Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Tim Mah's Top International Jazz Albums of 2019

Once again CJSW's Tim Mah, host of the weekly Jazz radio program Jazz Today (heard on Thursday mornings from 530-7am) and frequent contributor to this blog, offers his top picks for best international Jazz albums of 2019 (this is a wonderful follow-up to his excellent list of Canadian picks last week). As you can see below, Tim's choices are well informed and there was lots of great music offered to us over the past year.

This will be the final blog post of 2019 so drive safe everyone and see you next year!

"Tim Mah's Top Jazz Albums (International) of 2019"

Here are my favourite albums from international (non-Canadian) artists, released from December 2018 to November 2019:

1. Camila Meza & The Nectar Orchestra “Ambar”


2. Kendrick Scott Oracle “A Wall Becomes a Bridge”


3. Johnathan Blake “Trion” (with Chris Potter and Linda May Han Oh)


4. Reid Anderson, Dave King & Craig Taborn “Golden Valley is Now”


GOLDEN VALLEY IS NOW "Highway 1000" and "The end of the world" from Idée Fixe on Vimeo.

5. Lage Lund “Terrible Animals”


6. Branford Marsalis Quartet “The Secret Between the Shadow and the Soul”


7. Terri Lyne Carrington & Social Science “Waiting Game”


8. Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah “Ancestral Recall”


9. Allison Miller’s Boom Tic Boom “Glitter Wolf”


10. Linda May Han Oh “Aventurine”


11. Melissa Aldana “Visions”


12. Joshua Redman Quartet “Come What May”


13. Miguel Zenon “Sonero: The Music of Ismael Rivera”


14. Nerija “Blume”


15. Jazzmeia Horn “Love and Liberation”


16. Guillermo Klein “Los Guachos Cristal”

17. Joshua Redman & Brooklyn Rider “Sun on Sand”

18. Kurt Rosenwinkel & Bandit 65 “Searching the Continuum”

19. The Comet is Coming “Trust in the Lifeforce of the Deep Mystery”

20. The Art Ensemble of Chicago “We Are On The Edge”

21. Joel Ross “KingMaker”

22. Miho Hazama “Dancer in Nowhere”

23. Theon Cross “Fyah”

24. Caroline Davis “Alula”

25. Yazz Ahmed “Polyhymnia”

26. Yes! Trio (Ali Jackson, Omer Avital and Aaron Goldberg) “Groove du Jour”

27. Brad Mehldau “Finding Gabriel”

28. Julian Lage “Love Hurts”

29. Larry Grenadier “The Gleaners”

30. Portico Quartet “Memory Streams”

Also check out (in no particular order):

JD Allen “Barracoon”

Marta Sanchez “El Rayo de Luz”

Tomeka Reid Quartet “Old New”

Victor Gould “Thoughts Become Things”

Ryan Keberle & Catharsis “The Hope I Hold”

Ralph Alessi “Imaginary Friends”

Fabian Almazan Trio “This Land Abounds With Life”

Ben Monder “Day After Day”

Bill Frisell “Harmony”

Harish Raghavan “Calls for Action”

Steve Lehman Trio & Craig Taborn “The People I Love”

The Bad Plus “Activate Infinity”

Bill Frisell and Thomas Morgan “Epistrophy”

Chick Corea “Trilogy 2 (featuring Christian McBride and Brian Blade)”

Taylor Ho Bynum 9-Tette “The Ambiguity Manifesto”

Amirtha Kidambi & Elder Ones “From Untruth”

Laura Jurd “Stepping Back, Jumping In”

Dan Weiss Trio Plus 1 “Utica Box”

Dave Holland, Zakir Hussain & Chris Potter “Good Hope”

Roxy Coss “Quintet”

Greg Ward & Rogue Parade “Stomping off from Greenwood”

Junius Paul “Ism”

Dave Douglas “Devotion” (featuring Uri Caine and Andrew Cyrille)

Miles Okazaki “The Sky Below”

Alex Lore & Weirdear “Karol”

Theo Croker “Star People Nation”

