WELCOME TO FOUR ON THE FOUR: A BLOG ABOUT JAZZ DRUMMING AND ALL THINGS UNRELATED, BROUGHT TO YOU BY JON McCASLIN

Monday, January 18, 2021

Joey Baron - Solo Drums & Percussion Duo

Some incredible percussion music from Joey Baron today, in both solo and duet configurations.

I am working on a few drum and percussion projects myself these days, so listening to all this music was very timely and certainly inspired me!

First up, audio from two complete sets of Baron's solo performance at Roulette NYC recorded circa. 1993:


 

I've shared these two before but they are really worth reading/listening to again:

- Joey Baron's Deep Listening Manifesto from a 2018 Downbeat magazine feature

- Baron's 2014 interview from A Noise from the Deep by Greenleaf Music

And finally, here's more great, inventive drum and percussion music featuring Joey Baron on drums with Robyn Schulkowsky on percussion:




Friday, January 15, 2021

Four on the Floor *Live* on Instagram IGTV featuring Geoff Clapp!


Please join us for our next episode of Four on the Floor *Live* happening next Tuesday, January 19th at 7pm MST (9pm EST), appearing on Instagram IGTV 
@fouronthfloorblog featuring the one and only Geoff Clapp!

Check out Geoff's website and here is his most recent teaching community (highly recommend!): https://geoffclapp.podia.com



Thursday, January 14, 2021

Billy Hart!










I came away inspired following my conversation with Quincy Davis on Tuesday evening. Quincy was gracious enough to appear as a guest on my Four on the Floor *Live* series happening via Instagram IGTV Live (stay tuned for future episodes as I am attempting to present these every Tuesday!) 

Anyways, Billy Hart's name came up (he was Quincy's teacher during his time at Western Michigan University) and I thought I would dig up and share a few interviews and clips of the Master himself. 

- Pablo Held offers this excellent interview with Billy Hart:

 

- An interview segment for the NAMM Oral History Project 

- Billy offers his take on "uniqueness":

 

- And finally, some footage of Jabali with Herbie Hancock's Mwandishi band, filmed in Paris circa. 1972:


This is really beautiful music!

*BONUS!* 

Here is that EXPLOSIVE clip of Roy Haynes with Chick Corea, Christian McBride and Kenny Garrett that I mentioned during my conversation with Quincy:

 
Yeah!

Monday, January 11, 2021

The Monday Morning Paradiddle - January 2021

Welcome back! Here is the first issue of the Monday Morning Paradiddle variety column for 2021. People were sharing a lot of great stuff via social media over the holidays so here's my hit list of some things to check out and perhaps even offer a distraction (if only for a moment...) from all the craziness happening in the world today.

*Also, please don't forget to subscribe to my mailing list on the right hand side of the page to receive regular updates whenever I publish a new blog post. Don't miss out and get Four on the Floor delivered straight to your inbox!*

1) Interested in learning something? 

Well, if your answer is yes, then definitely check out these two upcoming on-line courses via Zoom:

I highly recommend enrolling in Ian Froman's four-session long Contemporary Jazz Drumming Listening Class, offered by The Collective.








Also check out Vinnie Sperrazza's well researched and multi-part History of American Drumming, 1890-2020.

Both of these courses start this week. There is great information out there, being offered by people who really know what they are talking about. Grab it while you can.

2) I am also really looking forward to watching these two documentaries on Paul Motian and Milford Graves:

Motian In Motion_TRAILER from Michael Patrick Kelly on Vimeo.

Milford Graves Full Mantis from Full Mantis on Vimeo.

3) Here's a feature on Jerry Granelli from CBC Radio's Ideas in a piece entitled "Jazz is just a reflection of life: The musical genius of Jerry Granelli" 

Granelli is also featured in this episode of the Drum History Podcast

4) UNT's Quincy Davis is back at it again with more instalments of his wonderful Q-Tip series:

 

Don't miss my upcoming interview with Quincy! 

Please join me for my next episode of Four on the Floor *Live* happening tomorrow: Tuesday, January 12th at 7pm MST (9pm EST), appearing on Instagram IGTV @fouronthfloorblog (just click the link on the side of this page!)

Hey Q, nice sticks!

