Monday, September 24, 2018

The Monday Morning Paradiddle

Welcome back and here is the first edition of the Monday Morning Paradiddle for the fall of 2018. Lots of interesting things to share with you today. Thanks for checking back and don't forget to check out my companion Instagram page as well. Please feel free to leave comments. I'd love to hear from you all.

In any event, here's what we've got for you today:

- Check out the story behind the iconic Gretsch logo:


- Hear what several prominent drummers had to say about the impact of Max Roach, Art Blakey and Philly Joe Jones:


- Some older, but great articles from JazzTimes magazine...

Matt Wilson on avant-garde drumming:


Bill Stewart


Jeff "Tain" Watts


- Ted Panken interviews Lewis Nash (originally from Downbeat magazine):


- A couple of great interviews from Pablo Held:

Firstly, here's the great Joey Baron (parts II-IV to come later...):

And here's Bill Stewart:

And here is some great studio footage of Bill with pianist Miki Yamanaka from her recent release "A Fake Hero":

- Here's Joe Farnsworth with a clever drum solo that switches back and forth between sticks and brushes...and then back and forth between sticks and brushes! (sure...why not!)

- Carl Allen shows off his new DW drums:

- Christian McBride's new band New Jawn with drummer Nasheet Waits has a new album coming out soon. Check out this preview:

- I've recently been digging the late Mulgrew Miller's piano trio records that feature Karriem Riggins on the drums. Here's some great footage of Riggins in action:

- More action footage, this time up-close with Willie Jones III:

- The always musical and super swinging Lewis Nash:

- Keep an eye on this young guy....here's Charles Goold with an inventive solo:

- And finally, here's one of my all-time Canadian Jazz heroes, Edmonton's PJ Perry on alto saxophone with Vancouver Island's Hans Verhoeven on drums:

- What am I listening to these days?

Michael Brecker "Tales from the Hudson" - Jack DeJohnette (drums)

Neal Smith "Live at Smalls" - Neal Smith (drums)

Michael Blake "Tiddy Boom" - Rudy Royston (drums)

M.T.B "Consenting Adults" - Leon Parker (drums)

Walt Weiskopf/Andy Fusco "Tea for Two" - Billy Drummond (drums)

One for All "Blueslike" - Joe Farnsworth (drums)

Jon Ballantyne "Sky Dance" - Jerry Fuller (drums)

Peter Beets "New York Trio - Page 3" - Herlin Riley (drums)

- And today's Final Word goes to the immortal wisdom of Elvin Jones (and a special thank you to Ireland's Ronan Guilfoyle for passing this one along):

"There’s only one way to achieve this thing, and that’s hard work. You’ve got to do it. You can’t just dream that something is going to happen; you’ve got to make it happen. And the way to do that is to prepare. And preparing requires a lot of discipline. They used to say, ’Go into the woodshed and practice.’ That’s what it’s all about. You have to get into the shed. A lot of young cats have the wrong idea. They forget there’s a lot of hard work involved. I try to keep them aware of the fact that hard work is necessary to accomplish that. They have to get in the habit of self-discipline, and not just when you think somebody’s looking. You have to do it all the time. It has to be part of what your life is all about. You commit to music in a way that you commit to yourself. If you can’t do that, you might as well forget it.” - Elvin Jones

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Chris Smith - The Drum Hang Vol. 1

I am really digging this new series of YouTube video lessons from Chris Smith these days, entitled "The Drum Hang". His topics are relevant and explanations very concise and informative. Lots of great information to be found here. Personally, I've been shedding his Edgar Bateman and Al Foster tom tom moves all week and will transcribe his recommended Shelly Manne solo from "Way Out West" next.

I asked Chis a few questions about "The Drum Hang" and this is what he had to say:

"As for The Drum Hang I will be posting a new episode each week, so this is just the beginning! I love sharing things with other drummers and I thought this YouTube series was a good way to go about doing that. Currently I am not teaching at the University level, something I have done and love to do, so these videos serve as an outlet for me to remain actively teaching these concepts to students all around the world. Of course most episodes will be applicable to students of any age or skill level, but most geared to college level students. I do hope to eventually have more and more viewers sharing their versions of the exercises not only with me but with all the viewers of The Drum Hang. I plan to accept videos of people adding to or working on things that I post, then adding them to the Drum Hang portion of my website. I want to build a real "hang" or community vibe to this, so as it evolves I will figure out how to make that user friendly.

Please let your readers know:

1) The Drum Hang page on my website is the best for viewing the episodes, as it not only has the videos but also transcriptions that go with each topic 
(*ed. note - vist his website here: http://www.chrissmithjazzdrums.com)

2) New Episodes weekly 

3) I hope to create a "hang" around these topics. I would love to have people show me what they are working on or how my concepts helped or not!"

Thanks again Chris and we hope to see more lessons up soon. If you keep making them, we'll keep posting them!

Monday, September 17, 2018

Evan Sherman

A couple short clips today of Evan Sherman, a wonderful up-and-coming drummer who swings hard and plays with taste and musical integrity, shown here with pianist Emmet Cohen, another great young musician you don't want to miss:

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Steve Smith on Cymbals

People often take their cymbals for granted and many assume that you just whack 'em and everything will work out just fine! Well, there is obviously much more to it than that..

Thanks to the kind people over at the Memphis Drum Shop, here's the great Steve Smith with a few basic but helpful tips on how to properly play one's cymbals:

Monday, September 10, 2018

It's Hammer Time!

From a recent performance at Centrum's Jazz Port Townsend festival, here's some absolutely fantastic piano trio drumming from Jeff Hamilton and his crew for you to check out this morning:

What a perfect way to start the week, if I might say so myself...

And while we're at it, here's Hamilton demonstrating the "melodic" possibilities of the drum set on his drum arrangement of Juan Tizol/Duke Ellington's classic composition "Caravan" (*see last week's post with Allison Miller for more on THAT*):

A Modern Drummer magazine feature from a couple of years ago...


And, finally, a couple of great cymbal tips from the Maestro himself (courtesy of the nice people over at the Memphis Drum Shop):

Okay, one more (!) Here's a brief, but excellent demonstration of Jeff's great brushwork:

Thanks Jeff!

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Matt Wilson "Willisee"

Some great tenor/drum duet drumming today from Matt Wilson and saxophonist Will Brown on Dewey Redman's classic theme "Willisee":

This piece was originally recorded as a duet between Dewey Redman and Ed Blackwell on the 1980 live album "In Willisau". Wilson was also a long-time sonic collaborator with Redman, playing in his quartet in later years.

I was fortunate to study with Matt during 2004 in New York City thanks to a study grant from the Canada Council for the Arts. I consider Matt and a good friend and a mentor. He always puts the music first and is all ears, all the time.

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Allison Miller: "Can You Hear Melody in the Drums?"

And...we're back! I hope you all had a wonderful summer. Personally I know that I really enjoyed myself over the last month, travelling across Newfoundland (and Labrador) and just returned from a week in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Now that Labour Day has come and gone, it's time to get back to work.

Thanks to Christian McBride and his excellent on-going series Jazz Night in America, here's the wonderfully musical Allison Miller offering some great ideas, concepts and philosophies on melodic Jazz drumming, ideas that I wholeheartedly agree with and subscribe to in my own playing and teaching as well:

If you are interested in reading more about this sort of thing, why not check out my own doctoral dissertation on the subject?


Thanks again and see you all again real soon.