Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Max Roach en France

Thanks to my European correspondent David Grebil who posted this one via youtube.com, here's the great Max Roach with both Stanley and Tommy Turrentine for you to enjoy:

Max Roach!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Sonny Payne Rolls Again!

Somebody recently asked me about developing roll technique and vocabulary around the drums. Mr. Payne certainly had something to say about that!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Max Roach Quintet Featuring Booker Little

It's Friday folks...and here's some rare footage of the Max Roach Quintet featuring Booker Little on trumpet along with George Coleman on tenor and Ray Draper on tuba to enjoy:

This particular edition of Max Roach's band has long been a big influence on me for sometime. I spent quite a bit of time during the later years of my undergrad degree at McGill transcribing Max's playing on the album "Deeds, Not Words". I dig the use of the tuba as the third voice, particularly in a three-horn configuration with no piano in sight. It's still a rare occurrence by today's standards.

I think Max had a bit of an affinity for the tuba and brass instruments in general. At one point Max even had a short-lived group during the late 90s called "The So What Brass" that featured him with a brass quintet (much like Dave Douglas' current Brass Ectasy project). Unfortunately there is only one recording of this band that I know of it's only one track featured on an album that features Max with a Symphony orchestra. I myself have had an interest in leading a brass quintet + drums project like this for some time.

I think that the piano-less configurations that Max played with in general post-Clifford Brown really allowed him to open a bit more in terms of his comping. His albums "Max Roach + 4" and "Max Roach + 4 Plays Charlie Parker" are also a couple of albums that I've really learned a lot from and Kenny Washington suggested that I really check out these recordings, in particular, for Max's comping vocabulary while playing up tempos.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Michel Lambert Solo Drums

Today's post features a great Canadian drummer from Quebec, the creative Michel Lambert. Here's Michel letting it all hang out in a solo drum set from Montreal's very hip and newest Jazz venue, Cafe Resonance:

I was fortunate to study with Lambert during the last year of my Master's degree at McGill University in 2002. He really encouraged me to "loosen up" my style and approach. We spent a lot of time working on the snare drum (mostly playing rolls) with the goal of getting me to play with a bigger/looser stroke and sound. Michel is a very engaging and free spirit when it comes to improvisation on the drums but, ironically, he was also one of the most technical drum teachers that I've ever worked with.

Check out these drum duets from Michel's website featuring himself with the likes of Hans Bennink, Rakalam Bob Moses, Montreal's John Heward and Daniel Humair:


Michel also lived and worked in Toronto for a number of years and played quite extensively with bassist Dave Young's band. The album "Fables" featuring Lambert with the Dave Young/Phil Quartet has always been a favourite.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Hutch Grooves

Here's a fun one to get our Monday off to a good start, the hard-swinging Greg Hutchinson demonstrating a few different swinging tempos:

Friday, February 15, 2013

Brian Blade Fellowship @ The Vanguard

To finish off "Brian Blade Week" over here at Four on the Floor, here's some clandestine home footage of Blade's Fellowship ensemble from a performance at the famed Village Vanguard brought to us by a very brave concertgoer (no pictures or video please!!!)

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Brian Blade - Drums & Guitar

Since this is now my self-proclaimed "Brian Blade Week" here at Four on the Floor, I thought I would feature today the dynamic duet of Blade and guitarist Wolfgang Muthspiel. I posted some of their recorded work on Monday but here's a nice live clip to chew on:

I really appreciate Brian's joyful spirit when he plays the drums and the diverse influences he blends together while still grounded in the Jazz tradition. The open texture of the drums/guitar combination offers some really nice space for both of these accomplished musicians to play off of each other.

I haven't checked this one out but look forward to hearing this album that they put out a couple of years ago:

Monday, February 11, 2013

The Monday Morning Paradiddle

A few people have inquired as to what I've been up to lately and where I can be heard in the next couple of months. So here's a few interesting gigs of mine to take note of:

January 25 - Calgary Creative Arts Ensemble Big Band featuring Ralph Bowen presented by the National Music Centre's Summit Jazz Series

February 3 - Big Band Clinic @ The University of Calgary

February 5 - Ralf Buschmeyer  Trio hosts the Wine-Oh's Jazz Jam Session

February 6 - Carsten Rubeling Quartet @ The Cliff Bungalow Jazz Series

February 8 - The Yardbird Suite (Edmonton) with The Brenan Brothers

February 16 - The Invertigo Trio with Jim Brenan and Rubim de Toledo host the Broken City Jazz Jam 3-6pm

March 15 - Brad Shigeta Swing Band

March 16 - Fraser Calhoun Quartet featuring Mulgrew Miller @ Riverside Church

March 17 - Fraser Calhoun Quartet featuring Mulgrew Miller @ The Yardbird Suite (Edmonton)

March 18 - Fraser Calhoun Quartet featuring Mulgrew Miller @ Grant MacEwan University (Edmonton)

March 19 - Fraser Calhoun Quartet featuring Mulgrew Miller @ The Ironwood Stage & Grill

March 20 - 22 - Optimist Band Festival (Regina, SK)

March 23 - Guest Artist with the Regina Jazz Orchestra (Regina, SK)

Please drop by and say hello!