Zach Brock, Matt Ulery & Jon Deitemyer “Wonderment”

Matt Ulery “Delicate Charms”

Mark de Clive-Lowe “Heritage” and “Heritage II”

Chris Potter “Circuits” (featuring James Francies & Eric Harland)

Joe Martin “Etoilee”

Matt Mitchell “Phalanx Ambassadors”

James Brandon Lewis “An Unruly Manifesto”

ELEW “Cubism”

Persona (Caroline Davis and Rob Clearfield) “Anthems”

Chris Speed Trio “Respect For Your Toughness”

Marquis Hill “Love Tape”

David Sanchez “Carib”

Sun Speak “Moon Preach”

Curtis+Garabedian+Sperrazza “New Year”

Jeremy Pelt “Jeremy Pelt The Artist”

Kevin Hays & Lionel Loueke “Hope”

Jason Palmer “Rhyme and Reason”

Vijay Iyer and Craig Taborn “The Transitory Poems”

Joe Lovano, Marilyn Crispell & Carmen Castaldi “Trio Tapestry”

Jerome Jennings “Solidarity”

Remy Le Boeuf “Assembly of Shadows”

Dan Tepfer “Natural Machines”

Veronica Swift “Confessions”

Ben Flocks “Mask of the Muse”

Brent Birckhead “Birckhead”

Matt Maneri “Dust”

Tom Harrell “Infinity”

Chick Corea “Antidote” (featuring the Spanish Heart Band)

Brandee Younger “Soul Awakening”

Sara Gazarek “Thirsty Ghost”

Rachael & Vilray “Rachael & Vilray”

Anthony Wilson “Songs & Photographs”

Jacky Terrasson “53”

Petros Klampanis “Irrationalities”

Ulysses Owens Jr. “Songs of Freedom”

Matt Brewer “Ganymede”

Hiromi “Spectrum”

Ronin Arkestra “Sonkei”

Nicholas Payton “Relaxin’ With Nick”

Jeff Ballard “Fairgrounds”

Chris Lightcap “Superbigmouth”

Brittany Anjou “Enamigo Reciprokataj”

Sarathy Korwar “More Arriving”

Chase Baird “A Life Between”

Friday, December 27, 2019

Drums West: Jim Henson meets Chico Hamilton

A very clever 1961 paper animation by Jim Henson (The Muppet Show, Sesame Street, The Dark Crystal, etc.) set to West Coast Jazz drummer Chico Hamilton's brushwork:

Monday, December 23, 2019

Tim Mah's Top Canadian Jazz Albums of 2019

Well, it's that time of December again when we look back to the year behind us and then to the year ahead. Once again CJSW's Tim Mah, host of the Jazz radio program Jazz Today (heard on Thursday mornings from 530-7am) and frequent contributor to Four on the Floor, offers his top picks for Canadian Jazz albums of 2019.

As you will see below, there are plenty of great things happening in Canadian Jazz these days!

Make sure to come back again shortly for Tim's pick's for top overall international Jazz releases of 2019.

"Tim Mah's Top Canadian Jazz Albums of 2019"

Here are my favourite albums, led or co-led by Canadians, released between December 2018 and November 2019:

1) Kris Davis “Diatoms Ribbons”


2) Seamus Blake “Guardians of the Heart Machine”


3) Landline “Landline”


4) Anna Webber “Clockwise”


If you missed it, please listen to Anna Webber talk about her music with Dave Douglas on the podcast called “A Noise From The Deep”:


Below is a video of Anna Webber performing at the Experimental Sound Studio:

5. Nick Fraser, Kris Davis and Tony Malaby “Zoning”


6. Gentiane MG Trio “Wonderland”


7. Michael Davidson & Dan Fortin “Clock Radio”


8. Jacques Kuba Seguin “Migrations”


9. Laura Anglade “I’ve Got Just About Everything”


10. Orchestre National de Jazz de Montreal “The Mystic Mind”

11. Tara Kannangara “It’s Not Mine Anymore”

12. Brad Turner Quartet featuring Seamus Blake “Jump Up”

13. Steph Richards “Take the Neon Lights”

14. Curtis Nowosad “Curtis Nowosad”

15. Sam Wilson “Groundless Apprehensions”

16. Louis-Vincent Hamel “Self Enquiry”

17. Jane Bunnett & Maqueque “On Firm Ground / Tierra Firme”

18. Donna Grantis “Diamonds & Dynamite”

19. Harris Eisenstadt “Canada Day Quartet Live”

20. Dan McCarthy “City Abstract”

21. Dan McCarthy “Epoch”

22. Dominique Fils-Aime “Stay Tuned!”

23. Fraser Hollins “Treehouse”

24. Chelsea McBride’s Socialist Night School “Aftermath” 

25. SHPIK “Temple O”

Also check out (in no particular order):

Mike Allen “Just Like Magic”

Joel Miller “Unstoppable”

Florian Hoefner Trio “First Spring”

Mike Murley “Taking Flight”

TuneTown “There From Here”

Matt Choboter Band “Spillimacheen”

Trevor Giancola “Sonnet 18”

John Stetch “Black Sea Suite (Live)”

106 Collective Quartet (Adrean Farrugia, Chris Wallace, Luis Deniz, Roberto Occhipinti) “Surface”

Jazzlab Orchestra “Quintessence”

Four Visions Saxophone Quartet (Samuel Blais, Dave Liebman, David Binney & Donny McCaslin) “Four Visions”

Bria Skonberg “Nothing Never Happens”

Yannick Rieu “MachiNations”

Gordon Grdina Quartet “Cooper’s Park”

Steve Haines and the Third Floor Orchestra “Steve Haines and the Third Floor Orchestra”

Andres Vial “Gang of Three”

Kyle Hutchins Trio “You Sound Like Pine Trees”

Rafael Zaldivar “Consecration”

Jim Doxas “Homebound”

Brad Turner “Pacific”

Jim Brenan 11 “50/50”

Stephanie Urquhart “Concealment”

Andre Wickenheiser “A Happy Little Accident”

Carsten Rubeling “Volk // People”

The North “Plays the Music of Kenny Wheeler”

Thompson Egbo-Egbo “The Offering”

JV’s Boogaloo Squad “Going to Market”

Malleus Trio “Play Nice”

Dave Robbins Sextet “Joan of Art”

Ted Quinlan “Absolutely Dreaming”

Mike Allen Quartet “Celebrating Sonny Greenwich”

Kevin Dean “Sunset Trail”

Yves Leveille “Phare”

Carlos Jimenez Quintet “Don’t Fall”

Alex Fournier “Triio”

Dave Young “Lotus Blossom”

Mark Kelso Jazz Project “The Chronicles of Fezziwig"

Pat LaBarbera & Kirk MacDonald Quintet “Trane of Thought”

Heather Bambrick “Fine State”

P.J. Perry “This Quiet Room” (featuring Bill Mays)

Saturday, December 21, 2019

Jochen Rueckert's Instructional Videos *UPDATE*

If you check out the sidebar of this blog, you'll notice the banner and link to Jochen Rueckert's series of instructional videos. These are really great and I highly recommend them.

Jochen has just informed me that he's having a 25% off sale until January 1st, 2020 so I would jump on that if I were you...Use "HOLIDAY SPECIAL" as the discount code.

This discount is also good for everything for sale on his website, including his four e-books.

You should also check out his new album Favours by his alter-ego Wolff Parkinson White:

Here's the link in case you are too lazy to click on the link on the side of the screen: https://www.jochenrueckert.net/#instructional-videos

And here is a breakdown of each episode by topic and content (descriptions provided by Rueckert himself!):

"The first episode focuses on improving your general time, swing feel, feathering the bass drum and some tips on playing fast.

The second episode contains pretty much everything I have to say about playing the brushes.

The third episode is a collection of things I hear people doing all wrong, over and over...

The fourth episode focuses on the way I like to practice improvising and soloing.

The fifth episode focuses on everything connected to touch and sound, including the ways I hold a stick, where I hit a cymbal, but also what cymbals and sticks I use, for example.

The sixth episode focuses on getting comfortable in odd meters like 5/4 and 7/4 as well as more composite time signatures, like 15/8.

The seventh episode offers some thoughts on how to interact in a band, some tips on playing in 2, and how to navigate original music.

The eighth episode outlines my general influences as a composer (especially besides jazz) and offers some thoughts about four of my songs from We Make the Rules including Alloplasty, Yellow Bottoms, Saul Goodman and Pretty From Afar.

The ninth episode focuses on background and analysis of four songs off my album Charm Offensive: Purring Excellence, 5-Hydroxytryptamine, Stretchmark, Charm Offensive, as well as Hayden Chisholm's arrangement of "Just friends" from my very first album Introduction.

The tenth episode focuses on answering the question : "Who are your greatest influences as a drummer?" I discuss all of the ones that made a big impact on me, especially when I was in my early 20's, try to explain why and also give listening examples. The email that you will get from the store will have a list of each drummer's records that I listened to a lot."

- Jochen Rueckert

Thursday, December 19, 2019

Victor Lewis "Blackfoot"

Check out this drum intro and up-tempo performance from the always dynamic Victor Lewis, featured here with Steve Turre, James Carter, George Cables and Buster Williams:

And here's a bonus, a full-length drum duet from 2004 featuring Victor Lewis and Andrew Cyrille:



Monday, December 16, 2019

The Monday Morning Paradiddle

Seasons Greetings! Well, 2019 is quickly coming to an end and what a year it's been. Today's Monday Morning Paradiddle column will be the last one of the year. However, please visit back often over the next two weeks as blogging will continue with Tim Mah's highly popular year-end "Best of 2019" lists as well as other assorted interesting Jazz drumming items.

This year represents the 10th anniversary of Four on the Floor. Thank you for all of your continued support. Hey don't forget to follow and subscribe to my Instagram page!

Anyways, as always, here's a long list of interesting things to check out:

- Max Roach featured on Marian McPartland's NPR radio program Piano Jazz and also remembering Tony Williams from a 1997 Jazz Times article

- Jack DeJohnette interviewed by Jazz Weekly

- Ralph Peterson Jr. on the legacy of Art Blakey from Philadelphia's The Key

- Terri Lyne Carrington featured in the New York Times

- Thanks to Tim Mah for forwarding this profile on Nate Smith from Jazz Times magazine

- An article from DRUM! Magazine on the legacy of the Gretsch Progressive Jazz drum set

- Brooklyn's cymbal wizard Jesse Simpson interviewed on the Seancast Podcast

- And from the Contraption Podcast several interviews with many great drummers including the likes of  Stanton Moore, Ulysses Owens Jr.Ra Kalam Bob Moses, Ed Soph and Johnny Vidacovich

- A 1981 Modern Drummer article by Scott K. Fish on Ed Blackwell entitled "Singing on the Set"

- Allan Cox recently released Meet the Bass Player Vol.2a follow-up to his earlier and highly recommended play-a-long resource. Check it out here and then go practice!

- John Riley recently hipped me to Markus Leukel's unique drum book Grooves A to Z. There are lots of interesting patterns and grooves to check out here (download it for free!) Highly recommended.

And thanks to the kind people over at the Memphis Drum Shop, here's John demonstrating Zildjian's Swish Knocker ride/crash cymbal, designed with the great Mel Lewis in mind:

- Jerome Jennings interviewed by Neon Jazz on the heels of his excellent recent release Solidarity:

- Jamison Ross interviewed over at the Working Drummer podcast:

- Airto Moreira's tribute to Miles Davis

- Chicago's Dana Hall in some trio action with Clark Sommers on bass and Chris Madsen on tenor saxophone on Miles Davis' Little Willie Leaps:

- Jeff Ballard in some duo action with pianist Frank Woeste in the Libretto Dialogues:

- Some rare psychedelic double drum duet footage of Kenny Clarke and his big band compatriot Kenny Clare:

- What am I listening to these days?

