Monday, August 25, 2014

Adam Nussbaum & WeThree

August (and summer!) is winding down quickly here. For some of us it's almost time to go back to school and whatnot...but let's instead distract ourselves with one of my favourite chord-less saxophone trios, We Three featuring Dave Liebman on tenor saxophone, Steve Swallow on electric bass and the ever loose and swinging Adam Nussbaum on drums, performing Thelonious Monk's "Played Twice"":

I really admire the way Adam is always going back and clearly referencing the melody while he solos, all while dancing around the groove with Swallow. While he's also capable of playing ALOT of drums, he's also not afraid to leave a bit of space, letting the music breath and really have a chance to develop. These guys are ALL ears ALL the time! A great example to follow.

Monday, August 18, 2014

John Patitucci with Brian Blade

From John Patitucci's ArtistWorks Sessions, here's a pretty happening trio featuring John with Jon Cowherd on piano and Brian Blade on drums:

Check out more of this session and John's lessons at: www.artistworks.com

Monday, August 11, 2014

Daniel Glass: History of the Drumset

Looking for some great summertime viewing? Thanks to the kind people over at Vic Firth here's Daniel Glass and his informative 17 part series (!) on the history and evolution of the drumset to check out:

Also, check out this cool poster showing a timeline of the evolution of the drumset instrument:

Monday, August 4, 2014

The Monday Morning Paradiddle

Well, summer is about half way over now and things keep on moving along. I'm happy to report that I've made some significant progress on my doctoral dissertation and I hope to have that completed by summer's end. I love playing the drums but I had no idea that at one point in my life I would spend so much time reading and writing about them! Anyways, the end is nearly in sight and I've learned a great deal while researching and writing this project.

Even though we're well into summer hours over here at FOTF, here's a few things making the rounds around the office to share with you today:

- Former Modern Drummer magazine managing editor Scott K. Fish is now blogging over at Beyond The Cymbals:

Pay attention to his writing. Scott has interviewed A LOT of great drummers over the years!

- Vinnie Sperrazza is also now blogging over at his website Drummer et Cetera. Check out this article on why he uses traditional grip:


The debate of whether or not to use traditional grip or traditional vs. matched grip can be a very tense and opinionated subject indeed. I fully relate to, agree with and endorse all the statements in Sperrazza's article.

- Todd Bishop over at his fine blog Cruiseship Drummer has a nice interview with the recently deceased Frankie Dunlop worth checking out here: (originally from the pages of Modern Drummer)


And of course, here's some great footage of Dunlop with Thelonious Monk:

During my graduate studies at McGill University my drum teacher, Andre White, had me listen to and transcribe Dunlop's soloing and comping extensively. He was a very unique drummer that fit Monk's concept perfectly and it's worth spending some time studying his style.

- From Manitoba Music's "Loft Sessions" here's Winnipeg's up-and-coming Curtis Nowosad with his band:


Curtis is currently completing his graduate work at the Manhattan School of Music. Be sure to keep an eye and ear out for him in the year's to come.

- Nicholas Payton is also blogging and voicing his opinions over his website. Check out this amazing post "Masters of Funky New Orleans Drumming Vol.1" in which he has compiled some seriously important and funky music to learn from:


- Thanks to Saskatoon Jazz educator Nick Fanner who passed along this article by reedman Scott Robinson, an articulate statement on how the state our society is becoming stale and predictable:


- Thanks to David Stanoch via the Facebook, here's some great Jeff Hamilton lessons to check out:


- Jeff Ballard recently toured Canada and the world with his trio featuring Lionel Louke and Miguel Zenon. I heard them at the Edmonton Jazz Festival and they sounded phenomenal. Here's Jeff in a brief Q&A interview from the Vancouver Jazz Festival:

- I can definitely relate to this one, seeing as I have been spending a lot of time at a desk recently, trying to write and get some work done...

- What am I listening to these days?

Bela Bartok "Concerto for Orchestra"

Craig Brenan "Automatic Robots" - Ted Poor (drums)

Joni Mitchell "Both Sides Now" - Peter Erskine (drums)

Clifford Brown "Clifford Brown and Strings" - Max Roach (drums)

Duke Ellington "Ellington Uptown" - Louie Bellson (drums)

Johnathan Blake "Gone, But Not Forgotten" - Johnathan Blake (drums)

Phil Dwyer "Saxophone Summit" - Terry Clarke (drums)

Nat King Cole Trio "Live at the Circle Room"

Paul Read Quintet with Scott Robinson "The Heart of Summer" - Barry Elmes (drums)

- And today's Last Word goes to George Sluppick, via his blog, on the recent passing of drumming great Idris Muhammad:


And another nice piece on Idris Muhammad via nola.com:


I only heard Idris live once, at New York's Birdland around the fall of the year 2000, in a band featuring Tom Harrell, Donald Harrison, Gary Bartz, Junior Mance and Dennis Irwin. They were playing a tribute to Charlie Parker and I was astounded at Muhammad's effortless swing and deep, loose groove. When you listened to him play you could literally hear the entire tradition of New Orleans drumming take shape with so many diverse influences, all swinging like mad. And course, wearing his trademark dark sunglasses and beret, cocked to the side, there was no doubt at all as to who the coolest man in the room was that night!

And here's another one from Joe Lovano, a man who knows and appreciates a good drummer when he sees one!