Here's a few things that have been making the rounds lately around the Four on the Floor offices. Enjoy!

- Brian Blade is indeed one of our generations most influential Jazz drummers (and for good reason!)  His work as a leader with his Fellowship ensemble and as sideman with the Wayne Shorter Quartet are two examples of why Brian has been leading the charge over the past ten or so years.

I've really been enjoying his duo work with guitarist Wolfgang Muthspiel and this track is a good example of the interesting music this drums/guitar duet is capable of:

And if you like that, here's another bass and drums duet featuring Blade with bassist Kiyoshi Kitagawa from his album "Prayer" on Sonny Rollins' "Oleo":

More interesting Brian Blade clips coming this week...

- Drummer Marcus Gilmore, who also happens to be the grandson of Jazz great Roy Haynes (!), has been making quite an impression lately. Here's a nice article on Gilmore courtesy of NPR's A Blog Supreme:


- Lewis Nash was recently in Calgary with the Monterey Jazz Festival On Tour and it was incredible. Nash has always been a favorite of mine. Here's a couple quick ones of Lewis in action from the same recent tour:

- Pianist Benny Green was also on that bill and, as far as I was concerned, really stole the show (and that's saying a lot considering how well everybody played!)

Here's another clip of Benny Green and his trio featuring Kenny Washington on drums:

Dig the very explicit accents that Kenny displays during his drum solo. Time for me to revisit my Wilcoxin snare drum solos, me thinks!

And here's a nice interview with Green talking about his days as a Jazz Messenger, mentored by the great Art Blakey:

- What am I listening to these days?

Mulgrew Miller Trio "Live at the Kennedy Center" - Rodney Green (drums)

Danny Grissett "Form" - Kendrick Scott (drums)

JJ Johnson & Stan Getz "Live at the Opera House" - Connie Kay (drums)

Oscar Peterson Trio "West Side Story" - Ed Thigpen (drums)

Jim Hall "Live!" - Terry Clarke (drums)

- Carl Allen recently gave an excellent masterclass at this year's edition of the JEN Conference in Atlanta on his approach to playing the ride cymbal. Here's a highlight of his session courtesy of Bret Primack, the "Jazz Video Guy":

- My good friend and fellow McGill alumni Rich Irwin recently launched his own on-line drumming school:


More on Rich and this exciting project coming soon!

- New Orleans drummer Herlin Riley is always a pleasure to listen to. His modern approach of dealing with New Orleans Second Line music and infectiousness groove always inspires me:

I've been checking out this album of Riley's lately too and enjoy not only his unique playing but interesting compositions as well:

- Special thanks to Chad Anderson who hipped me this special one (audio only!) of Max Roach:

- And finally, to finish off today's extensive Monday Morning Paradiddle, here's a little Tony Williams that has inspired me of late and should provide more than enough "fuel to the fire" to motivate me in the old woodshed this week!

Friday, February 8, 2013

Ignacio Berroa "Cascara"

I was going to post a drum lesson today that I've been working on but it's been a really busy week between nightly gigs and other commitments. So instead I give you today somebody else's drum lesson (!) featuring the great Cuban jazz drummer Ignacio Berroa demonstrating a couple of his own concepts courtesy of the nice people over at Latin Percussion:

And here's a clip of Ignacio with his trio putting these ideas into action:

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Herbie Hancock 4tet with Billy Higgins

Thanks to Chad Anderson who sent me this full-length concert featuring Herbie Hancock, Ron Carter, George Coleman and the great Billy Higgins on drums:

Than you Chad (in more ways than one!)

Monday, February 4, 2013

Chick Corea & Roy Haynes - Now He Sings, Now He Sobs

Hope you all had a nice weekend. Was there a football game going on something? Sorry, I'm not into four-down football...Go Riders!

Here's one to get the week started featuring a reunion trio of sorts with Chick Corea, Miroslav Vitous and Roy Haynes on drums:

Friday, February 1, 2013

Ari Hoenig & Edmar Castaneda

I've posted some clips of these two before but I dig this music so much, here's some more of a great duet featuring drummer Ari Hoenig and Columbian harpist Edmar Castaneda to enjoy over the coming weekend: