Wednesday, July 31, 2019


I am taking a break from blogging and social media. Thanks for your support and see you in September!

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Charli Persip's Medical Fund

Jazz drumming great Charli Persip recently turned 90 years young and Adam Nussbaum has informed me that Persip is also facing some medical challenges these days. A Go Fund Me fundraiser has been set up in his name to help with the cost of the medical bills and he would sure appreciate any help you can offer:


From the Go Fund Me webpage:

"Famed jazz drummer, Charli Persip, known for his band SuperSound, has played with jazz legends such as Dizzy Gillespie and Billy Eckstine. Unfortunately, in recent years, Charli Persip has been struggling with illness. Due to this, he had to stop doing what he loves the most; performing and teaching. This has left him to fall on hard times financially due to medical bills.

We are reaching out to the jazz community at this time for any contributions towards the Charli Persip medical fund. He would greatly appreciate the support. You can e-mail his family at charlipersip@yahoo.com as well."

Fortunately for us, Charli's 90th birthday celebration concert was recently shared on YouTube and featured a plethora of great musicians and drummers including appearances from the likes of E.J. Strickland, Kenny Washington, Taru Alexander, Lloyd Haber, Warren Smith, Marcus Baylor, Jack DeJohnette, Nasheet Waits, Eli Fountain, Jeff Tain Watts, Carl Allen, Andrew Cyrille, Darrell Smith, Adam Nussbaum and more. Check it out:

Happy Birthday indeed!

Adam Nussbaum was also kind enough to offer these words, some thoughts on the impact that Persip had on his own development:

"Charli was one of my early teachers. He was such an inspiration beyond just the drums. What I got from him was that it was all about the music and the commitment. That had a major impact on me. It still does!"

Personally, I was first made aware of Charli Persip's drumming from listening to the 90s CD reissue of the album Gretsch Drum Night at Birdland. This album featured Persip along with the drumming powers of Elvin Jones, Art Blakey and Philly Joe Jones in an epic drum battle but Charli Persip, at the time, was brand new to me. However, once I heard him do his thing (and, in my opinion, more than keep up with the others!) I was like...."okay now who is THIS guy???" Needless to say, I've been a fan ever since.

Adam Nussbaum, Chad Anderson, Jesse Cahill and Brad Shigeta also all reminded me to check out Persip's swinging playing with Dizzy Gillespie (Have Trumpet Will Excite, Dizzy Gillespie at Newport and Sonny Side Up with Sonny Stitt and Sonny Rollins), Lee Morgan's Blue Note recordings, Cecil Payne's The Connection, piano trio dates with Red Garland, Benny Golson's New York Scene and his own Charles Persip and the JAZZ Statesmen:

Monday, July 29, 2019

Allison Miller: Boom Tic Boom

Some wonderfully musical and inspired drumming today from Allison Miller with her Boom Tic Boom project:

And thanks to Four on the Floor correspondent Tim Mah for sending along this recent interview with Miller over at the Burning Ambulance Podcast.

I've also posted these next two before but because they are so much fun and I really dig them, here they are again:

As you can see from the informative clips above, Allison Miller is a creative force on the drums, a musical drummer that brings together the legacy of jazz drumming in the present while also pushing the sonic possibilities of the instrument forward in a highly personal way.

Friday, July 26, 2019

Listen Here!

A few interesting things to listen to today that I've been enjoying lately...

- Uncle Paul's Jazz Closet is an excellent podcast curated by Paul Motian's niece Cindy McGuirl that features the life and music of Paul Motian, including many unreleased and private recordings.

A recent episode features some rare rehearsal recordings of Motian's in which he is tuning his drums, practicing the drums (!) and rehearsing original material with other musicians.

I was also really impressed with a previous episode that featured Motian's private recordings of him practicing the piano and playing through several of his original compositions (on a piano that he allegedly bought from Keith Jarrett and apparently Motion was a very serious student of the instrument, even taking regular lessons for a number of years). I don't think that Motian meant for these recordings to be heard by anyone other than himself however I don't think he would really mind either (*this is purely my speculation of course!)

Anyways, I think these recordings are highly significant and I think we can all take a lesson from this. Given the technology readily available to us, there is no reason why we all shouldn't be recording ourselves on a regular basis for self-evaluation (even if not intended to be shared with others). Perhaps no one will be curating a podcast in our name after we're long gone however there is still much to be learned and gained by regular documentation of your own creative process.

I recently spoke with Dr. Patrick Boyle about this very subject, Ted Warren blogged about this earlier in the week and Chad Anderson is a constant inspiration via his posts on Instagram.

- Jerry Fuller is a name that often comes up in Canadian Jazz drumming circles. When I ask other musicians about him, he is always remembered fondly (in fact, whenever Nick Fraser is asked: "Who is the best Jazz drummer in Toronto?" Fraser usual replies: "Jerry Fuller"....even though he's been deceased since 2002!)

Here's an article written by long-time Montreal Jazz critic Len Dobbin on Fuller's career.

A couple of great examples of Jerry Fuller's drumming to check out, both from the Canadian Jazz Archives on-line (a great resource!):
Both of these concerts were recorded live at the Ontario Science Centre in Toronto.

- Here's some more Canadian Jazz: guitarist Sonny Greenwich with pianist Don Thompson, bassist Jim Vivian and drummer Barry Elmes, recorded at the Upstairs Jazz Bar in Montreal on a spirited version of Cole Porter's "I Love You":

I think I may have been in the audience for this concert now that I come to think of it...

- Thanks to Adam Nussbaum for passing along this rare one of the John Coltrane Quartet from 1960, recorded at the Jazz Gallery, featuring Pete LaRoca on drums:

- And speaking of Coltrane....here's Montreal's Yannick Rieu and his quartet performing Trane's Untitled Original 11383 from a recent performance at the Montreal International Jazz festival with ANDRE WHITE on drums:

- Kenny Washington first played this Philly Joe Jones drum solo for me a few years ago at his apartment in Brooklyn. It's extremely rare and out-of-print but fortunately it's still up on YouTube:

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Antonio Sanchez: Shadows & Lights

Some creative drumming today from Antonio Sanchez featuring his expansive drum set-up and the Sensory Percussion trigger system (also recently featured on this blog with performances from the likes of Marcus Gilmore and Kendrick Scott):

Further to that example, Sanchez discusses his personal approach to soloing on the drums:

And here's an interview with Sanchez in which he talks about his influences, working with Pat Metheny and his recent projects:

Okay, one more (!) Here is a quick lesson on his approach to cymbal technique:

As you can see and hear, Sanchez is not only an accomplished drummer but a creative artist as well who is pushing the boundaries of his craft.

Monday, July 22, 2019

The Monday Morning Paradiddle

Well, summer is in full swing these days and we hope you are all enjoying your vacation months wherever you are and whatever you might find yourself up to.

This will be the final Monday Morning Paradiddle column of the summer season however I'll be blogging right up until the end of the month. I will also be taking a break for the month of August while I'm on holidays.

Anyhow, in the meantime, here's a few items to check out, read and listen to:

- Four on the Floor correspondent Tim Mah recently traveled to the Montreal International Jazz Festival and offered this fine list, his picks of the top jazz festival drummers that he heard over the past month:

"Tim Mah's Top Drummer Picks of the 2019 Montreal Jazz Festival"

1. Zach Danziger - with Donny McCaslin
2. Nate Smith - with Nate Smith's Kinfolk
3. Allison Miller - with Christine Jensen's New York Quartet
4. Corey Fonville - with Butcher Brown and Christian Scott's aTunde Adjuah
5. Kendrick Scott - with Kendrick Scott's Oracle, the Gilad Hekselman Trio and Keyon Harrold
6. Makaya McCraven - appearing with his own group
7. Leon Parker - with the Brad Mehldau Quintet
8. Smithsoneon - with Bigyuki
9. Al Bourgeois - with the Rachel Therrien Quintet and the house band for the organ jazz jam at Brutopia
10. Louis-Vincent Hamel - with Benjamin Deschamps No Codes 
(who also won the 2019 Grand Prix du Jazz award at the festival)

*Bonus (appearing at the Winnipeg Jazz Festival) - Greg Hutchinson with the Joshua Redman Quartet and Brian Blade with his Fellowship Band* 

Looks like there was lots of great music to be heard on the Canadian Jazz festival circuit this year!

Tim Mah hosts the weekly radio program Jazz Today which can be heard on CJSW every Thursday morning and is also archived for your perusal. Check out and LIKE his Facebook page for more information, frequent updates and playlists.

Thanks Tim!

- Geoff Clapp offers his take on New Orleans rhythms over at the You'll Hear It podcast.

Also check out these short drum lessons with Ulysses Owens Jr from the You'll Hear It blog.