5) Joe Farnsworth is back with yet another awesome episode of It's Time to Swing, this time featuring the drummers, percussionists and rhythms of Latin America and beyond:

 

6) Jason Marsalis, Shannon Powell and Herlin Riley (aka The New Orleans Groovemasters) offer this swinging collaborative version of Cherokee:

 

 7) Herlin Riley interviewed by Clifford Koufman:

 

8) Ari Hoenig offers this great ride cymbal lesson:

 

9) Billy Drummond recently featured on the Gretsch Afternoon Drum Break, interviewed by Neil LaFortune:

 

Here's some great footage of Billy in action with the late Frank Kimbrough on piano and Dezron Douglas on bass:

 

I was very sad to hear about Frank Kimbrough's recent passing. I didn't know Frank very well but he was very kind to me during my brief time in New York City, back in 2004. I made a point of watching him play with the Jazz Composer's Collective every single night of their week-long run at the Jazz Standard and I really enjoyed our post-gig conversations (mostly outside the club on the sidewalk while he puffed on his cigarette while we talked about music). He was also the one who opened my ears to the music of Herbie Nichols and he was very generous with his time, knowledge and wisdom during our subsequent correspondences via e-mail.

10) Jeff Tain Watts interviewed by Henry Hey:

 

11) Edu Ribeiro continues with his excellent Drum Conversations YouTube series, presented by Open Studio. Check out these two recent episodes featuring Terri Lyne Carrington...

  

...and Joe LaBarbera:

 

12) An older piece but here's the ever musical and creative Larnell Lewis and Mike Downes playing an electric bass and percussion duet on "Ode to Lucky Luke":

 

13) Chick Corea on drums!

 

14) Samo Salamon interviews Matt Wilson:

 


15) What am I listening to these days?

Hank Jones "Compassion" - Alan Dawson (drums)

Joe Lovano "Quartets" - Lewis Nash & Billy Hart (drums)

Dizzy Gillespie "Duets" - Charli Persip (drums)

Christian McBride, Roy Hargove & Stephen Scott "Parker's Mood"

Christian McBride, Mark Whitfield & Nicholas Payton "Fingerpainting"

Joel Haynes Trio "The Time is Now" - Joel Haynes (drums)

Kahil El'Zabar & Billy Bang "Spirits Entering" - Kahil El'Zabar (drums & percussion)

Jeff Cosgrove "Conversations with Owls" - Jeff Cosgrove (drums)


16) And today's Last Word goes to....me!

Henry Beaumont (1932-2021) was Calgary's greatest jazz fan and although he admitted to me that he didn't care much for drum solos, he did enjoy my brushwork (and I was always happy to oblige). He then told me about the time he saw Kenny Clarke play with Horace Silver, Percy Heath and Milt Jackson! 

Anyways, thank you Henry and this one is for you...

Friday, January 8, 2021

Four on the Floor *Live* on Instagram IGTV featuring Quincy Davis!

Please join us for our next episode of Four on the Floor *Live* happening next Tuesday, January 12th at 7pm MST (9pm EST), appearing on Instagram IGTV @fouronthfloorblog featuring Quincy Davis!

Quincy Davis is assistant professor of drumset at the University of North Texas. Prior to his appointment, Davis was assistant professor of jazz drumset studies at the University of Manitoba (Canada).

Born in Grand Rapids, MI, Davis comes from a very musical family. He began taking drum lessons at age 6 and often would play with his brother Xavier Davis (piano) in their basement. In his elementary and middle school bands, he also played trumpet and tuba. 

His formal musical studies began during his 11th grade year at Interlochen Arts Academy (IAA). There he studied classical percussion as well as trap-set drumming. IAA is where he received his first experience playing with a jazz band. IAA proved to be an important contribution to Davis’ future successes.

In 1995, Davis graduated from IAA and began college at Western Michigan University. There he studied with drum master, Billy Hart. Along with learning more about the drums, Mr. Hart instilled in Davis a deep knowledge of music, which has proven to be very important to his career. During these collegiate years, Davis played at various collegiate jazz festivals where notable musicians like Benny Green, Bunky Green, Jon Faddis, Roy Haynes, Carl Allen, Louis Hayes, and Wallace Roney heard and recognized Davis’ talents with written accolades and awards. 

After graduating in 1999, Davis taught elementary and middle school instrumental music in the Grand Rapids area for one year.

