I am taking a break from blogging and all things internet in general for awhile. Thanks again for all your continued support and I'll see you in a minute.
Tuesday, July 6, 2021
Monday, July 5, 2021
As you will see below there's already lots of great jazz music that has come out of Canada since December of last year.
Tim's weekly radio program Jazz Today can be heard on CJSW Radio 90.9 fm (Calgary, Alberta, Canada) on Thursday mornings from 530-7am MST. It is also streamed on the CJSW website and available through Apple Podcasts.
Monday, June 28, 2021
I'm taking a break!
Thanks for tuning in and after this week I'll be taking a break from blogging, Instagramming, Facebooking, interviewing jazz drummers and all things social media in general over the summer.
Next Monday, frequent Four on the Floor correspondent Tim Mah (host of Jazz Today heard on CJSW 90.9 fm on Thursday mornings from 5:30 - 7:30am) will be contributing his excellent and informed list of significant Canadian jazz releases from the first half of the year 2021.
My sincerest thanks to everyone who has been tuning into to my weekly Tuesday evening talk show Four on the Floor *Live* happening on Instagram IGTV. When I started this experiment back in mid-December I thought this would only last two or three weeks (!) but it really turned into a thing.
I am very grateful to all the great people who took time to speak with me and make this the unique series that it's quickly become. I've sure learned a lot from this experience and hope you have as well.
Special thanks to:
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Alright, now on to the good stuff. Since I'll be gone over the next couple of months, here's a plethora of great things to check out:
1) Thank you Ted Warren, author of the blog Trap'd for these timely expansions and variations of a 4-way coordination exercise that I shared on my blog last week
2) Ireland's Ronan Guilfoyle shares this fantastic interview with tenor saxophonist Pat LaBarbera, speaking about his experience playing with Elvin Jones and Buddy Rich:
3) A radio broadcast of Max Roach and the Uptown String Quartet circa. 1994 from the archives of New Sounds from New York Public Radio
4) A feature on Joe Chambers from uDiscoverMusic.
5) Han Bennink interviewed by Ken Vandermark from Option Talk Music and the Experimental Sound Studio:
6) Rodney Green interviews Marvin "Smitty" Smith:
7) John Ramsay speaks about the legacy of Alan Dawson on the Drum History Podcast:
And here is a fantastic clip of Mr. Dawson in action with Dave Brubeck, featured on Paul Desmond's hit Take Five:
8) Edu Ribeiro interviews Billy Hart in the final instalment of his amazing weekly interview series from Open Studio:
9) Ulysses Owens Jr. is now hosting The Drummer's Perspective through Open Studio and this includes interviews with Lewis Nash:
...and Herlin Riley:
Owens also recently released an important new book entitled The Musician's Career Guide: Turning Your Talent into Sustained Success.
Here is a preview of his latest book:
Oh yes, Ulysses also has a great method book on brush playing that came out last year. Study it, practice hard and maybe you'll be lucky enough to play like this:
10) Lewis Nash was kind enough to share this incredible Zoom session with Christian McBride in which they listen to and reminisce about recordings they have played on together over the past 30+ years:
This is incredible!
11) Quincy Davis is still turning out incredible, regular content through his ongoing Q-Tips series on YouTube. I tell all my students to check these out and so should you:
11) I've really been enjoying pianist Emmet Cohen's ongoing series of live-stream concerts with the always swinging Kyle Poole on drums.
Here's a couple of recent ones from a concert featuring the great Joe Lovano:
12) Zakir Hussain and the Masters of Percussion featuring Marcus Gilmore on drums:
...and here's Marcus Gilmore's recent interview with Pablo Held:
13) This one has been making the rounds for a while now but a recent IG live from Dan Weiss prompted me to revisit this amazing footage of Pat Metheny, recorded at L'Air du Temps in Montreal circa. 1988, featuring Rakalam Bob Moses on All the Things You Are:
14) What am I listening to these days?
Miles Davis "In Person, Friday and Saturday Nights at the Blackhawk" - Jimmy Cobb (drums)
Johnathan Blake "Gone But Not Forgotten" - Johnathan Blake (drums)
Jeff "Tain" Watts "Watts" - Jeff "Tain" Watts (drums)
Joe Magnarelli "If You Could See Me Now" - George Fludas (drums)
Adonis Rose "Song for Donise" - Adonis Rose (drums)
Dr. Lonnie Smith "Live at Club Mozambique" - Joe Dukes (drums)
Lou Donaldson "Alligator Boogaloo" - Leo Morris (drums)
Avishai Cohen "Gently Disturbed" - Mark Guiliana (drums)
Phil Dwyer & Don Thompson "Look for the Silver Lining"
15) And today's Final Word comes in the form of this inspiring quote from Twyla Tharp (via Matt Wilson):
"When you're in a groove, you're not spinning your wheels; you're moving forward in a straight and narrow path with pauses or hitches. You're unwavering, undeviating, and unparalleled in your purpose. A groove is the best place in the world. Because when you are in it, you have the freedom to explore, where everything you question leads you to new avenues and new routes."
- Twyla Tharp, renown choreographer
Well, that's all for today.
Thanks again to all of you for reading my blog and for all your support over the years.
Okay that's all I've got for now and see you in the fall.
In the meantime stay safe, stay healthy and keep it real.
Onwards & Upwards.
Saturday, June 26, 2021
Please join us for the final episode of Four on the Floor *Live* of the season (!) happening next Tuesday, June 29th at 7pm mountain (9pm eastern), appearing on Instagram Live IGTV @fouronthfloorblog featuring Justin Faulkner!
Monday, June 21, 2021
Here's a coordination exercise and some variations that I recently came up with and have been practicing lately. These were inspired by my ongoing lessons with John Riley, a Max Roach exercise that Joe Farnsworth recently shared in a Zoom masterclass sometime ago and some challenging 12/8 exercises from Colin Stranahan's excellent My Music Masterclass series (found here).
All these examples have really challenged my approach to dealing with four-way coordination on the drum set. Needless to say, these have also really taken me out of my comfort zone (always a good thing!) I've quickly discovered several deficiencies in my drumming from a coordination perspective, so it's all been a real learning experience for me (and overall a real kick in the pants!)
Anyways, the goal of the exercise that I've come up (in the spirit of the others I've already mentioned) is to achieve a relaxed sense of flow, unity and balance on the drum set while also exploring some different four-way coordination combinations.
A couple of notes before we begin:
• I've written this exercise in 6/4 however...
1) It should really be felt in 4/4 as an over-the-barline phrase
2) The 8th notes should all be swung and interpreted with a triplet feel (make sure to play it slow enough so that you can really feel the triplet subdivision)
Okay, so here's how it works:
• The Right hand plays the standard ride cymbal pattern
• The Left hand plays continuous dotted quarter notes on the snare drum (see below):
• Work through the following six triplet variations, played between the bass drum and hi-hat, while playing the Right and Left hand combination from above (repeat each one many times until you get a sense of flow going):
• Each rhythmic cell is played 6 times per measure of 6/4 (or one cell for each beat)
• The Right hand plays the ride cymbal pattern (as before)
• Play continuous dotted quarter notes with either the bass drum or hi-hat (!)
• Play the six triplet variations above accordingly, either between the snare drum (left hand) and hi-hat or snare drum (left hand) and bass drum
If you're like me you'll probably rush the hell out of the dotted quarter notes, so practice it slow and concentrate!
• Always remember...
Take it slow.
Relax and remember to breath.
Make it swing!
Friday, June 18, 2021
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The shirts are $30 each (+shipping)
If you are interested in purchasing one, please drop me a line asap at email@example.com or reach me through Facebook/Twitter/Instagram and I'll set you up right away.
Wednesday, June 16, 2021
Adonis Rose is a Grammy-award winning artist, composer, educator, and producer from the city of New Orleans, LA. He has played and recorded with the biggest names in Jazz, including Terence Blanchard, Betty Carter, Dianne Reeves, Marcus Roberts, Harry Connick, Jr., and Wynton Marsalis, and has performed on the most renowned stages in the world such as Carnegie Hall, Olympia in Paris, North Sea Jazz Festival, Umbria, Birdland, Apollo Theater, Newport Jazz Festival, and Jazz at Lincoln Center, to name a few. Rose has over fifty recordings to his credit (five as a leader), including six with longtime friend, trumpeter Nicholas Payton. In 2010, he won a Grammy Award with the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra for Best Large Ensemble.
In January 2017, Rose was named the Artistic Director of the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra (NOJO) and led the eighteen-piece orchestra to its first concert season in October of that year that featured world-renowned artists Sheila E, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Ledisi, Slick Rick, and Eric Benet. He has been instrumental in the organization's success by developing educational and community programs, leading performances, and developing partnerships associated with The Jazz Market, a 350-seat performance venue in the New Orleans’ Central City neighborhood which is home to the orchestra. Prior to his role at NOJO, Rose served as the Artist in Residence at the University of Texas Arlington and Cadillac’s Jazz by the Boulevard Festival, produced the Keller Jazz in June series, and founded the Fort Worth Jazz Orchestra, a 501c(3) non-profit organization.
Monday, June 14, 2021
Here's both performance streams from June 6th and 13th to check out:
Wednesday, June 9, 2021
Please join us for the next episode of Four on the Floor *Live* happening next Tuesday, June 15th at 7pm mountain (9pm eastern), appearing on Instagram Live IGTV @fouronthfloorblog featuring George Fludas.
Chicago drummer George Fludas was born in Chicago on October 10, 1966. He was inspired to play drums by his father, who was also a drummer, and who exposed him to great jazz drummers such as Art Blakey, Max Roach, and "Philly" Joe Jones.
Adept, with a pulse of swinging ease. Nate Chinen - New York Times
He attended Lane Tech High School where he majored in music and played percussion in their concert band and orchestra. After briefly attending Roosevelt University's music school in 1985-86, he began freelancing with Chicago greats Von Freeman, Jodie Christian and Lin Halliday, as well as playing in groups with guitarist Bobby Broom, and saxophonists Ron Blake and Eric Alexander. He has subsequently played with many stellar musicians such as Ira Sullivan, Buddy Montgomery, Lou Donaldson, Frank Wess, Kenny Burrell, Betty Carter, Johnny Griffin, Benny Green, Roy Hargrove, Tommy Flanagan, Hank Jones, Cedar Walton, Diana Krall, Benny Carter, Phil Woods, Junior Cook, Slide Hampton, and Bobby Hutcherson.
George Fludas is one of the greatest drummers ever to come out of Chicago, an impeccable swinger with imagination, class, moxie, and a clear sense of the full span of jazz tradition. John Corbett - The Chicago Reader
George has performed at numerous jazz venues in the U.S. such as the Jazz Showcase in Chicago, Yoshi’s in Oakland, the Blue Note, Village Vanguard, Smoke and the Jazz Standard in New York and Catalina's in Hollywood, as well as many international Jazz Festivals, including Montreal Festival du Jazz, Bern Jazz Fest in Switzerland, Glasgow and Edinburgh Jazz Fests, Vitoria Jazz Fest, San Sebastian Fest in Spain and the USS Norway Jazz Cruise. He toured Europe and Japan extensively as a member of Ray Brown's Trio, and with groups led by Hank Jones, Diana Krall, Monty Alexander, Cedar Walton and Joey Defrancesco.
Fludas brings a combination of focused swing, and sensitivity. Mark Stryker - Detroit Free Press
George lives in Chicago with his wife and two sons and performs regularly with local artists and visiting headliners at clubs and concert venues throughout the city. He continues to tour often with many of the top names in jazz. He can be heard on numerous CDs as a sideman with Ray Brown, Eric Alexander, Monty Alexander, Kyle Asche, Geof Bradfield, Scott Burns, Bobby Broom, Lin Halliday and The Chicago Jazz Orchestra.
George Fludas has powered bands large and small with a razor sharp technique and relentless rhythmic drive… a swing master. Howard Reich - Chicago Tribune
Monday, June 7, 2021
This one's been making the rounds of social media lately (and for good reason!) so be sure to check out Ethan Iverson's excellent interview with Jeff "Tain" Watts here.
And here's a couple of older interviews with Tain that I've shared before:
Friday, June 4, 2021
Thursday, June 3, 2021
Please join us for the next episode of Four on the Floor *Live* happening next Tuesday, June 8th at 7pm mountain (9pm eastern), appearing on Instagram Live IGTV @fouronthfloorblog featuring Lewis Nash!
