Monday, December 12, 2011

The Monday Morning Paradiddle

Seasons greetings everybody!

Well it's been busy around these parts these days with the holidays fast approaching and the usual flurry of Christmas gigs with very talented musicians. Plus we've had some serious snow here in Calgary over the past few days so I've had to dust off my shovel and get back into that routine.

However, still time to share some interesting things that have come across my desk here at Four on The Floor lately:

-Thanks to Jay Hoggard who hipped me to these awesome Tony Williams drum solos via the Facebook:

I think of Tony now every time I play my newly refinished Premier drum set that I recently had redone in that classic TW Yellow finish. Hey, why not?

So here's the story on that. A couple of months ago I sent Rene Audette of Billy Blast Drums some Gretsch Catalina Maple toms (that I found used on Kijiji) and my 20" Premier XPK bass drum that came from the first drum set that I bought with my own money as a kid 20 years ago (!) That Premier kit has been my work horse kit since the early 90s and I've played hundreds of gigs on it from coast to coast in every style imaginable. I still have the toms as well but they were rewrapped in a slick red sparkle wrap by Ed Peck over at EPEK Percussion a couple of years ago.

Rene did an exceptional job of removing the existing finish on the Gretsch toms and the wrap from the Premier bass drum. He does great work for a great price and I highly recommend him if you are looking for any work to be done on your existing drums or for some reasonably priced custom drums.

I took these photos with my iPhone so unfortunately they don't do the finish of the drums much justice but you get the idea:

You'll notice that there are Premier badges on the toms. Yes, I cheated and put Premier badges on Gretsch toms. I just decided to do that for continuities sake. I think they look pretty good.

Here's a before and after comparison photo of the bass drum shell:

And here are the shells after I took them out of the box once they arrived in the mail:

They look a bit more "blonde" than they do yellow in these photos (!) but as you can see, Tony clearly approves : )

-I've really been digging the many videos on Allen Herman's youtube.com channel lately: http://www.youtube.com/user/ChicWebb?feature=watch

I was first introduced to Allen's fine drumming from his participation in Billy's Martin excellent drumumentary "Life on Drums" (Allen was Billy's first drum teacher). Allen demonstrates some great examples of snare drumming in his videos with lots of information and concepts passed on from his teacher, Joe Morello.

-Interested in some holiday cheer? Thanks to Carolyn Kellogg via Ted Giola via Peter Hum at jazzblog.ca here is Charles Mingus' favorite egg nog recipe: http://carolynkellogg.tumblr.com/post/13976963626/charles-mingus-eggnog-recipe

"Charles Mingus Egg Nog Recipe"

* Separate one egg for one person. Each person gets an egg.
* Two sugars for each egg, each person.
* One shot of rum, one shot of brandy per person.
* Put all the yolks into one big pan, with some milk.
* That’s where the 151 proof rum goes. Put it in gradually or it’ll burn the eggs,
* OK. The whites are separate and the cream is separate.
* In another pot— depending on how many people— put in one shot of each, rum and brandy.
(This is after you whip your whites and your cream.)
* Pour it over the top of the milk and yolks.
* One teaspoon of sugar. Brandy and rum.
* Actually you mix it all together.
* Yes, a lot of nutmeg. Fresh nutmeg. And stir it up.
* You don’t need ice cream unless you’ve got people coming and you need to keep it cold.
Vanilla ice cream. You can use eggnog. I use vanilla ice cream.
* Right, taste for flavor. Bourbon? I use Jamaica Rum in there. Jamaican Rums. Or I’ll put rye in it. Scotch. It depends.
See, it depends on how drunk I get while I’m tasting it!
-Charles Mingus

-Here's some footage of the great Al Foster to check out with Dave Holland on bass and Joe Henderson on tenor saxophone on Billy Strayhorn's "Take the A Train":

Love those Paistes!

-For all my bass playing friends out there who happen to read my blog, check this guy out !

-And finally, special thanks to John Riley who forwarded me the MOST amazing Buddy Rich bootleg site you will ever come across: http://www.mikejamesjazz.com/br_clips.html#unique_index

There are some serious gems in there including the infamous Buddy Rich "Look Ma, no hands!" double bass drum solos. The Sammy Kaye compilation of Buddy's introductions and monologues on the microphone from his short-lived nightclub "Buddy's Place" are worth it on there own!

I'm going to be taking a break from blogging here at Four On The Floor for the next while. After all, I need some time to shovel snow, make Egg Nog and and bake some festive cookies.

Thanks again for your continued support, drive safe everyone and see you in 2012!

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