Friday, April 30, 2021

Four on the Floor *Live* featuring Jon Gordon on Instagram IGTV


Please join us for the next episode of Four on the Floor *Live* happening next Tuesday, May 4th at 7pm MST (9pm EST), appearing on Instagram Live IGTV @fouronthfloorblog featuring Jon Gordon.

"Jon is one of the greatest alto players ever!" - Phil Woods

A native New Yorker, saxophonist and composer Jon Gordon was born into a musical family and began playing at age ten. In addition to private saxophone studies he attended Performing Arts High School and won numerous competitions, among them the Julius Grossman, the Goldman Band and the Performing Arts Concerto competition. This led to performances as a soloist with the Grossman orchestra, Goldman Band and the Performing Arts Orchestra.

In his mid-teens Jon’s love for Jazz began to bloom. He began sitting in regularly with Eddie Chamblee at Sweet Basil and started lessons with Phil Woods. From 1984-88 he attended Manhattan School of Music. During this time Jon began working professionally including gigs with Red Rodney, Roy Eldridge, Barney Kessel, Al Grey, Eddie Locke, Mike LeDonne, Mel Lewis, Doc Cheatham and many others.

Since that time, he has worked with Maria Schneider, Ron McClure, Clark Terry, Benny Carter, Phil Woods, T.S. Monk, TanaReid and Bill Mays, The Vanguard orchestra, Bill Charlap, Ray Barreto, Mark Turner, George Colligan, Chico Hamilton, Harry Connick jr. and the N.Y. Pops Orchestra, among many others. Jon also appears regularly as a member of the Jazz Nativity, whose other featured artists have included Tito Puente, Ron Carter, Dave Brubeck, Savion Glover, Slide Hampton, and Harold Nicholas.

Jon has led his own groups at various European, Canadian and U.S. jazz festivals and clubs including, Ronnie Scott's and The Pizza Express (London), The Sunside, The Sunset, and La Villa (Paris), The Brecon Jazz Festival (Wales), The Oslo Jazz Festival, The Ottawa Jazz Festival, The Royal Caribbean Floating Jazz Festival, Savannah on Stage, The Savannah Jazz Festival, and The Wolftrap Festival. He has performed as a sideman at dozens of other festivals, clubs and concert halls around the world.

Recent appearances include stints at the Blue Note, Birdland, Visiones, Iridum, Smalls, the Jazz Standard, Jazz in July at the 92nd Street Y, the JVC Jazz Festival, the Village Vanguard, Fat Cat, And The Charlie Parker Festival.

In November of 1996, Jon won the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Saxophone Competition. Judges for this important event were Wayne Shorter, Jackie McLean, Joe Lovano, Jimmy Heath and Joshua Redman. 

Monday, April 26, 2021

Terri Lyne Carrington: The New Standards

A series of instructional videos with NEA Jazz Master Terri Lyne Carrington from the The Library of Congress (here's the direct link to the Library of Congress website):


And a recently streamed concert from The Library of Congress featuring her New Standards band with Kris Davis (piano), Linda May Han Oh (bass), Tia Fuller (flute and saxophone) and Devon Gates (electric guitar and voice):

Thursday, April 22, 2021

Four on the Floor *Live* on Instagram IGTV featuring Joe Farnsworth

It's Time to Swing!

Please join me for the next episode of Four on the Floor *Live* happening next Tuesday, April 27th at 7pm MST (9pm EST), appearing on Instagram Live IGTV @fouronthfloorblog featuring Joe Farnsworth!

One of the most highly regarded jazz drummers on the scene today, Joe is known for his blazing speed, precision, musical, and melodic playing.

Born in South Hadley, Massachusetts in 1968, Joe grew up in a musical family; his father was a music educator and he has four older brothers, two of whom became professional musicians.

He studied with Alan Dawson and Arthur Taylor prior to attending and graduating from William Patterson College in New Jersey in 1994 where he began playing with saxophonist Eric Alexander and guitarist Peter Bernstein.

Upon moving to New York City, he led the weekend jazz combos at Augie’s (now Smoke Jazz & Supper Club). He performed with Junior Cook, Cecil Payne, John Ore, Big John Patton, Harold Mabern, Eddie Henderson, John Jenkins and his brothers, John and James.

Joseph’s career includes recording over 100 CD’s as a leader and side-man, jazz festivals and world tours with Pharaoh Sanders, Horace Silver, Harold Mabern, McCoy Tyner, Cedar Walton, Diana Krall, Benny Golson, George Coleman, Johnny Griffin, Lou Donaldson, Benny Green, Barry Harris, Curtis Fuller to name a few.

Monday, April 19, 2021

The Monday Morning Paradiddle - April 2021

And...we're back.