Neil Caine "Backstabber's Ball" - Jason Marsalis (drums)

Jerome Jennings "Solidarity" - Jerome Jennings (drums)

Kirk MacDonald & Pat LaBarbera "Trane of Thought" - Joe LaBarbera (drums)

Gerry Gibbs "The Trasher Dream Trio" - Gerry Gibbs (drums)

Joe Lovano "Sounds of Joy" - Ed Blackwell (drums)

Alvin Fielder & Damon Smith "Song for Chico" - Alvin Fielder (drums)

- And today's Final Word goes to Ronan Guilfoyle from his own fine blog Mostly Music, with some sage advice in the form of a blog post entitled On Being a Jazz Student - The Big Picture (just click on the link above and take a read through....it's just too long to copy and paste here but it's a fine read!)

Well, that's all I've got today. Thanks again for your support, please come back soon and all the best in the year ahead.

Thursday, December 12, 2019

Antonio Sanchez Speaks

I've been working on an interesting collaborative project lately, which will make its debut next year in 2020, along with choreographer Catherine Hayward and dancer Davida Monk. This cool project involves a score of solo drums & percussion (composed and provided by yours truly) paired along with a solo contemporary dancer.

I've gained a lot of inspiration and ideas from Antonio Sanchez's various solo projects, in particular his solo drum score to the movie Birdman. Fortunately for us, here's a pair of wonderful interviews in which Sanchez discusses his music, background and philosophy:

And this one is a re-post but there is so much GREAT information to gain here so here it is again!

Monday, December 9, 2019

Jeff Hamilton: REMO Sandlane Sessions

From a 2013 masterclass in the Netherlands with his trio (featuring the exceptionally musical talents of pianist Tamir Hendelman and bassist Christoph Luty) here's the great Jeff Hamilton demonstrating some important techniques on the drums and also sharing some very tried-and-true advice on playing the drums in a supportive and musical manner.

Follow this link for some background and further explanation. Check it out:

And I've posted this one before but I think it's really great (!) so please enjoy Jeff Hamilton's tribute to Ed Shaughnessy with this spectacular drum solo:

Thursday, December 5, 2019

Mel Lewis Hilversum '85

Adam Nussbaum recently hipped me to this amazing and rare footage of Mel Lewis giving a drum workshop in the Netherlands, circa. 1985. Fortunately, this footage was also recently uploaded to the YouTube so we can all appreciate the knowledge and wisdom that Mel passed on to a classroom of Dutch drummers.

As always, when the Masters speak....we listen!

Monday, December 2, 2019

Jabali Speaks!

A wonderful interview with Jabali Billy Hart, in which he discusses a number of topics, recently recorded in the Netherlands:

As always, when the Masters speak...we listen!

Thursday, November 28, 2019

Joe Saylor: Jazz Cowboy

My previous post featuring Art Blakey got me thinking about other Jazz drummers that wear and look good in cowboy hats and of course this led me to the Late Show's Joe Saylor...

Monday, November 25, 2019

Art Blakey Speaks

A trio of short interviews today with the legendary Art Blakey in which he talks about Jazz music and his perspectives on life in general:

And here's a bonus! Max Roach speaks to his own impressions of Art Blakey:

As always, when the Masters speak....we listen.

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Jesse Simpson: Cymbal Smith

For those of us who are into the current state of the art of cymbal making, the name Jesse Simpson should be all too familiar. Based in Brooklyn, Simpson has been hammering and crafting his own cymbals for a while now (and with great results too!)

Personally, I've employed Jesse's services to modify, re-hammer and re-lathe existing cymbals of mine with great success. I've also really dug the original cymbal works of his, currently owned and played by the likes of Jesse Cahill and Jeff Sulima.

Check out this feature on Jesse Simpson:

For more information about this emerging cymbal smith, check out his website (and buy his cymbals!): www.jessesimpson.com/cymbals

Monday, November 18, 2019

The Calgary Jazz Composers Collective, Vol.1

Here's a few words about an upcoming project and jazz series that I am currently part of here in Calgary (and quite proud of!)

