Monday, June 27, 2016

The Monday Morning Paradiddle

Well it's been awhile since one of my Monday Morning Paradiddle columns so I've tried to make this one a lengthy one at that. I'm hitting the road shortly and not sure how much time I'll have for blogging, linking or posting and such while I'm out and about over the course of these next summer months. Maybe I'll pop by once-in-awhile to say hello, we'll see. In the meantime, here's some random beats to check out that I think you'll enjoy:

- From the Smithsonian here's a piece on the origins of our instrument entitled "The Birth of the Drum Set":


- Albert "Tootie" Heath shares his experience playing with pianist Thelonious Monk:


- Billy Hart shares five of his most influential albums:


- A great interview with my friend Adam Nussbaum:


- The Drummer's Resource Podcast offers some insightful interviews with Eric Harland:


...and Billy Martin:


- Modern Drummer magazine features Allison Miller on their monthly podcast:


- NPR features Ralph Peterson Jr.:


...and Matt Wilson:


- Matt recently released a wonderful and joyous album in memory of his late wife Felicia. Here's a couple pieces about Matt's latest sonic offering:



- Billy Drummond talks stereos and such over at stereophile.com:


- A nice feature on percussionist Russell Hartenberger (my friend, teacher and former Doctoral supervisor) and Steve Reich from the BBC:


- Need some ideas for albums to play-a-long with when you're practicing? Here's albums to check out:

- A great article on creativity and practicing from a blog I enjoy frequenting:

- Jack DeJohnette's latest trio project with Ravi Coltrane and Matthew Garrison is featured here:


...and here's some great duet footage of DeJohnette with baritone saxophonist John Surman:

I heard this duet combination at the Montreal Jazz Festival in 2001 and it was nothing short of inspiring. These two musicians obviously have a long history of playing together.

-Thanks to Jazz at Lincoln Center's Jazz Academy, Sherrie Maricle offers some very practical motivic drum soloing techniques:

- Chicago's George Fludas is a drummer that's not mentioned nearly enough, but I think he's awesome:

- Gerry Hemingway is a another very creative drum set artist who's music I've been meaning to get into for a long time now. Here's one reason why:

- John Abraham,  currently the drummer with Cirque du Soleil's Las Vegas production of "O", recently forwarded me this very interesting composition that combines a number of different techniques:

Well done John and thanks for sharing!

- Joe Lovano has a new record coming out soon that features one of my favorites, the great Lewis Nash on drums. Here's a recent performance of Nash laying it down with Lovano's "Classic Quartet":

- Brian Blade is touring with the trio of Chick Corea and Christian McBride these days. Here's an excerpt of his dynamic solo from the tune"Fingerprints":

- What am I listening to these days?

Mike Melito "New York Connection" - Mike Melito (drums)

Matt Wilson "Beginning of a Memory" - Matt Wilson (drums)

John Coltrane "Crescent" - Elvin Jones (drums)

Ben Henriques "Captain Awesome" - Dave Laing (drums)

Nick Fraser "Starer" - Nick Fraser (drums)

Eric Alexander & Vincent Herring "The Battle" - Carl Allen (drums)

- And today's Last Word goes to Toni Morrison (via Tanya Kalmanovitch):

"I tell my students, ' When you get these jobs that you have been so brilliantly trained for, just remember that your real job is that if you are free, you need to free somebody else. If you have some power, then your job is to empower somebody else. This is not just a grab bag candy game.'" - Toni Morrison

*I think this is some really sage advice to anyone who might be in a position to help others. Don't be greedy. Don't hoard all the knowledge and spirits that others have undoubtedly shared with you. This is also very reminiscent of Dave Holland's of beautiful piece "Pass it on" (dedicated to Edward Blackwell) for the very same reason...

Alrighty, that's all for now. Be well and see you on the flip side!

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

The Whole Drum Truth!

A pretty amazing collection of current Jazz drummers, all collaborating together in one giant collective percussion discussion. Featuring Joe Saylor, Willie Jones III and Sylvia Cuenca, all led by the elder statesman Albert Tootie Heath on drums:

I've personally had two significant drum set ensemble experiences such as this, first playing with Joe LaBarbera at the Banff Centre in 1997 and then with Billy Hart in Lake Placid, New York in 1998. In both instances both LaBarbera and Hart insisted that we all set-up and play together during our daily morning, drum masterclasses (anywhere from 6-8 drum sets all at once, with our drums set-up collectively in a giant circle!) It's very rare that we as drummers have the opportunity to play together with other drummers and we should really encourage more of this sort of thing.

I don't think the label "drum battle" really applies to this sort of configuration (not like the friendly rivalry of Rich vs. Krupa for example) but this is more of an attempt to explore the idea of a group of drummers playing multiple drum sets, together as a true ensemble. Once we shed the competitive aspects of playing the drums in a context such as this, ensembles like this really become a positive experience and a chance to share and celebrate our collective love for rhythm, the drums and the "brotherhood" of drumming to which we all belong.

Here's another incarnation of the same group but with different personnel (this time with Billy Hart, Idris Muhammad, Louis Hayes and, again, Albert Tootie Heath):

Monday, June 13, 2016

Lost in Translation: "Jeef" Tain Watts...

I discovered a wonderful new jazz drummer the other day (unknown to me anyways Lol…) Anyways, typo or not, he has lots to say and sounds amazing...

Monday, June 6, 2016


I discovered these fantastic clips of Kenny Clarke last week and since there's not a lot of footage of Klook out there, these ones (especially the last one with Martial Solal, featuring some impeccable brushwork) are all mandatory watching/listening.

Notice the lack of a mounted tom on three of these clips and, also, as Brad Shigeta pointed out to me when I showed these to him: "Traditional Grip!" Indeed ; )