Born in Phoenix, Arizona, Lewis developed an early interest in music and began playing drums at age 10. By age 18, he was performing with local jazz groups. By the time he was 21, Nash had become the “first call” jazz drummer in Phoenix, working with Sonny Stitt, Art Pepper, Red Garland, Lee Konitz, Barney Kessell and Slide Hampton during their engagements in the city.
In 1981, Nash moved to New York City and joined the trio of the great jazz vocalist Betty Carter. For nearly four years, he toured internationally with Ms. Carter. He is featured on three of her recordings, including the Grammy winning “Look What I Got.”
World-renowned bassist Ron Carter hired Nash in 1984. As a member Carter’s nonet, quintet and quartet, Nash toured extensively and is featured on several of the bassist’s recordings.
In the fall of 1986, saxophonist Branford Marsalis asked Lewis to join his quartet. That active association spanned two years and several continents, and is documented on Marsalis’ Grammy nominated recording “Random Abstract”, as well as two videos: Royal Garden Blues (directed by Spike Lee) and “Branford Marsalis - Steep”.
1988 marked the return to the jazz scene of trombone master J.J. Johnson. Johnson frequently asked Lewis to provide rhythm duties for his band. That same year, Nash joined the Don Pullen/George Adams quartet, succeeding the late Dannie Richmond. 1989 proved to be an even busier year for Lewis, touring with legendary saxophonist Sonny Rollins. He also performed with Stan Getz, Art Farmer, Clark Terry and Milt Jackson.
From 1990 to 2000, Lewis was a member of the Tommy Flanagan Trio, and is featured on seven CD recordings with the late piano master. During this period, Nash also toured and recorded with both the Carnegie Hall Jazz Band and the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra. His impressive discography (over 300 recordings) includes projects with jazz legends Dizzy Gillespie, Oscar Peterson, Benny Carter, Hank Jones and John Lewis, as well as new jazz stars Diana Krall, Joe Lovano and Roy Hargrove. Demonstrating his stylistic diversity, Nash is also featured on recordings by Natalie Cole, Bette Midler, Nancy Wilson, Kenny Rankin, Melissa Manchester and George Michael.
Lewis has become a sought after jazz educator. His lectures, clinics and workshops are as much in demand as his bandstand and studio work. Lewis Nash: Rhythm is indeed his business!
Monday, May 31, 2021
Someone asked Washington about his approach to playing uptempos and, of course, Louis Hayes' name came up (and as Kenny recommended, check out Hayes' drumming on "Easy to Love" from Cannonball Adderley's album Nippon Soul).
It's also Louis Hayes' birthday today (!) so I thought I would share some great footage and a pair of interviews with the Master himself:
Wednesday, May 26, 2021
Jerome Jennings is a drummer, activist, bandleader, composer, sideman and educator. His debut recording ‘The Beast’ is a reflection of the every day joys and traumas of black life in the U.S. It was named one of the top three Jazz releases by NPR, received a four star rating in Downbeat Magazine, and was nominated for the prestigious French ‘Grand Prix du Disque’ award for Album of the Year in 2016. Jerome’s sophomore recording, ‘Solidarity’, released November 2019 was recognized by NPR as best music that spoke truth to power of 2019.
Jerome is a pertinent performer. To date Jerome has performed, toured and recorded with legendary musicians like Sonny Rollins, Hank Jones, Gerald Wilson, Christian McBride, Ron Carter, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Wynton Marsalis (J@LC), The Count Basie Orchestra, Philip Bailey, Henry Butler, and countless others. He has also made recordings and shared the stage with contemporary musicians Sean Jones, Camille Thurman, Jazzmeia Horn, Christian Sands, Charenee Wade, and Bokani Dyer to name a few.
The summer of 2007 Jerome earned a MM from the prestigious Juilliard School in Manhattan NY. Jerome has been the Resident Director of The Juilliard Jazz Orchestra since fall 2017. He passed Jazz At Lincoln Centers Swing University 301 history course: The most comprehensive study of jazz from a non-performance perspective, available. Jazz At Lincoln Center has Jerome Jennings on file as an accredited jazz scholar.