The Calgary Jazz Composers Collective, Vol.1 is a co-operative ensemble that creates and presents new and original jazz music and arrangements.

About this Event:

The Calgary Jazz Composers Collective is a co-operative ensemble that creates and presents new and original jazz music and arrangements. The personnel of this group changes, morphs and evolves from concert to concert, featuring various forward thinking members of the Calgary jazz community. The constant theme of this group is the creation and presentation of new music, providing a showcase for local jazz artists to present their original works in a concert venue. Future editions of this on-going collective will present a various roster of artists and instrumentation. Musically, "the future is now!" and the music and artists presented in this series represent the current state of contemporary jazz composition in Calgary. Bringing together a diverse and variety of sounds and musical influences, the Calgary Jazz Composers Collective seeks to explore new sonic territory and become a forum for original music by Calgary jazz composers and performers.

About Jazz@1308:

Curated by jazz drummer Dr. Jon McCaslin, the original and creative voices of Calgary's jazz scene come alive, on stage at Theatre 1308.

This concert series features a diverse collection of sonic ideas, visions, styles, instruments and ensembles, all of which of fall under the wide reaching definition of jazz music. The central theme that binds these diverse and eclectic sounds together is that the artists involved represent the creative and forward thinkers of Calgary's Jazz community. These are the artists who have committed themselves to their craft, as improvisors and composers, and seek to create, collaborate and inspire. These local jazz artists aspire to share their diverse experiences and talents, and to create dynamic and original music in their own community. Come witness the present and the future of jazz in Calgary at Theatre 1308.


The Calgary Jazz Composers Collective, Vol.1

Saturday, November 23rd 2019


Theatre 1308

1308 Edmonton Trail NE


Nate Waters - Tenor Saxophone

Carsten Rubeling - Trombone

Mark Limacher - Piano

Jonathan Wielebnowski - Bass

Jon McCaslin - Drums & Cymbals

For more information please visit:


Tickets available at:


Thursday, November 14, 2019

Ra Kalam Bob Moses - Tribute to Alvin Fielder

From Marcelo Perez' recent Generations project at the New England Conservatory, featuring many famous drummers all on stage together, here's Ra Kalam Bob Moses' percussive tribute to the great Alvin Fielder:

Those who follow this blog might recall that I am always a fan of drummers playing together (despite this being a rare occurrence!) I look forward to digging into the rest of the performances from this project, also featuring Billy Hart and Dafnis Prieto!

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Jerome Jennings: Heart

Jerome Jennings, a wonderfully musical and hard-swinging drummer of considerable accomplishment and acclaim, recently released his newest album Solidarity, a follow-up to his first release The Beast. I quite enjoyed Jerome's last album of original music and I look forward to hearing what he's come up with this time.

Lucky for us, Jennings has offered us this in-studio recording of his solo drum composition entitled Heart which is also featured on his latest album. Now dig this:

Thursday, November 7, 2019

The Sessions: Jimmy Cobb

Another great interview from Dom Famularo's series The Sessions, this time featuring words of wisdom from Jazz legend Jimmy Cobb:

As per usual, when the Masters speak...we listen.

Monday, November 4, 2019

The Sessions: Jack DeJohnette

A big THANK YOU to fellow blogger and Canadian Jazz drummer Ted Warren who recently shared this interview with Jack DeJohnette, from Dom Famularo's artist series The Sessions, over at his blog Trap'd:

As per always, when the Masters speak...we listen.

Thursday, October 31, 2019

A Drummer's Guide to the 2019 JazzYYC Canadian Jazz Festival

The annual JazzYYC Canadian Jazz Festival runs November 6-10, in various venues across the city of Calgary. There is lots of great Canadian Jazz music happening next week and, in particular, many great drummers to check out too.

So on that note, here's my list of several not-to-be-missed shows to attend and the great drummers that will be performing in the coming week:

- Drummer Jeff Sulima & the Redline Trio have been performing regularly at Betty Lou's Library every Thursday night for the past couple of years now. Recent concerts have also featured this well-oiled group with the likes of pianist/composer David Braid and bassist Brandi Disterheft. They even have a new recording coming out soon!