- Andrew Cyrille featured by Rolling Stone magazine

- Max Roach and Tony Williams both featured at JazzProfiles

- Colleen Clark recently completed and defended her very informative dissertation on the evolution of the ride cymbal beat through the University of North Texas. Check out her excellent work here.

Incidentally, Colleen was also recently seen sporting her own limited edition, 10th anniversary Four on the Floor t-shirt while visiting Steve Maxwell's Drum Shop in Manhattan:

You can own one too! Although, you'd better act fast I only have a handful left and they are now only available in size XL.

The shirts (featuring a wonderful logo design by Chad Anderson!) are $30 (+$10 shipping).

Drop me a line at fouronthefloorblog@gmail.com and I'll set you up asap.

- Check out Chip Stern's webpage for some wonderful interviews with Elvin Jones.

And speaking of Elvin, here's an article from 1982 from deep in the archives of Modern Drummer magazine worth digging into (special thanks to Hans Verhoeven for sending this one along!)

- Also from Modern Drummer, a recent feature on Tyshawn Sorey
(he will also be on faculty at the Banff Centre for the summer)

- Herlin Riley featured at Jazziz magazine (on the topic of his recent album release)

- JazzTimes magazine offers this feature on 10 Drumming Composers of our time

- Speaking of drummer/composers, WBGO offers this one on drummer/composer John Hollenbeck

- A couple of great columns on Kenny Clarke, Shelly Manne and Baby Dodds from Scott K. Fish over at his blog Life Beyond Cymbals

- A piece from All About Jazz about the late, great (and troubled!) Phil Seamen

- New York's Christopher Smith has been up to great things via his informative YouTube series The Drum Hang but he's also a bad ass drummer in his own right as well. Check out this drum feature on an arrangement of the Game of Thrones theme song from a recent recording session:

- Bill Stewart groovin' with Peter Bernstein and Larry Goldings from a recent appearance at London's Pizza Express:

- Kendrick Scott in action with pianist Joey Alexander:

-The late Lawrence Leathers featured with Mike LeDonne's Groover Quartet on a lively rendition of Sonny Rollins' "Airegin":

- What am I listening to these days?

Mike LeDonne "Partners in Time" - Lewis Nash (drums)

Johnathan Blake "Trion" - Johnathan Blake (drums)

Dave Robbins Sextet "Joan of Art" - Dave Robbins (drums)

Joel Haynes Trio featuring Seamus Blake "Transitions" - Joel Haynes (drums)

Kenny Wheeler "Songs for Quintet" - Martin France (drums)

Chris Mitchell "Spectrum" - Jerry Fuller (drums)

Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers "At the Cafe Bohemia, Vol.1 & 2" - Art Blakey (drums)

- And today's Final Word goes to Jazz impresario Cory Weeds with this sage advice:

Well folks, this is all I've got for now. Thanks again for all your support and please come back again soon!

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Francisco Mela: Reflexion

Some wonderfully expressive and inventive drumming from the hands (and feet!) of Francisco Mela:

This guy obviously loves playing and sharing his music with others, and it shows! Inspiring stuff.

Monday, July 15, 2019

Evelyn Glennie Rolls....

And...we're back. It's been a busy two weeks over here at Four on the Floor between teaching at summer Jazz camps in both Alberta and Saskatchewan and peddling my limited edition, 10th anniversary Four on the Floor t-shirts (if you want one, you'd better hurry as they are almost gone!) In any event, regular blogging will now resume until I take my yearly break for the month of August.

Anyways, let's get the week off to a good start now and stop to appreciate this clip of acclaimed percussionist Dame Evelyn Glennie playing a closed/buzz/press roll for 30 interrupted minutes:

Now some might scoff at this but if you take the time to watch and really listen to this (like I did...) hopefully you'll come to appreciate not only the endurance needed to accomplish this task but also the musical intent and subtle nuances she is playing with. This takes not only a lot of stamina but a lot of musical concentration as well.

Ted Warren, over at his blog Trap'd, recently shared his thoughts on Dan Weiss' intensive practice regimen and I think Glennie's press roll marathon falls in line with that as well.

Personally, developing closed/buzz/press roll vocabulary has been a personal, on-going goal of mine for sometime so I find the above clip quite inspiring. In fact, I think it's beautiful.

Friday, July 5, 2019

Joe LaBarbera: "Roughing the Single Drag"

A wonderful snare drum demonstration from Joe LaBarbera and Jacob Wendt on the Charles Wilcoxon etude "Roughing the Single Drag". This is from a series of YouTube videos in which Wendt performs classic Wilcoxon snare drum solos including ALL 150 SOLOS from the All American Drummer (!) as duets with various drummers from the Los Angeles area (quite the undertaking...) Check out his YouTube channel for the complete series. This is the kind drumming/social media initiatives that I like to see...

