Monday, January 7, 2013

The Monday Morning Paradiddle 2013

Welcome back everyone and I hope you all had a safe, sound and restful holiday season with you and yours. Thanks again for all your support and nice emails. All of us over here at Four on the Floor are looking forward to another year of blogging anything and everything related, or not, to the wide and wonderful world of Jazz drumming, the Jon McCaslin universe and beyond.

I personally had a great holiday at home over the holidays with my family and dug up these fine items for your perusal:

- I accidentally made a glaring omission in my "Best of 2012" list from my last post. While I consider Pimento's Pizzeria in Calgary's Bridgeland neighborhood to be my favorite pizza joint in town in fact I should mention that Vancouver's Pizzeria Barbarella http://pizzeriabarbarella.com/ is actually THE best pizza I've ever tasted. Thanks to Phil Dwyer who introduced me to this East Broadway gem last spring. Proprietor Terry Deane is also a fine Jazz tenor saxophonist as well. Check it out and you won't be disappointed (although please consider eating your pizza with a knife and fork at your own risk!)

- Drummer Eric Harland has been making some waves over the past few years with a variety of projects. I first heard Eric at the late-night jam session at the Blue Note in New York about ten years ago, playing with saxophonist Rick Margitza and was impressed even back then. Harland is quite the in-demand drummer these days and from this footage of him performing at a Berklee event, you can clearly see why:

I first heard Harland's name mentioned to me via some classmates of his who attended the Manhattan School of Music with him during the late 90s. Lately I've been really enjoying his work with Charles Lloyd and in particular the ECM record "Tales of Rumi" in which Lloyd and Harland are joined by tabla great Zakir Hussain.

- Joe Lovano has long been one of my favorite Jazz saxophonists and I really admire how he embraces such a wide spectrum of improvisation, dealing with straight-ahead standards to freer, more open contexts as well and all with great ease and a personal style. Here's Lovano demonstrating is affinity for playing with great drummers, in this case with the great Milford Graves:

- As I mentioned before, I was fortunate to spend some time studying with the great Joe LaBarbera earlier this fall. When I asked Joe what he considered to be Buddy Rich's "finest moment" Joe replied, and without hesitation: "The Hague 1978". Here's an excerpt from that concert (now available on DVD) and you can clearly see why (here's a hint: it's the blue sweater and large white collared shirt...)

- For my good friend Bryan Niblock, here's yet another one of Peter Erskine from a recent hit in France:

- I had the pleasure of playing a lot of Duke Ellington's music in December with several great big bands, including Duke and Billy Strayhorn's re-arrangement of the Nutcracker Suite. Ellington's music cannot be underestimated nor dismissed and it was a real lesson studying the drumming of Sam Woodyard and Louie Bellson, in particular, in advance of those gigs.

Here's a great one I recently discovered of tap dancer Bunny Briggs featured with the Duke Ellington Orchestra circa. 1965 with Louie Bellson on drums (possibly playing with a single bass drum?):

- I've been listening to and absorbing a lot of Bobby Hutcherson's music lately and I came across this wonderful article in which Hutcherson describes an incident while rehearsing with Eric Dolphy:


I strongly feel that Dolphy's message in that "Love Conquers All" still resonates today. Words to live by indeed...

Welcome back and have a great week everybody!

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