In the summer of 2000, Davis moved to New York City. He quickly became one of the sought after “young cats" on the New York jazz scene. In New York, Davis played with many great musicians such as Wynton Marsalis, Frank Wess, Russell Malone, Eric Reed, Paquito D'Rivera, Kurt Elling, George Coleman, Eric Alexander, Mike Ledonne, Lew Tebakin, Vanessa, Rubin, Warren Vache, Ron Blake, Jon Faddis, Gerald Clayton, Clayton Brothers, Peter Berstein, David Hazeltine, Roy Hargrove, Randy Johnston, Laverne Butler, Paula West, Nicholas Payton, New York Voices, Ryan Kisor and Wessell Anderson. 

Davis can be heard on over 30 albums playing with many notable jazz artists including Tom Harrell, Gretchen Parlato, Bobby Watson, Benny Golson, Ted Rosenthal, Marcus Printup, Dave Stryker, Walt Weiskopf, Stefon Harris, Benny Green, Aaron Diehl, Bobby Watson, Xavier Davis, Danny Grissett, Vincent Gardner, Frank Wess, Darmon Meader, Sachal Vasandani and many more. 

In 2014, Davis released his debut recording as a leader, Songs In the Key of Q, which in its second week of being released, reached top 5 of Jazz Week’s jazz chart of new jazz recordings.

Monday, January 4, 2021

Tim Mah's Recommended International Jazz Albums of 2020















And...we're back. 

Thanks for checking in and now that 2020 is behind us, hopefully we can look forward to better things in the year ahead. Stay safe and be patient everyone.


Today's blog post features the third instalment of Tim Mah's three-part series of recommended jazz releases from 2020. Part one featured recordings released by drummers and Part two featured releases by Canadian jazz artists. Today's guest column features recommended new jazz music released in 2020 from a global perspective.

Tim's weekly radio program Jazz Today can be heard on CJSW Radio 90.9 fm (Calgary, Alberta, Canada) on Thursday mornings from 530-7am MST. It is also streamed on the CJSW website and is available through Apple Podcasts.

I'd like to thank Tim for taking the time to put together these extensive year-end retrospectives. The focus of his radio program (and of these lists) is to feature some of the great new music that is being released these days and to highlight many of the artists that are creating new and original music (I think his radio program is appropriately named in that very regards!) Anyone who thinks that there is nothing new happening these days need only listen to an episode of Tim's radio program or check out any of the artists listed below.

I would encourage you all to take a listen to the artists that Tim has selected as he has carefully curated these compilations and listened to a lot of new music this year. I'm sure you'll discover something new (I certainly have!) Personally, I am encouraged by the amount of great new music being released these days and I think this offers a great sense of hope and optimism moving forward despite the uncertainty of the months ahead.

Onwards & Upwards.










Tim Mah's 2020 International (non-Canadian) Jazz Album Recommendations

There was an abundance music released this year. Below is a list of some of my favourite albums from international (non-Canadian) artists, released from December 2019 to November 2020, excluding drummers.

Drummers were featured in previous posts (May 15 and December 21, 2020). Since the Four on the Floor blog is about drumming, I wanted to put a spotlight on drummer-led albums released during the year. Hopefully, featuring drummers on a separate list will bring more focus on these albums and the drummers.    

The 2021 Grammy nominations included drummers Terri Lyne Carrington, John Hollenbeck and Poncho Sanchez. However, there are many more drummer-led albums worth your attention. Please refer back to the previous posts and listen to 2020 albums from Asher Gamedze, Chad Taylor, Quin Kirchner, Makaya McCraven, Rudy Royston, Eric Binder, Jim Black, Nate Smith and Dan Weiss, to name a few. And go back to lists from previous years. For example, the drummers on the 2019 list included from Kendrick Scott, Johnathan Blake, Terri Lyne Carrington, Allison Miller, Ali Jackson (with the Yes! Trio) and Jerome Jennings.

For Canadian artists, please refer to the previous guest post on December 28, 2020. There are a lot of great albums released this year that will not be mentioned in this post.

The intent of this list is not to be comprehensive, but rather to provide readers with a starting point to explore the music that is currently available.    


Maria Schneider Orchestra “Data Lords”

Here’s the album trailer:

    

Luciana Souza with the WDR Big Band Cologne and Vince Mendoza “Storytellers”

Below is a video of a live performance of Luciana Souza and the WDR Big Band performing “Mar de Copacabana” (written by Gilberto Gil):

    

Ben Williams “I am a Man”

Here is the audio for “If You Hear Me”:

  

Mary Halvorson’s Code Girl “Artlessly Falling”

This is the audio for “Lemon Trees”


Ambrose Akinmusire “on the tender spot of every calloused moment”

Below is the audio for “Mr. Roscoe”:


Irreversible Entanglements “Who Sent You?"

Here is the official music video for “No Mas”:


Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah “Axiom”

This album was recorded live at the Blue Note jazz club in New York, before the pandemic restrictions were announced. Below is the audio for “Diaspora (Live)”:


Heroes Are Gang Leaders “Artificial Happiness Button”

Below is the audio of “Artificial Happiness Button":


Sara Serpa “Recognition”

Here is the audio for “Queen Nzinga”:


Thana Alexa “Ona”

This is a video of Thana Alexa and her band performing “Pachamama” at the Jazz Standard:


John Ellis “The Ice Siren”

Below is is the video of the performance of “The Ice Siren” at the Jazz Gallery:
  

Rob Mazurek & Exploding Star Orchestra “Dimensional Stardust”

Here is the official music video for “A Wrinkle in Time Sets Concentric Circles Reeling”:


Shabaka & the Ancestors “We Are Sent Here By History"

The official music video for “The Coming of the Strange Ones”:


Aubrey Johnson “Unraveled”

Below is the official music video for “Unraveled.”:


Nubya Garcia “Source”

Here is the audio for “Source":


Angel Bat Dawid and Tha Brothahood “Live"

This is the audio for “What Shall I Tell My Children Who Are Black (Live)”:


Immanuel Wilkins “Omega”:

Below is the audio for “Omega”:


Gerald Clayton “Happening: Live at the Village Vanguard”

Here is the audio for “A Light":


Aaron Parks “Little Big II: Dreams of a Mechanical Man”

This is the audio for “The Shadow and the Self”:


Eric Revis “Slipknots Through a Looking Glass”

Below is the audio file for “Baby Renfro”:


Kurt Rosenwinkel Trio “Angels Around”

Here is the official video for “Ugly Beauty” (written by Thelonious Monk), featuring Dario Deidda (bass) and Gregory Hutchinson (drums):


Artemis “Artemis”

The members of Artemis are Renee Rosnes, Cecile McLorin Salvant, Anat Cohen, Melissa Aldana, Ingrid Jensen, Noriko Ueda and Allison Miller.

Below is the audio for “Goddess of the Hunt” (written by Allison Miller):


Joshua Redman, Brad Mehldau, Christian McBride & Brian Blade “RoundAgain”

This is the video of the band performing “Right Back Round Again”:


Ron Miles “Rainbow Sign"

Here is the video for “Queen of the South”:     


Kathleen Grace with Larry Goldings “Tie Me to You”

Below is a video for “Where or When” (written by Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart):     

    

*BONUS*

If you would like more recommendations, below is a list of more artists with new releases in 2020 (in alphabetical order):

Aaron Diehl “The Vagabond”

Alan Braufman “The Fire Still Burns”

Andrew D’Angelo & DNA Orchestra “DNA Orchestra”

Anne Mette Iversen Quartet + 1 “Racing a Butterfly”

Angelica Sanchez & Marilyn Crispell “How to Turn the Moon”

Aruan Ortiz, Andrew Cyrille & Mauricio Herrera “Inside Rhythmic Falls”

Avishai Cohen “Big Vicious”

Bill Frisell “Valentine”

Billy Childs “Acceptance”

Black Art Jazz Collective “Ascension”

Brandon Seabrook “Exultations (with Cooper-Moore & Gerald Cleaver)”

Butcher Brown “#KingButch”

Carla Bley (with Steve Swallow & Andy Sheppard) “Life Goes On”

Carlos Nino & Miguel Atwood-Ferguson “Chicago Waves”

Carolina Calvache “Vida Profunda”

Cathlene Pineda “Rainbow Baby”

Chad McCullough “Forward”

Charles Lloyd “8: Kindred Spirit (Live at the Lobero)”

Chicago Underground Quartet “Good Days”

Chris Dingman “Embrace”

Chris Speed / Dave King / Reid Anderson / Tim Berne “Broken Shadows Live”

Christian McBride “The Movement Revisited: A Musical Portrait of Four Icons”

Christian McBride Big Band “For Jimmy, Wes and Oliver”

Christian Sands “Be Water”

Clark Sommers’ Ba(SH) feat. Dana Hall & Geof Bradfield “Peninsula”

Cory Smythe “Accelerate Every Voice”

Connie Han “Iron Starlet”