Thank you to everyone who has been tuning into my weekly Instagram interview series Four on the Floor *Live* happening every Tuesday evening. I've really been learning a ton from all the artists who have generously taken time out of their daily lives to speak with me. Thank you for all your ongoing support.

Please tune in tomorrow Tuesday, April 20th at 7pm mountain (9pm eastern) on Instagram IGTV @fouronthefloorblog for my interview with Dr. Colleen Clark www.collendrums.com

Okay, so here's what's in the queue for this months column:

1) A pair of articles from Jazz Times magazine including:

- Carl Allen remembers Charli Persip

- Steve Swallow on Pete LaRoca

2) The Drum History Podcast featured this episode on Alan Dawson and big thanks to Steve Fidyk for also sharing this tribute to Alan Dawson:

3) Matt Wilson interviewed by the Happy Musicians podcast and here is Matt's excellent article from Jazz Times magazine on his favourite ride cymbal melodies!

4) Check out this free on-line concert and get your rhythm fix from CAP UCLA featuring Zakir Hussain and The Masters of Percussion with Marcus Gilmore on drums

5) Ted Warren recently featured by Toronto Jazz including a stellar drums/alto saxophone duet with Allison Au on his original composition O Fink Hoot E

6) Creative Conversations with percussionist Warren Smith:


7) Jack DeJohnette interviewed by Dekel Bor for "Speakin' My Piece":

8) A wonderful interview with Lewis Nash, interviewed by Bret Primack:


And thank you to Peter Erskine for reminding us of Nash's amazing solo drum rendition of Eddie Harris' Freedom Jazz Dance:


9) UNT's Professor of Jazz Drums Quincy Davis continues with his on-going and prolific Q-Tips series on YouTube. 

Check these out! 

Don't forget to check out Quincy's ongoing interview series Drummer 2 Drummer on Instagram @qdjazz

10) A spotlight on Ulysses Owens Jr. thanks to the nice people at the Avedis Zildjian Company:


Make sure to check out Ulysses' excellent book Jazz Brushes for the Modern Drummer!

11) Antonio Sanchez performs his original composition Leviathan with Chris Potter on tenor saxophone and Scott Colley on bass:


12) Pianist Rossano Sportiello featuring Kenny Washington on the brushes:

13) Jerome Jennings offers this informative webinar masterclass on The Art of Big Band Drumming:


14) Some rare recordings of British drummer Kenny Clare demonstrating some brushwork and uptempo timekeeping:



15) A rare recording of this beautiful trio featuring Geri Allen on piano, Terri Lyne Carrington on drums and Esperanza Spalding on bass:


16) Check out this rare Philly Joe Jones drum feature!


17) What am I listening to these days?

Dick Oatts "Standard Issue" - James Oblon (drums)

Thelonious Monk "Monk's Dream"- Frankie Dunlop (drums)

Steve Lacy "The Straight Horn of Steve Lacy" - Roy Haynes (drums)

Gary Burton "Like Minds" - Roy Haynes (drums)

Fredrik Kronkvist "Afro-Cuban Supreme" - Jason Marsalis (drums)

The Young Tuxedo Brass Band "Jazz Begins"

Various Artists "Batucada - The Sound of Favelas"

Patrick Boyle "LULL"

18) And today's Final Word goes to Dame Evelyn Glennie with this reminder and important words of wisdom:

*If you like what you are seeing/reading/listening to please consider subscribing to my mailing list. Just click on the subscription box on the right side of my page. Don't miss out and sign up to receive regular Four on the Floor updates to your inbox today!*

Saturday, April 17, 2021

Four on the Floor *Live* on Instagram IGTV featuring Colleen Clark

Please join me for the next episode of Four on the Floor *Live* happening next Tuesday, April 20th at 7pm MST (9pm EST), appearing on Instagram Live IGTV @fouronthfloorblog featuring Dr. Colleen Clark!



Drummer, composer, educator and bandleader, Dr. Colleen Clark is the only drummer and woman to earn a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Jazz Performance at the world-renowned University of North Texas, the oldest jazz institution in America. As a member of the Associate Graduate Faculty at the University of North Texas, Clark currently oversees the research interests of doctoral students in jazz studies.

As a player, Clark has been described as "someone to watch" and "someone who will be turning heads in jazz for years to come." Clark was invited by the ASCAP Foundation to lead her band, the Colleen Clark Collective, at the Kennedy Center. Dr. Clark has performed in prominent NYC venues including Jazz at Lincoln Center, Birdland and the 55 Bar. Her debut album, consisting entirely of her original music, Introducing Colleen Clark, was produced by Gordon Stout and engineered by ten-time Grammy Award nominee/winner, Brian Dozoretz. Clark proudly joined the Sisters in Jazz Collegiate Combo on their premiere performance at the Jazz Education Network Conference in 2019.

Dr. Clark currently teaches at City University of New York's Borough Manhattan Community College and the University of North Texas Clark also serves on the advisory board for The BeBop Corporation and has been a lead teacher in the ChiCa Power program at the Jazz House Kids.

Clark can most recently be heard playing on SteepleChase record #900, Allegra Levy's Lose My Number: Allegra Levy Sings John McNeil.

Dr. Clark is extremely excited to be joining the faculty at the University of South Carolina in August 2021. As Assistant Professor of Jazz, Clark will teach a full drumset studio, jazz history and conduct/coordinate the big bands and small ensembles.

Monday, April 12, 2021

Backyard Afro-Cuban Grooves/Groves *Revisited*

Spring is here (apparently...) but I'm getting quite impatient as it's not really green around here yet (I'm right in the middle of Western Canada...but hey, at least the snow is gone!) 

Anyways, I decided to revisit this footage of my dear friends and amazing percussionists Raul Tabera, Luis Tovar and Mario Allende, recorded in my backyard last summer: 

There is no lack of green foilage and serious grooves (groves?) in this one!

Thursday, April 8, 2021

Four on the Floor *Live* on Instagram IGTV featuring Allison Miller

Please join me for the next episode of Four on the Floor *Live* happening next Tuesday, April 13th at 7pm MST (9pm EST), appearing on Instagram Live IGTV @fouronthfloorblog featuring the incredible Allison Miller!


NYC-based drummer/composer/teacher Allison Miller engages her deep roots in improvisation as a vehicle to explore all music. Described by critics as a Modern Jazz Icon in the Making, Miller won Downbeat’s 67th Annual Critics Poll for “Rising Star Drummer” and JazzTimes’s 2019 Critics Poll for “Best Jazz Drummer.” Boom Tic Boom, Allison’s longtime band, won Jazz Journalists Association’s 2019 award for “Best Mid-Sized Ensemble.” Her composition, “Otis Was a Polar Bear”, is included on NPR’s list of The 200 Greatest Songs by 21st Century Women+. She is also the first recipient of the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation’s Commissioning Grant. In January 2020 Miller along with her band, Boom Tic Boom, tap dancer-Claudia Rahardjanoto, and video designer-Todd Winkler premiered this new multimedia suite, In Our Veins, with a seven show tour sponsored by Jazz Touring Network and Mid Atlantic Arts. The project explores multimedia performance as a vital form of knowledge production through the poetic interpretation of historical events and their association with the geography, ecology and flow of specific rivers.

Miller, a three time Jazz Ambassador for the U.S. State Department, was Monterey Jazz Festival’s 2019 Artist in Residence, alongside bassist/producer Derrick Hodge. Simultaneously her band, Boom Tic Boom, celebrated itss 10th anniversary with the release of their 5th album, Glitter Wolf, which was included in many “Best Jazz Of 2019” lists, including NPR, Rolling Stone and Jazz Times magazine. NPR’s Kevin Whitehead says, “All the parts fit together like clockwork on Allison Miller's new album.” The band has toured extensively throughout the US, Europe and Asia as well as being featured on such programs as NPR’s Fresh Air with Terry Gross, Tiny Desk with Bob Boilen, WNYC’s Soundcheck and New Sounds with John Schaefer, and Jazz Night in America with Christian McBride.

While breaking from leading Boom Tic Boom, Miller focuses on collaborations, co-directing Parlour Game with Jenny Scheinman and Science Fair with Carmen Staaf. Parlour Game’s debut album also made “Best Jazz Of 2019” lists, including LA Times, Boston Globe, The Nation and was recently featured on NPR’s Weekend Edition. Miller is also a proud member of the critically acclaimed Bluenote recording supergroup Artemis, and is the musical director for Camille A. Brown’s Ink.

As a side-musician, Miller has been the rhythmic force behind such artists as Sara Bareilles, Ani DiFranco, Natalie Merchant, Brandi Carlile, Indigo Girls, Toshi Reagon, Dr. Lonnie Smith, Patricia Barber, Marty Ehrlich, Ben Allison, and Late Night with Seth Meyers.

Allison teaches at the New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music (where she was recently named a Melba Liston Fellow), Stanford Jazz Workshop, Centrum, Geri Allen Jazz Camp, and is the Artistic Director of Jazz Camp West. She has been appointed Arts Envoy to Thailand for her work with Jazz Education Abroad and endorses Yamaha drums, Zildjian cymbals, Vic Firth heads, Evans drumheads and Sunhouse percussion.

Monday, April 5, 2021

Charles Lloyd Quartet - Belgium 1966

Here's some great footage that has been making the rounds lately of Charles Lloyd's quartet featuring Jack DeJohnette on drums with Keith Jarrett and Cecil McBee, filmed for Belgian television circa. 1966: