Monday, May 13, 2013

The Monday Morning Paradiddle

Well, I'm back in the saddle here after nearly a month-and-a-half on the road. Thank you to all the musicians in Saskatchewan, Montreal and Ireland that made the last few weeks so memorable.

Here's a few things making the rounds over here at the Four on The Floor offices these days:

- Thanks to Phil Dwyer who hipped me to this inspiring clip of the John Coltrane Quartet from a date in Antibes, France circa. 1965 featuring Elvin Jones:

I need to find this entire DVD...

- Speaking of Coltrane, CBC Radio's Tapestry recently featured a radio program on John Coltrane and the spiritual aspects of his music:


Thank you to my main man in Toronto, Bob McLaren for sending this one my way. If you ever have the opportunity to hear Bob play drums with Pat LaBarbera and Kirk McDonald's annual Coltrane Birthday Celebration at the Rex in Toronto, I would highly recommend it. Bob makes mountains move from behind the drums when playing this music.

- And speaking of CBC Radio....here's another great program to check out dealing with the science of rhythm entitled "The Heart of the Beat":


- What am I listening to these days?

Hank Jones "Blusette" - Alan Dawson (drums)

Thad Jones & Mel Lewis "Quartet" - Mel Lewis (drums)

Kiyoshi Kitagawa "Prayer" & "Ancestry" - Brian Blade (drums)

Ronan Guilfoyle's Linga Franca "Exit" - Tom Rainey (drums)

Bobby Hutcherson/Harold Land "Blow Up" - Joe Chambers (drums)

- From Toronto guitarist Reg Schwager, dig this crazy drumming from Dutch Free Jazz improvisor Han Bennink:

Han is known for being able to drum and coax a rhythm out of pretty much anything. In this case his instrument is pretty conventional however in this one he shows that you don't even need a drum throne to play the drums and that a simple piano bench will do! I've even seen him sit on the floor, if necessary...

- Looking for some things to practice? These days the interweb has no lack of great resources to check out and inspire one to head back to the woodshed. I have a few personal favorites that I consistently check out to give me some ideas:

Drummer Justin Varnes has a great website here with a lot of great information. He is also posting a weekly jazz drumming lesson on youtube.com called "52 Licks" featuring patterns from all the great jazz drummers, old and new. This is a very ambitious project but so far I'd say he's been doing a great job of breaking down some very useful information.

Here's a taste of Varnes' work, breaking down a Max Roach pattern:

Busy Montreal drummer Rich Irwin has also started his own lesson site over here. I've known Rich since my McGill days and Rich has always been a great drummer with a great pair of hands. It's really nice to see him scoring some major gigs these days and getting some name recognition.

I also found this site featuring some lessons from Dan Weiss and Brian Floody over here. Dan's concepts are important, unique and will leave you dizzy (!) It was also nice to see some great drumming from Brian as well. When I was traveling to New York on a regular basis about ten years ago I used to used run into Brian all the time either at Small's, Drummer's World, on the subway or even on the street's of Manhattan. He has no idea who I am but I always dug listening to him play!

Toronto drummer Max Senitt often posts some unique lessons on his website over here when not on the road with Alex Cuba. Max has some great things to offer as well, most notably some tricky variations on various Afro-Cuban patterns and half-time shuffle grooves.

And to top it off, this guy has compiled a TON of exercises from the method of Alan Dawson. See you in ten years...haha

But seriously, he's also posted some great recordings of Max Roach performing solo at the New England Conservatory of Music circa. 1982:


- To finish off today's column I leave you with this quote passed to me from my good friend, saxophonist Mark DeJong via bassist John Clayton:

"Take care of the music and the music will take care of you!"
- Dizzy Gillespie

Oh yeah, one other thing...


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