Dan Rosenboom “Absurd in the Anthropocene” and “Points on an Infinite Line”

Derrick Hodge “Color of Noize”

Dinner Party (Terrace Martin, Robert Glasper, 9thWonder & Kamasi Washington) “Dinner Party”

Dinosaur “To the Earth”

Dustin Laurenzi’s Natural Language “A Time and a Place”

Elsa Nilsson “Hindsight”

Emi Makabe “Anniversary”

Fred Hersch “Songs from Home” and “Live at the Village Vanguard (with Esperanza Spalding)”

Gary Bartz & Maisha “Night Dreamer”

Geof Bradfield, Ben Goldberg & Dana Hall Trio “General Semantics”

Gregory Porter “All Rise”

GoGo Penguin “GoGo Penguin”

Ingrid Laubrock “Dreamt Twice, Twice Dreamt”

James Brandon Lewis “Molecular” and “Live in Willisau (with Chad Taylor)”

Jasper Hoiby “Planet B”

Jason Kao Hwang “Human Rites Trio”

Jason Palmer “The Concert: 12 Musings for Isabella

Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra – released seven albums in 2020; all sound great. Check out “The Music of Wayne Shorter” and the Duke Ellington tribute “Black, Brown & Beige” 

JD Allen “Toys / Die Dreaming”

Jeff Parker “Suite for Max Brown”

Jen Allen “Sifting Grace”

Jeremy Pelt “The Art of Intimacy, Vol. 1”

Joel Ross “Who Sent You?”

John Scofield “Swallow Tales" (feat. Steve Swallow & Bill Stewart)

Jorge Roeder “El Suelo Mio”

Jose James “No Beginning No End 2”

Josh Johnson “Freedom Exercise”

Junk Magic “Compass Confusion”

Jure Pukl “Broken Circles”

Jyoti “Mama, You Can Bet!”

Kat Edmonson “Dreamers Do”

Kathrine Windfeld “Orca”

Kenny Barron & Dave Holland Trio (feat. Johnathan Blake) “Without Deception”

Kurt Elling (with Danilo Perez) “Secrets Are the Best Stories”

Lakecia Benjamin “Pursuance: The Coltranes””

Liberty Ellman “Last Desert” 

Lionel Loueke “HH”

Logan Richardson “Afrofuturism”

Luke Stewart Exposure Quintet “Luke Stewart Exposure Quintet”

Mara Rosenbloom “Flyways: Murmuration (feat. Anais Maviel & Rashaan Carter) and “Respiration (feat. Sean Conly & Chad Taylor)”

Mark de Clive-Lowe “Dreamweavers” (feat. Andrea Lombardini & Tomasso Cappellato)

Marquis Hill “Soul Sign” and “Love Tape with Voices”

Matt Gold “Imagined Sky”

Matt Ulery “Pollinator”

Matthew Halsall “Salute to the Sun”

Matthew Shipp “The Piano Equation” and “The Unidentifiable”

Micah Thomas “Tide”

Nate Wooley “Seven Storey Mountain VI”

Nduduzo Makhathini “Modes of Communication: Letters from the Underworlds”

Nir Felder “II”

Okkyung Lee “Yeo-Neun”

Omer Avital “Qantar: New York Paradox”

Orrin Evans & the Captain Black Big Band “The Intangible Between”

Pat Metheny “From This Place”

Peter Bernstein “What Comes Next”

Reverso (Ryan Keberle & Frank Woeste) “The Melodic Line”

Sam Gendel “Satin Doll”

Sasha Berliner “Azalea”

Somi “Holy Room: Live at the Alte Oper”

Sun Ra Arkestra “Swirling”

Sylvie Courvoisier Trio “Free Hoops”

Takuya Kuroda “Fly Moon Die Soon”

The Nels Cline Singers “Share the Wealth”

Thumbscrew “The Anthony Braxton Project”

Thundercat “It Is What it is”

Tigran Hamasyan “The Call Within”

Tineke Postma “Freya”

Tomeka Reid & Alexander Hawkins “Shards and Constellations”

Trio Grande (Will Vinson, Gilad Hekselman & Antonio Sanchez) “Trio Grande”

Warren Wolf “Reincarnation”

Wayne Escoffery “The Humble Warrior”

Will Vinson “Four Forty One”

Wolfgang Muthspiel “Angular Blues”

Zara McFarlane “Songs of an Unknown Tongue”