Well here we are, a year later, and the world is still turned upside down due to the global pandemic. However, artists are still out there doing great things, persevering throughout all of this and doing their best despite the circumstances. The point of this monthly column (and my whole blog, I suppose...) is to recognize, celebrate and draw attention to many of the great things I come across in the wide world of jazz drumming. Hopefully you'll gain as much inspiration and motivation from these artists as I have.
If you have anything you'd like to share with me, please drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. I'd love to hear from you.
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Anyhow, and now on with the show...
1. I've been having fun with my weekly series Four on the Floor *Live* which happens every Tuesday evening on my Instagram page @fouronthefloorblog at 7pm MST (9pm EST).
So far I've really learned a lot and come away inspired by the many amazing guests who've appeared so far including the likes of Adam Nussbaum, Francisco Mela, Ted Warren, Patrick Boyle, Geoff Clapp, Quincy Davis, Tim Mah, Dave Laing, Christopher Smith and Chad Anderson.
Thanks to everyone who has been watching. Tune in this week for my interview with the great Joe LaBarbera!
And here's Joe's interview from a couple of months ago with Neil LaFortune for the Gretsch Afternoon Drum Break:
2. I've also been enjoying a recent collaboration between myself, Ted Warren of Trap'd and Todd Bishop of Cruiseship Drummer in a series we are calling The Three Bloggers. We've each chosen a topic and will be blogging on each other's subjects, offering a collective perspective of each others ideas.
We just finished Round #1 and I asked everyone to contribute their thoughts about "The Hi-Hat".
Here's the links to our individual pieces:
The Three Bloggers - Part 1: The Hi-Hat by Jonathan McCaslin
The three bloggers: the left foot, the hihat by Todd Bishop
The 3 Bloggers: A Ted's eye view of the Hi-Hat! by Ted Warren
Between the three of us, I think we covered a lot of ground!
Look for Round #2 coming soon where we'll be offering our collective thoughts on the seminal Miles Davis album "Milestones".
3. CBC Radio has featured interviews with a number of important artists lately that I'd recommend listening to. These include compelling radio segments with the likes of:
Jack DeJohnette (on the legacy of the late Chick Corea)
4. Thanks to Kevin Turcotte for sharing this insightful 1989 magazine article by Gerry Hemingway entitled Percussion Discussion featuring Milford Graves, Han Bennink and Joey Baron
6. Vinnie Colaiuta on the legacy of Chick Corea from his podcast Breakfast with Vinnie
9. Joe Chambers has a new record out on Blue Note records. Read about his latest release Samba De Maracatu in this Downbeat Magazine feature
10. The great Milford Graves recently passed away at the age of 79.
John Zorn referred to the Master percussionist as "a 20th-century Shaman."
“In the cosmos, everything - planets - they’re all in motion. We’ve got so much cosmic energy going through us, and the drumming is all related to the intake of this cosmic energy. That’s the loop that we have with the cosmos.” - Milford Graves (from the 2018 documentary "Full Mantis")
- Here are pieces on Graves from The New York Times, Rolling Stone magazine and Ethan Primason's The Drummer, The Healer: A Tribute to Milford Graves
-Thanks to fellow blogger Ted Warren and frequent Four on the Floor correspondent Tim Mah (host of CJSW's weekly radio program Jazz Today) for offering these compelling pieces:
Milford Graves' solo performance from the Hopscotch Music Festival circa. 2019:
Milford Graves and Andrew Cyrille - Dialogue of the Drums:
Jason Moran's conversation with Milford Graves in conjunction with the exhibition Milford Graves: A Mind-Body Deal presented by ICA Philadelphia:
11. Joe Farnsworth pays tribute to his friend and mentor, the late Jimmy Lovelace:
And don't forget, "It's Time to Swing" (always!)
12. Leo Sidran interviews Billy Martin for the Third Story podcast:
13. UNT's Ten Questions Plus interview series with Peter Erskine:
14. Quincy Davis continues to knock it out of the park with his regular Q-Tip series on YouTube, offering invaluable and practical jazz drumming concepts and concise lessons.
Here are his most recent offerings (these are really great!):
And make sure to check out Quincy's on-going Drummer 2 Drummer live interview series on Instagram IGTV too at @qdjazz
15. Edu Ribeiro continues with his awesome on-going Drum Conversations + Q&A series through Open Studio with Jorge Rossy:
...and Jeff Ballard!
I really admire Edu's enthusiasm and appreciate that he asks all the right artists, all the right questions.
As always, "When the Masters speak, we listen!"
16. The always creative Ferenc Nemeth offers his Morning Walk Drum Solo:
17. Belfast's Stephen Davis offers this solo Piece by Piece #11 in a series produced by the Improvised Music Company (IMC):
18. Lately I've really been enjoying Mareike Wiening's album Metropolis Paradise (Greenleaf Music). Here's a wonderfully clever feature from a series entitled Through Jazz:
20. What am I listening to these days?
Red Garland Trio "Live at the Prelude" - Specs Wright (drums)
Red Garland "It's a Blue World" - Art Taylor (drums)
Mareike Wiening "Metropolis Paradise" - Mareika Wiening (drums)
Milford Graves "Percussion Ensemble" - Milford Graves, Sunny Morgan (drums)
Milford Graves & Bill Laswell "The Stone" - Milford Graves (drums, percussion and heartbeat)
Adam Nussbaum "Leadbelly Reimagined" - Adam Nussbaum (drums)
Dave Restivo "Arancina" - Alyssa Falk (drums)
Miles Davis "Milestones" - Philly Joe Jones (drums)
And today's Final Word goes to Albert Einstein...
I've always enjoyed this poem and these lines of inspiration from Einstein (obviously not known for his poetry!) It's a short and eloquent read, but consider replacing the word dance with the word drum and I think it still rings true.We dance for laughter