Monday, August 23, 2010

The Morning AM Paradiddle

Hope everyone had a pleasant weekend as the end of August (and the summer for that matter!) is quickly looming on the horizon. Where the heck did this summer go anyways ?

- Someone in my comments section asked me to recommend my favorite Jack DeJohnette albums as a leader/sideman.
Here's a few of my favorites (I'll probably update this list over the course of the week as I think of more!):

Album Album
Music We Are
Bill Evans at The Montreux Jazz Festival
Anything with the Gateway Trio
Anything with the Keith Jarrett Standards Trio (Bye Bye Blackbird and Standards in Norway are two of my favorites)
Tales From The Hudson
Song X
Anything with Kenny Wheeler (Gnu High, Deer Wan, Double Double You)
Real Book

Please feel free to chime in with your favorites as well.

-I enjoyed a great gig on Friday night at the Beatniq Jazz & Social Club here in Calgary and was treated to a fine trio consisting John Riley on drums, Ralph Bowen on tenor saxophone and Kenny Davis on bass. They all sounded great and were all really stretching in their solos over a repertoire of classic standards. It was refreshing to hear such a high level of intensity and I really appreciated Riley's ability to accompany Bowen's long and developed solo's with such patience and musicality. From experience I know it's a challenge to pace yourself properly when playing with a tenor player (such as Bowen) who really likes to stretch and develop a solo over many, many choruses with such authority (paging my dear friend, Montreal tenor Al McLean here !). Also, the trio tackled a few extreme uptempo numbers and Riley demonstrated how it's done with text book precision and musicality. Riley and the others sounded GREAT and I would love to hear a recording of these three in the future.

-I was also very fortunate to spend an evening with John Riley last week for a private lesson over at my studio while he was in town teaching at the Mount Royal University Jazz workshop. John is a very genuine human being and an exceptional teacher. We mostly talked about some different approaches to playing odd meters on the drums and he left me with more than enough things to practice and listen to for awhile (time to stock up on my Dave Holland Quintet albums...). John was also kind enough to share some amazing recordings he had on his iPod featuring a very rare and revealing interview with Tony Williams, some studio outakes from the "Miles Smiles" session (interesting to hear Miles trying to teach Tony how to play that classic groove on "Freedom Jazz Dance") and introduced me to the Joe Morello drum solo on "Sounds of The Loop" (at some points it actually sounds like TWO drummers...check it out it out if you have a chance). If you ever have the opportunity to hear John play (ie. just about every Monday night at the Village Vanguard with the Vanguard Orchestra), see him in a clinic or take a private lesson with him I would highly recommended it. His knowledge of Jazz drumming and his ability to teach and explain those ideas are exceptional.

- My wife and I spent some time not too long ago at the Glenbow art gallery in Calgary checking out an exhibition featuring the work of Quebec abstract artist Jean Paul Riopelle. Similar to the work and concept of Jackson Pollock, Riopelle's works featured large canvases full of brilliant colours and unpredictable shapes. For some reason I feel a connection to his abstract paintings and in many ways I relate to his concept of "order from chaos". I sometimes wonder if his paintings might make a good visual representation of some of my drum solos (!)

- If anyone from Calgary is reading this please come out to some exciting gigs I am playing this coming Thursday and Friday evenings at the Beatniq Jazz & Social Club playing with a great band featuring the music of Cannonball and Nat Adderley:

A Tribute To The Adderley Brothers

Thursday, August 26 & Friday, August 27



Gerry "Cannonball" Hebert - Alto Sax

Johnny "Nat" Summers - Trumpet

Steve Fletcher - Piano

Kodi Hutchinson - Bass

Jon McCaslin - Drums

- I've got quite a bit on my plate coming up over the next month so my blogging is going to slow down a little bit. Thank you for your patience and your continued support.

- Hey does anyone know of some happening Jazz clubs in Rome ?

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