antonio Sanchez:

- Bill Stewart interviewed by Pablo Held Investigates:

- Ari Hoenig interviewed via the Konnakol: Interviews & Insights with the Masters series:

- A rare excerpt from a masterclass with Joey Baron:

- UNT's Quincy Davis is back with another episode of his always informative Q-Tip of the Week series, this time featuring the art of playing stick shots:

- Joe Farnsworth is interviewed by Dispatches from the Social Distance and offers a swinging solo drum interpretation of Neil Hefti's "Cute":

- Here's an extended excerpt of the very rare Ed Thigpen/Ray Brown drum & bass instructional LP "Be Our Guest":

- From tenor saxophonist Ben Wendel's Standards with Friends series, here is Wendel with drummer/multi-instrumentalist Nate Wood on Tadd Dameron's "Good Bait":


- And finally, here's the great Jabali Billy Hart engaging in some dynamic trading with Kenny Werner on piano:


- What am I listening to these days?

Stan Getz "Live at Montmartre"- Billy Hart (drums)

Bill Evans/Stan Getz "Stan Getz & Bill Evans " - Elvin Jones (drums)

Sonny Stitt & Barry Harris "Tune Up!" - Alan Dawson (drums)

Lucky Thompson "Lucky Strikes" - Connie Kay (drums)

Sonny Stitt "Meets Oscar Peterson" - Ed Thigpen/Stan Levey (drums)

Sonny Criss "The Beat Goes On" - Alan Dawson (drums)

Coleman Hawkins with the Red Garland Trio "Swingville" - Specs Wright (drums)

Pat Collins Trio "Time Well Spent"

WC Anderson "Wait & See: Currents from Spirits" - Chad Anderson (drums & cymbals)

- And today's Final Word goes to my friend Kimberley Cooper, Artistic Director of Decidedly Jazz Danceworks, with these inspiring words of hope, optimism and creative fortitude, offered on the occasion of International Dance Day, which was recently celebrated on April 29th.

While this poem was presented to her fellow constituents in the jazz dance world, I feel that these words are also very relevant to us jazz drummers and all the creative types out there who are currently bound by the current circumstances.

My Fellow Dancers,

don’t forget
what we have in us

how it feels to get down and to soar
to laugh and cry with our bodies
and how we can physically speak in ways even poetry can’t

don’t forget
and what it feels like to sync with other bodies
harmonize breath
to take up space
to embody music
the deliciousness of becoming those beats, that riff, that groove

how history lives through us
that our blood, muscles and bones carry deep knowledge
that we are alchemists, inventers, shape shifters

how watching us move can change how people think, feel, live
that many envy us
the richness of our lives, what burns in us
as we do not sit idle
but when we do, we can express a 500-page novel with our little fingers

know that in whatever comes, we will be looked upon for comfort and solutions

don’t forget
to keep listening
to whatever lights that fire
your pulse, wind, white noise, jazz music

to trust our ancestors
real and imagined
that through war and famine
through enslavement and desolation
through thick and thin
dance has survived
it will always be ours

to confide in that elusive in the moment magic we have in us and always will
in how we walk
how we hold our heads
and in my circles, how we can’t help but to respond to music

please don’t forget
this thing we have
in this moment
it may be contained
it may be resting
but it’s in us and it will rise again

- Kimberley Cooper, Artistic Director of Decidedly Jazz Danceworks (and a lovely soul!)

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