In particular, dig the nice big, full sound that LaBarbera gets from his snare drum in this video (incidentally, he's playing a rare Gladstone snare drum, gifted to him by Ed Shaughnessy!) I also really appreciate the loose and graceful strokes that LaBarbera plays with as well as an obvious attention to detail in terms of the level of his accented strokes.

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

The Guys Get Shirts Part 5

The ever dapper Geoff Clapp was recently spotted wearing his new limited edition, 10th anniversary Four on the Floor t-shirt while shedding on his nice new Reverie drums.

You can own one too! Drop me a line here or at fouronthefloorblog@gmail.com and I'll set you up asap (while supplies last!)

Monday, July 1, 2019

Tim Mah's 25 Canadian Jazz Albums of 2019 (so far)

In honour of Canada's birthday, frequent Four on the Floor contributor and correspondent Tim Mah has offered this comprehensive list of 25 notable Canadian Jazz releases, so far released in the first half of 2019.  Tim is also the host of the radio program Jazz Today, heard Thursday mornings 530-7am on CJSW 90.9 fm (Calgary).

Tim Mah's Canadian Jazz Albums -
Twenty Five New Releases of 2019:
(in no particular order...)

1) Seamus Blake “Guardians of the Heart Machine”

Seamus Blake (tenor saxophone), Tony Tixier (piano), Florent Nisse (bass) and Gautier Garrigue (drums).

2) Gentiane MG Trio “Wonderland”

Gentiane Michaud-Gagnon (piano), Levi Dover (bass) and Louis-Vincent Hamel (drums).

3) Anna Webber “Clockwise”

Anna Webber – tenor saxophone, flute, bass flute, alto flute

Jeremy Viner – tenor saxophone, clarinet

Jacob Garchik – trombone

Christopher Hoffman – cello

Matt Mitchell – piano

Chris Tordini – bass

Ches Smith – drums, vibraphone, timpani

Listen to Anna Webber talk about her album with Dave Douglas on the podcast called “A Noise From The Deep".

4) Steph Richards “Take the Neon Lights”

Steph Richards (trumpet, flugelhorn, compositions), James Carney (piano), Sam Minaie (bass) and Andrew Munsey (drums)

This is a video of Steph Richards and her band performing at the Festival of New Trumpet Music in San Diego (March 2019):

5) Mike Allen “Just Like Magic”

Mike Allen (tenor saxophone), Peter Washington (bass) and Lewis Nash (drums).

This is the EPK for the album:

6) Brad Turner Quartet with special guest Seamus Blake “Jump Up”

Brad Turner (trumpet & flugelhorn), Seamus Blake (tenor saxophone), Bruno Hubert (piano), Andre Lachance (bass) and Dylan van der Schyff (drums)

This is “The Enthusiast” from the album:

7) Donna Grantis “Diamonds & Dynamite”

Donna Grantis (guitar), Bryan Nichols (piano), Cody McKinney (bass), JT Bates (drums), and Suphala (tabla)

Donna Grantis performing “Mr. Majestic”:

8) Michael Davidson & Dan Fortin “Clock Radio”

Michael Davidson (vibraphone, compositions) and Dan Fortin (bass)

This is a video includes the song “Berlin V” from the album:

9) Curtis Nowosad “self-titled”

Curtis Nowosad - drums

Duane Eubanks - trumpet

Braxton Cook - alto saxophone

Andrew Renfroe - guitar

Jonathan Thomas - piano, Fender Rhodes (tracks 1,5,6), organ (track 8)

Luke Sellick - bass

Corey Wallace - trombone (tracks 3,5,7,8)

Matthew Whitaker - organ (tracks 2,3,5)

Michael Mayo - vocals (tracks 2,6)

Brianna Thomas - vocals (tracks 3,8)

Marc Cary - Fender Rhodes (tracks 2,8), Wurlitzer (track 8), synth (tracks 1,6,8)

This is a video of Curtis Nowosad’s “The Water Protectors”:

10) Dave Robbins Sextet “Joan of Art”

Dave Robbins (drums), Steve Holy (bass), Chris Gestrin (piano), Brad Turner (trumpet), Mike Allen (tenor saxophone) and Rod Murray (trombone)

This is the EPK for the album:

11) Mike Allen Quartet “Celebrating Sonny Greenwich”

Mike Allen (tenor sax), Miles Black (guitar), Steve Holy (bass) and Dave Robbins (drums)


12) Steve Haines & the Third Floor Orchestra “self-titled”

Steve Haines (bass), Becca Stevens (voice), Chad Eby (soprano saxophone), Joey Calderazzo (piano), Kobie Watkins (drums), plus orchestra.

