Thursday, September 27, 2012

Philly Joe Jones Inspired Single Drags and Fast Paradiddles

Here's an exercise/warm-up that I've been messing around with lately. Basically it's just a bar of alternating accented single drags followed by a bar of accented single paradiddles. This one was inspired by the beautiful snare drumming of Philly Joe Jones and Kenny "Mean Streets" Washington.

I've been practicing this one at a faster tempo these days with the idea of matching the phrasing of the doubles of the paradiddles with the doubles of the drags in the bar preceding them. You have to play this at a brisker pace for this to make sense.

Don't forget to really crank those accents.

(and play it with brushes too!)

So here you go:

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The Tuesday Morning Paradiddle

This post is a day late (!) but I just returned from a whirlwind trip to Vancouver and Victoria and catching up here.

- I heard some GREAT drumming from my fellow Canadian Jazz drumming blogger Jesse Cahill on Wednesday evening at the Cellar with Ross Taggart on piano and the ever swinging and soulful Jodi Proznick on bass. Ross' tribute to Sonny Clark's standards renditions was really happening.

- Looks like someone has a got a Tony Williams documentary in the works:

Personally, I'm really hoping to hear at least a little bit of the alleged bootleg that's apparently floating around out there of Tony sitting in with Coltrane's quartet.

- My other fellow Canadian Jazz drumming blogger Ted Warren posted this solo drum recital of his on his own blog awhile ago:

Man, that's really unbelievable. The ease with which he executes some of those things is really impressive. He's obviously put his time in on the instrument! I've long been considering doing a solo drum project myself but after seeing this, I clearly have a lot of work to do!

- Here's some up close action footage of Nasheet Waits from this summer's edition of the Newport Jazz Festival:

- Here's a profile on a great drummer from New York via Detroit by the name of Lawrence Leathers whom I've seen hosting the late night jam session at Smalls on numerous occasions:

Since when did IKEA start making drum thrones?

- Someone was thoughtful enough to press record while Elvin Jones gave a drum lesson one day:

As always, when I find myself in the company of older musicians (and the Masters, in particular) I remember what Kenny Washington told me once:

Keep your mouth shut.




- Congratulations to Jamison Ross who recently won the 2012 edition of the Thelonious Monk Competition. As you can see below, we'll likely be hearing from this fine young drummer in the years to come:

Here's a full report via NPR's A Blog Supreme:


And the New York Times:


- I've been listening a lot to the seminal Pat Metheny album "Bright Sized Life" recently and have really been getting into the unique drumming of Bob Moses.

I'm looking forward to having the opportunity to show off what I've learned on this upcoming gig (although I won't using Moses' famous twigs for drumsticks! ie. Vic Earth)

- If you are interested in studying with me, drop me a line sometime!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Bobby Durham with Oscar Peterson

I was hanging out with Vancouver flutist Jeremy Price last spring and he had me listen to a great Oscar Peterson LP entitled "Exclusively for my Friends" that featured OP with Sam Jones on bass and Bobby Durham on drums.

I had actually forgotten about this series of recordings that Oscar did with this particular line-up. Regina pianist Jim Gallagher had actually made me a copy of the whole series years ago (I think following a quartet gig we did with bassist Peter Dyksman and guitarist Chris Craig around 2003?) and unfortunately I forgot about them!

Bobby Durham is a great drummer with a very distinctive sound and style. He uses very small and bright cymbals and his drums are cranked!

Here's a full concert featuring that trio and Bobby is killing it! And of course, you can never go wrong with Sam Jones...

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Klook with Johnny Griffin 1970

What a find! Here's one of my personnel favorites, the great Kenny Clarke with Johnny Griffin circa. 1970:

Now if that cymbal beat doesn't inspire you...

...you must be dead!

But seriously folks, Klook really set the standard for all of us in terms of ride cymbal playing and you owe it to yourself to do your homework, study the greats and get your own cymbal beat together.

And you know who you are! lol ; )

Monday, September 17, 2012

Victor Lewis on Musical Drumming

Some truth and wisdom from someone who knows it!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Jeff Hamilton Masterclass

Sorry for the late post but it's been a busy teaching/gigging day today!

Here's the great Jeff Hamilton from a masterclass he gave last year with several informative tidbits to ponder:

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Tambourine 101 with Herlin Riley

Thanks to our French FOTR correspondent David Grebil, here's the great New Orleans Jazz drummer Herlin Riley taking some time to 'splain his unique and highly refined tambourine technique:

Monday, September 10, 2012

Max Roach 4tet - Berlin 1984

Here's some concert footage of my favorite, the great Max Roach, with his quartet from Berlin circa. 1984  featuring Cecil Bridgewater on trumpet, Odean Pope on tenor saxophone and Tyrone Brown on bass (in the first one, dig the extended drum intro over a 5/8 bass drum and hi-hat ostinato!):

Friday, September 7, 2012

Joey Baron & Lee Konitz Duet

This is one is for my friend (and a very fine drummer himself) Jeff Cosgrove.

Here's two masters engaged in a musical dialogue, Lee Konitz on alto saxophone and Joey Baron on drums:

And speaking of Joey Baron, here's a little clip of Baron taking a fantastically musical drum solo from this year's Newport Jazz Festival (I'm pretty sure that this was the group with Joe Lovano and Dave Douglas that was touring with this summer):

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

The Wednesday Morning Paradiddle

And....we're back.

It's been a fun-filled summer with lots on the go and now that fall is upon us, back to the grind we go! Blogging was on the relatively light side over the past couple of months but I've got plenty to share and now that September is here I will resume somewhat regular posts again. Thanks again for all your support and continued e.mails/messages.

So here's what's shakin' over here at the Four on the Floor offices these days:

-Winnipeg up-and-coming Jazz drummer Curtis Nowosad has a very nice blog of his own over here worth checking out:


-Here's a Q&A with drumming great Jimmy Cobb from the Seattle Music Insider:


-My good friend Matt Wilson is playing the Village Vanguard with his own group Arts & Crafts all this week. You can tune in for a live-stream broadcast this evening and even participate in a real-time question & answer session with Matt following his performance.

Here is an article from NPR previewing the show:


-Albert "Tootie" Heath also played the Vanguard earlier this year with his own trio (with Ethan Iverson on piano and Ben Street on bass). You can catch that great performance archived here:


Search around and you'll find several other great Village Vanguard performances to listen to as well.

-Here's another one of Cuban Jazz drummer Francisco Mela with Joe Lovano:

-It's a very brief clip, but here's the legendary Rakalam Bob Moses demonstrating his unique approach to time keeping on the drums:

-I first heard vibraphonist Dick Sisto at the 2009 PASIC conference in Indianapolis (with Ed Soph on drums). Here's a clip of Dick on vibes with Ed on drums along with Rufus Reid holding down the fort on bass:

-Jazz drumming Icon Jack DeJohnette recently celebrated his 70th birthday earlier this summer. Terri Lynn Carrington threw a party for the birthday boy and here's a very interesting clip of Jack sitting in during the celebrations (playing a small four-piece kit and Zildjian cymbals!):

Bill Stewart also sat in for a few numbers and here he is doing his thing:

-I recently picked up a copy Jim Blackley's book "The Essence of Jazz Drumming":

Numerous people have recommended that I check out this text over the years but it was only recently that I took the plunge. Interestingly enough, it's mostly been non-drummers that took up the drums that have raved about it to me! Jim is a Canadian Jazz drumming legend whose teaching concepts and principles have influenced several generations of Canadian Jazz drummers and teachings. I'll keep you posted as I dig into this one deeper...