Monday, March 31, 2014

The Monday Morning Paradiddle

Hello everyone. March is nearly over and Spring should be just around the corner but we've had a brutal Winter up here in Canada and I think that this snow and cold weather will still be here for some time to come. Personally, I'm done with it. Let's get on with Spring already...

- Well, to at least think about some warmer weather (!) here's a nice piece from NPR recounting a drummer's study trip to Cuba:


- Here's some more great rudimental drumming clips of snare drumming great Rob Carson to check out:


This website is an overall great resource for all things related to the art of rudimental drumming and there's lots to learn and practice here!

- Last year, the Government of Alberta announced a series of budget cuts to education and, subsequently, Calgary's Mount Royal University cut it's ENTIRE fine arts program as a result (!) including it's long-time Jazz studies program. Retired Jazz bass instructor John Hyde recently wrote these wise words with regards to this tragic and stupid turn of events:


- Congratulations to recent Juno award winners Mike Downes, Christine Jensen, Mike Rud and Sienna Dahlen. These are all very hard-working and talented Canadian Jazz musicians. It's nice to see them all recognized for their work and, hey, they're all McGill graduates too!

Dig this: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/mcgill-alumni-sweep-juno-jazz-awards-1.2591903

- Joe Farnsworth is one hard swinging drummer and we can all take a lesson from his dedicated style. Here he is on the Benny Golson classic "Stablemates" from a jam session in Russia:

- As a drummer, bass players are our greatest allies and one should never pass up the opportunity to listen to a great bassist. Here is Dave Holland playing the Blues:

- Furthermore, supreme artistry on any instrument should always be admired and respected, no matter the context. Here's Tom Harrell playing over Blues in all keys with Jamey Aebersold on piano:


- A bit brief but here's Benny Green's trio from a recent hit in Japan with Rodney Green on drums:

- I posted this one a long time ago but I've been coming back to this one lately just because it's so damn cool.  Here's a cymbal-less Steve Gadd on drums with percussionist Pedrito Martinez:

- What am I listening to these days?

Jerry Gonzalez & The Fort Apache Band - "Rumba Buhaina" - Steve Berrios (drums & percussion)

Harold Land & Bobby Hutcherson - "Blow Up" - Joe Chambers (drums), Bobby Hutcherson (vibraphone)

Wayne Shorter - "The Soothsayer"- Tony Williams (drums)

Dexter Gordon/Slide Hampton - "A Day in Copenhagen"- Art Taylor (drums)

- It was with great sadness that I learned that the great Al Harewood recently passed away.

I was first introduced to Al's swinging and musical drumming during the mid 1990s thanks to my drum teacher at McGill University, Chris McCann (if you haven't heard Stanley Turrentine's "Up at Minton's" RUN, don't walk to the nearest iTunes store lol and pick this one up!) I had the pleasure of interviewing Al over the phone over the course of three days for a project I was writing for Kevin Dean's performance practice course. I've got hours of our conversations together on cassette somewhere. He was very gracious with his time, sharing his life experience with me and he was flattered that I was even interested in what he did. Someday I'll dig up those cassette tapes and transcribe them.

Last I had heard, Al had been spending most of his retirement in Barbados and according to vocalist Cici Duke was a highly respected elder musician in the island community. I wasn't even sure if Al was even with us for the longest time so I was thrilled to hear that and then see that Mr. Al Harewood (or "Mr. Tip" as he was known in jazz drumming circles) had recently celebrated his 90th birthday in the company of the world's greatest jazz drummers at a party held at Don Sickler's loft (thanks to Billy Drummond for providing photos and an update a while ago.)

Ethan Iverson over his blog Do The Math wrote a very piece on Harewood over here:


Al Harewood was an incredible drummer who played with conviction, sensitivity and taste. He wasn't a flashy drummer or soloist by any means but he really did what needed to be done to make the music happen. As he reminded me during our interviews together: "Put the swing on top and you'll never go wrong!"

He will be missed.

- I feel like listening to this right now...

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