You'll have plenty of opportunities to hear Uncle Jeff and this trio (co-led by saxophonist Mark DeJong) during this year's festival. They'll be hosting the Kawa Jazz jam on the afternoon of Saturday, November 9th 3-6pm and also backing up spoken word poets Quincy Troupe and Sheri-D Wilson at the Ironwood Stage & Grill on the evenings of Friday, November 8th and Saturday, November 9th (930pm).

- Montreal's Michel Lambert will be playing drums with the Jazzlab Orchestra on Friday, November 8th at the Ironwood (7pm). Lambert is a creative force on the drums, whom I had the privilege of studying with at McGill University during the early 2000s. I am looking forward to hearing how he musically navigates the JazzLab Orchestra which, while not a full-on big band, will still cover a lot of sonic ground given its larger, five-horn configuration.

Here's some footage of the JazzLab Orchestra in action:

- Also from Montreal is drummer Louis-Vincent Hamel, who will be appearing with the award-winning Gentiane MG trio at the Ironwood on Saturday, November 9th (7pm).

Following the release of her first trio recording entitled Eternal Cycle, Gentiane received the 2018-2019 CBC/Radio-Canada Jazz Award and the Prix François-Marcaurelle de la Guilde des Musiciens du Québec. If you are looking to hear an introspective and modern Jazz piano trio next week, this is the group to hear! Louis-Vincent Hamel is an exceptionally musical drummer and he impressed audiences during his performance with saxophonist Benjamin Deschamps No Codes project last June at Calgary's BuckingJam Palace.

- From New York and appearing with tenor saxophonist/Montreal-native Chet Doxas' group Landline is drummer Vinnie Sperrazza. I am personally looking forward to hearing this group, their modern New York sound and experiencing their collective/co-operative approach to composition.

Enjoy this preview of their musical process:

I know both Chet Doxas and bassist Zack Lober from my days as a student at McGill University and they are both incredibly talented and dedicated musicians. This will certainly be a show you won't want to miss.

- Local drummer (and another fellow McGill graduate!) Afo Fapojuwo appears with tenor saxophonist Nate Waters' quartet at Lolita's Lounge on Friday, November 8th (8pm). Afo also leads his own group at the Calgary Central Library, part of the family-friendly JazzWalk on Sunday, November 10th, from 2-3pm. Afo has been a wonderful addition to the local Jazz scene since his return to Calgary, following his studies in Montreal.

- Drummer Ted Warren has undoubtedly been one of the most significant Jazz drummers on the Canadian Jazz scene over the past 30 years. His resume reads like a "who's who" of Jazz greats, including a stint as the drummer with Rob McConnell's Boss Brass for a number of years. He's also one of the most creative and musical drummers you'll ever hear.

At this year's festival we'll hear Ted in action with guitarist Avi Granite's touring project from Toronto, performing music from his latest album Orbit, at the King Eddy on Thursday, November 7th (830pm).

- Alberta vocalist Ellen Doty appears at the King Eddy for two shows on Friday, November 8th (7pm & 930pm) with Edmonton's rock-solid Peter Hendrickson on the drums. Ellen is a lyrical storyteller and Hendrickson's drumming style offers the perfect accompaniment for Doty's vocals.

- Tap dancer Kelly Steele has been making her rhythmic style known to Calgary Jazz audiences over the past couple of years now. Young swinger Nate Chiang on the drums will be backing up Steele's quartet from 12-1pm at the Calgary Central Library on Sunday, November 10th.

- And last, but certainly not least, Regina's Brent Jefferson will be driving the band from behind the drums, backing up guitarist Jack Semple and his tribute to the music of B.B. King, appearing at the Calgary Central Library (in the Patricia A. Whelan Performance Hall) on Sunday, November 10th (7pm).

Personally, I've known Brent Jefferson for over 30 years now (!) and consider him to be a good friend and an amazing drummer. The rhythmic team of Jefferson along with Jack Semple on guitar and Dave Chobot on bass is one of the grooviest things you'll hear and if this music doesn't move you, you are probably dead!

