Monday, September 25, 2023

OPTION: Francisco Mela Solo!

Francisco Mela has been a favourite drummer of mine for sometime now and I'm always interested to hear what he's up to.

Here's a dynamic solo set from last summer, recorded for Chicago's Experimental Sound Studio series.

His comments in the ensuing interview at the very end are also very honest and compelling. Check it out.

Here's a couple of other older solo pieces that I quite enjoy watching as well and find myself returning to from time to time:

"We play music to free our souls!" - Francisco Mela

Tuesday, September 19, 2023

Snare Drum...

Prototype Snare Drum v1.0
Custom made by Ed Peck, EPEK Drums (Regina, SK Canada)
Logo design by Chad Anderson

Monday, September 18, 2023

Max Roach - Un Poco Loco

A brief, but fascinating audio recording of Max Roach describing first-hand his unique drum beat on Bud Powell's composition Un Poco Loco:


And to get even deeper into Max's important and clever pattern, here is Quincy Davis' breakdown from his excellent and ongoing Q-Tip YouTube.com jazz drumming lesson series:

As always, when the Masters speak, we listen.

Saturday, September 16, 2023

Living Music: A Film About Ra Kalam Bob Moses

Hey! My friend Clifford Koufman is working very hard and raising money to film a documentary about the great Ra Kalam Bob Moses and he needs our help!

A forthcoming documentary will highlight the life and musical legacy of pioneering drummer, composer, and innovator Ra Kalam Bob Moses. Moses has influenced generations of musicians and has played with Pat Metheny, Jaco Pastorius, and Charles Mingus. Sadly, Moses recently received a stage 4 cancer diagnosis. This film aims to help tell his story while there is still time.

Produced and directed by Nashville musician, educator, and interview show host Clifford Koufman, the film will follow Moses’ journey from his early days jamming with jazz legends in New York to his rise as an artist who has transcended genres and styles. Moses is known for his albums Bittersuite in the Ozone and When Elephants Dream of Music, and for his contributions to Pat Metheny’s Bright Size Life, an album that was deemed “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant” by the Library of Congress and selected for preservation in the National Recording Registry. Moses has developed his own philosophy of “living music” and mentored musicians seeking creative freedom.

“The most unconventional music lesson of my life led to this project,” says filmmaker Koufman of his first drum lesson with Moses. Since that lesson, Koufman and Moses have spent almost twenty years cultivating a friendship and mentee mentor relationship that have inspired Koufman to share what he’s learned through film. Koufman will conduct interviews and document the conversations of musical greats as they interact.

The film will also include interviews with other musicians Moses has influenced or collaborated with over the years. Locations for filming will include New Orleans, New York, Virginia, and other areas significant to Moses’ career.

This September, the heart of the documentary will be shot over a week in New Orleans. It will include live performances, master classes, and a recording session in which Moses will be joined by renowned musicians such as drummer Johnny Vidacovich and percussionist Bill Summers.

“Ra Kalam Bob Moses has impacted me and many others in unpredictable artistic and spiritual ways,” says Koufman. This film will convey Moses’ influence on music. In addition, Moses will narrate his personal journey as a free-spirited and innovative musical figure.

For information, to support the film, or for media interest email info@soundandrhythm.com or visit https://igg.me/at/bobmosesdrummerfilm.

Thursday, September 14, 2023

Generations: The Suit

Well, I'm super excited about these upcoming performances and very proud of this collaborative project that's literally been four years in the making!

“The Suit” is a contemporary solo dance piece featuring dancer Davida Monk, choreographed by Catherine Hayward, and a score of solo drum set and percussion music featuring myself on drums!

I've been dreaming about doing something like this for a long time now and looking forward to offering my vision of how solo drums can accompany a solo dancer in a musically compelling and creative way.

I took a lot of inspiration from a variety of percussive sources including Antonio Sanchez (aka "Birdman"), Andrew Cyrille, Milford Graves, Max Roach, Billy Martin, Rudy Royston, Francisco Mela, George Marsh, Susie Ibarra and many others (and the list goes on and on...)

If you find yourself in Calgary, Alberta September 22nd or 23rd, please come and check us out.

The evening includes four solo pieces by female artists who call Alberta home: Nicole Charlton Goodbrand, Catherine Hayward, Helen Husak and Davida Monk.

This production explores how different generations respond to the world. Does their work speak differently to you, the audience? And what can we learn from each other?

Come and enjoy an afternoon or evening of contemporary dance and satisfy your curiosity. 


featuring "The Suit"

TICKETS ON SALE | DJD Dance Centre | $25


September 22 - 730pm & post-show artist talk
September 23 - 2pm
September 23 - 730pm

For the extra curious, catch Friday night's post-show artist talk to learn more about the artists and their work.

Featuring works by:

Nicole Charlton Goodbrand with projection artist and designer Derek Demassi. Text written and performed by collaborator Ryan John Arnold.

Davida Monk, danced by Meghann Michalsky

Helen Husak

Catherine Hayward, danced by Davida Monk with original music composed and performed by Jon McCaslin (solo drums)

Photos: Aran Wilkinson-Blanc
Graphic Design: Heather Close