The piano trio of Ahmad Jamal with Israel Crosby on bass and Vernell Fournier on drums is MUST listening for any serious jazz drummer and/or rhythm section player. There are many lessons to be learned from the understated and highly swinging approach that these three gentlemen demonstrate together.
Vernell is a very unique drummer that's not a household name but definitely worthy of serious study. I really dig the way he plays the arrangements, his light touch and groovy two-feel. I don't think I've heard him really play a full-out drum solo. He was all about playing with other people and making the band feel/sound good. And I don't think you can go wrong with that...
I really have to thank Carl Allen for suggesting to me that I check out this trio and their recordings years ago.
Here's some rare footage to get started:
Thanks to Ted Panken here's an interview with Vernel Fournier to check out:
And here Fournier discusses his famous New Orleans inspired groove from Jamal's arrangement of "Poinciana":
Here's what Jack DeJohnette has to say about Fournier's drumming:
And oh yes, Four on the Floor is now SIX years old!!! Thank you for all your support.