*I should also add that this festival isn't all about the drummers (!) Be sure to check out a couple of great drummer-less shows next week too including:

- Montreal pianist John Roney and Israeli-born alto saxophonist Tevet Sela at the Ironwood Stage & Grill on Thursday, November 7th (7pm)

- Tim Tamashiro's "Drinky Jazz Cabaret: Nat the Cat" featuring the life and music of Nat King Cole at the Engineered Air Theatre, Arts Commons on Friday, November 8th and Saturday, November 9th (8pm)

For more information about this year's JazzYYC Canadian Jazz Festival please visit www.jazzyyc.com

Monday, October 28, 2019

The Monday Morning Paradiddle

Well, the Fall season is now in full swing around here and I hope you are all keeping busy, studying/practicing hard and digging the music wherever you may be. Remember, be humble and keep the dream alive!

People have been asking about my limited edition Four on the Floor t-shirts lately. My fist run has sold out but I'll keep you posted once the second run has been printed and is in stock. If you are interested in one, please email me at fouronthefloorblog@gmail.com and I will keep you updated once they are available.

Here's what has been making the rounds around the Four on the Floor office these days:

- Bill Frisell on the legacy of Ginger Baker from Rolling Stone magazine

- Mike Clark shares some wisdom on trading 4's and 8's over at the Drum Channel

- Peter Erskine's Modern Drummer article on dealing with off-beat rhythms

- Paul Francis with some very insightful history of Zildjian Cymbals from the Drum History Podcast

- Check out Kyle Andrews new drum blog. Lots of thoughtful ideas here.

- Thanks to frequent Four on the Floor correspondent Tim Mah for passing along this interview with Adam Nussbaum from BANG! The Drum School

- Hey look! Quincy Davis is back after a bit of a hiatus. I've always loved his series of "Q-Tips" and now that he's settled into his new position, teaching Jazz drums at the University of North Texas, I hope that we see more of these. They are always really great. In this edition Quincy talks about and demonstrates the legacy of Philly Joe Jones:

- From That Drum Blog here's a great recommended playlist from Brazilian drummer Edu Ribeiro, featuring his favourite Brazilian drummers. This is really worth checking out.

Ribeiro also has a new Brazilian drumming series through Open Studio that is worth some serious attention in my opinion!

Check out these 2-minute lesson previews:

- Jerome Jennings has what will undoubtedly be another amazing album coming out soon. Check out this preview of his arrangement entitled "Boom Bap Be-Bop":

- Jeff Hamilton shares some ideas on hi-hat technique from a recent drum clinic:

- A feature on Mel Brown, a seminal figure on the Portland Jazz scene:

- And speaking of Portland, here's one of my favourite drummers anywhere, the ever musical and inventive Alan Jones with his sextet:

- I've been really digging Jason Tiemann's Instagram posts lately and here's a couple of Jazz drum set compositions/etudes of his that you can actually check out and purchase:

- Finally, here's Chris Lesso with some words of wisdom from the teachings of Jim Blackley:

- What am I listening to these days?

Mike Allen "Just Like Magic" - Lewis Nash (drums)

PJ Perry "Time Flies" - Joe LaBarbera/Dave Robbins (drums)

Jodi Proznick "Sun Songs" - Jesse Cahill (drums)

Phineas Newborn Jr. "We Three" - Roy Haynes (drums)

Francois Theberge Group "Elenar" - Alan Jones (drums)

Karriem Riggins "Alone Together" - Karriem Riggins (drums)

- And today's Final Word(s) go to these two wise individuals.

First, this one from Joe Dixon with some worthy advice to consider (via Ted Warren):

And these inspiring words from the renowned Canadian painter Ted Godwin:

"An artist's career can accelerate only if they begin with the premise that they are real professionals, "not the Sunday afternoon variety". So the first thing you have to do is set a space aside where you make art and only art, and sanctify it with art. Let music fill and activate the space."

- Ted Godwin from A Handbook for Working Artists