Thursday, May 2, 2019
Susie Ibarra Solo
Some inspiring and creative solo drum and percussion work from Susie Ibarra:
The idea of presenting a concert of solo drum set & percussion music is one that has interested me and captivated my imagination for some time. I've played solo pieces before in the context of a concert with a full-band, but never really an entire concert on my own (not a successful one anyways!) Performances such as this from the likes of Ibarra (and others, such as Joey Baron, Gerry Hemingway, Antonio Sanchez and Ted Warren come to mind) are great examples of how to sustain musical percussive interest over extended periods of time without resorting to drum pyrotechnics or pointless demonstrations of chops and speed.
Actually, now that I think of it, I did actually try this once...during bassist Joel Kerr's "Fat Lamb" Music Festival during the summer of 2000 in Regina, Saskatchewan (incidentally being held across the street from the "Flat Land" Festival being held in Victoria Park!) I remember that I jumped on the opportunity when Joel asked me to fill a set for his nightly ad hoc improvised music festival (at the time Joel and I were touring with the critically acclaimed musical touring act "Saskatchewan Express").
However, I didn't really put any thought into it and basically just hit the drums for an hour straight with no attention to any musical structure, organization or musical development. There was a reasonable crowd present when I started my set and about 3/4 of the audience had left once I was finished an hour later. Perhaps some of the drummers in audience appreciated what I did but I imagine that most people in the audience probably got bored (in fact, I distinctly remember how bored that I personally felt about 10 minutes into the whole thing!) In terms of being a musically responsible solo Jazz drummer that evening, I would have given myself a solid of grade of F.
In retrospect perhaps that's a bit harsh but I do wish I had put more attention and pre-planning into how I structured my performance and I wish I had framed it on a more musical level as opposed to a random "drumming" one. It was certainly a learning experience and one that (even almost 20 years later!) I hope to revisit in the future...
Posted by Jon McCaslin at Thursday, May 02, 2019
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