Jerome has participated on several panels including Chamber Music America: Music, Language, and Revolution; Lincoln Center: Freedom’s State of Mind; Winter Jazz Festival: Jazz & Gender: A Discussion Of Community, Culture & Participatory Allies. Fall 2020, Jerome co-curated with Naomi Extra, a series of panels, performances and discussions at The National Jazz Museum in Harlem entitled ‘Jazz in The Era of Black Lives Matter.’
Currently, Jerome is keeping busy teaching, conducting clinics and educational youth out reach nationally and internationally. He is one of the most successful in the field of Black American music education. Jerome has been artist in residence, and have lectured at dozens of Universities, Academy’s, and Camps nationally and internationally including UNC Greensboro, John Hopkins Peabody Institute, Rutgers University, The Juilliard School, Jazz Music Institute (Brisbane, AU), Sydney Conservatory of Music, Xavier College (Melbourne, AU), The Ohio State University, Aspen Colorado, Brigham Young University, University Of Ghana - Legon School Of Performing Arts, Rockport Jazz Workshop, and the Universidad Sergio Arboleda (Bogota Colombia) and The National Taiwan University of The Arts.
Monday, May 24, 2021
Thanks for checking in and there's no lack of interesting things to share with you all in this month's action packed variety column.
11) Alvin Atkinson offers some tangible concepts on trading fours from the Jazz at Lincoln Center Jazz Academy:
12) Steve Fidyk with two brush pieces and some great concepts to share:
13) Another instalment of Quincy Davis's incredible, ongoing Q-Tips YouTube series:
19) Jack DeJohnette (the pianist this time!) offers this composition "Ode to Satie":
20) What am I listening to these days?
Willie Jones III "Forgotten Heroes" - Willie Jones III (drums)
Lonnie Smith "Live at Club Mozambique" - Joe Dukes (drums)
Lou Donaldson "Alligator Boogaloo" - Leo Morris (drums)
Stan Kenton "Contemporary Concepts" - Mel Lewis (drums)
Hank Jones "The Oracle" - Billy Higgins (drums)
Kenny Barron & Dave Holland "The Art of Conversation"
21) And today's Final Word goes to Nadia Boulanger:
"To study music, we must learn the rules. To make music, we must learn to break them."
- Nadia Boulanger
Thursday, May 20, 2021
Johnathan Blake, one of the most accomplished drummers of his generation, has also proven himself a complete and endlessly versatile musician — "the ultimate modernist," as John Murph of NPR has dubbed him. Blake's gift for composition and band leading reflects years of live and studio experience across the aesthetic spectrum.
Monday, May 17, 2021
I'm pretty stoked about this upcoming solo drum/percussion and multi-disciplinary festival happening in Montreal this coming June 6th and 13th.
Montreal's Architek Percussion ensemble and Suoni Per Il Popolo are presenting the inaugural UnDrum Festival featuring a diverse range of compelling artists including Ian Chang, Susie Iberra, Glenn Kotche, Architek Percussion, Nicole Lizée, Jessie Cox, Islem Ben Fraj, Camille Renarhd, Greg Harrison, Mili Hong, Michel Langevin, Germaine Liu, Susanna Hood and Jason Tait.
Both perforance dates will be streamed live at www.suoniperilpopolo.org
I've been considering and designing my own solo works for drum set lately so I'm really curious and excited to see what these artists will be offering. I'm sure it's all going to be really great.
Here's a couple of cool clips of Susie Ibarra, Glenn Kotche and Ian Chang who will all be presenting solo works during the UnDrum festival:
Architek Percussion and Suoni Per Il Popolo are pleased to present the inaugural UnDrum Festival, streaming live in June 2021. UnDrum Festival features artists who are undoing our conception of the drum solo and expanding the meaning of being a drummer. Each artist uniquely approaches the drumkit by going beyond its traditional roles in popular music. Performances include free improvisation, contemporary dance collaboration, field recordings, electronics, avant-garde composition, and much more. Headlining artists include Glenn Kotche (drummer for Wilco, composer), Susie Ibarra (percussionist, improviser, composer), and Ian Chang (drummer for Son Lux, electronic artist), rounded out by an eclectic and diverse artist lineup. UnDrum will stream live June 6 and 13, 2021 and thereafter be available on demand via Suoni Télé-TV.
For more information visit: www.architekpercussion.com