This is a video of the Steve Haines composition “What I’ve Seen”:

13) Brad Turner “Pacific”

Brad Turner (trumpet/flugelhorn), John Gross (saxophones), Chris Gestrin (Hammond B3 organ and Moog Synthesizer Bass) and  Joe Poole (drums)

This is the title track, “Pacific”:

14) Jacques Kuba Seguin “Migrations”

Jacques Kuba Séguin: trumpet

Yannick Rieu: tenor saxophone

Olivier Salazar: vibraphone

Jean-Michel Pilc: piano

Adrian Vedady: bass

Kevin Warren: drums

This is “Hymne” from the album:

15) JV’s Boogaloo Squad “Going to Market”

Joel Visentin (keys), Adam Beer Colacino (guitar) and Jeff Halischuk (drums)

This song is called “Squadzilla”:

16) Jim Brenan 11 “50/50”

Jim Brenan: leader, composer, arranger, tenor, soprano sax, clarinet, bass clarinet

Jim Murray: trumpet

Sergio Rodriguez: trumpet

Sean Craig: alto sax

Mike Gardner: alto sax

Sarah Matheson-Nadeau: baritone sax, flute

Craig Brenan: trombone

Carsten Rubeling: trombone

Chris Andrew: Fender Rhodes, clavinet

Rubim de Toledo: bass

Jamie Cooper: drums

Raul Tabera: percussion (track 1)


17) Stephanie Urquhart Quartet “Concealment”

Stephanie Urquhart (piano), Peter Zawalski (guitar), Josh McHan (bass), Joel Jeschke (drums) and Mallory Chipman (vocals - tracks 1, 7, 8, 9)

Here’s the EPK for the album:

18) Dominique Fils-Aime “Stay Tuned!”

Vocals: Dominique Fils-Aimé

Bass: Jacques Roy

Drums: Salin Cheewapansri

Percussions: Elli Miller Maboungou

Keys: Nathan Vanheuverzwijn

Guitar: Étienne Miousse

Piano: Jean-Michel Frédéric

Trumpet: Hichem Khalfa

Didgeridoo: Kevin Annocque

This is a video of “Big Man Do Cry” from the album:

19) Jazzlab Orchestra “Quintessence”

Musicians : Samuel Blais, Mario Allard, Alex Francoeur (saxophone), Jacques Kuba Seguin (trumpet), Thomas Morelli (trombone), Félix Stussi (piano), Alain Bédard (bass) and Louis -Vincent Hamel (drums)

This is a video of the title track, “Quintessence”:

20) Rafael Zaldivar “Consecration”

Rafael Zaldivar (piano), Rémi-Jean LeBlanc (electric bass), David Gagné (upright bass), Mireille Boily (vocals), Amado Dedeu Jr. (percussion, vocals), Eugenio Osorio (congas) and Michel Medrano (drums).


21)  Laura Anglade “I’ve Got Just About Everything”

Laura Anglade (voice), Jonathan Chapman (bass), Sam Kirmayer (guitar), Valerie Lacombe (drums), and Masashi Usui (tenor saxophone).

This is a video of Laura Anglade performing “A Social Call”:

22) Jim Doxas “Homebound”

Jim Doxas (drums), Lex French (trumpet), Al McLean (saxophone) and Adrian Veddady (bass)

This is the title track:

23) Tara Kannangara “It’s Not Mine Anymore”

Performed by Tara Kannangara, Chris Pruden, Colin Story, Julian Anderson-Bowes, Mackenzie Longpre, Evan Cartwright and Kira May.

This is a video of “Touched” from the album:

24) Dave Young “Lotus Blossom”

Dave Young: acoustic bass

Renee Rosnes: piano

Reg Schwager: guitar

Terry Clarke: drums

Bernie Senensky: piano

Kevin Turcotte: trumpet

Perry White: tenor saxophone

This is Dave Young (featuring Renee Rosnes) performing the title track:

25) John Stetch "Black Sea Suite (Live)"

John Stetch – Piano
Steve Kortyka – Sax
Philippe Lemm – Drums
Ben Tiberio – Bass