Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Chris Smith @ Memphis Drum Shop

Chris Smith, curator of the excellent jazz drumming web resource The Jazz Drum Hang and author of The View from the Back of the Band: The Life and Music of Mel Lewis joins the long list of accomplished drummers featured by myCymbal.com and the Memphis Drum Shop.

Check out these informative lessons offered by Chris:

Monday, October 18, 2021

Billy Hart Solo!

If nothing else, please take one minute and forty one seconds of your day to appreciate the great Jabali Billy Hart!


Monday, October 11, 2021

Different Paths with Ed Soph and Steve Houghton

Chris Smith, author of The Jazz Drum Hang took the time to produce this extensive series of interviews with Ed Soph and Steve Houghton, two very important and prolific drum set teachers. This is an incredible resource and I encourage anyone who is interested in teaching drums to check this out.

Here is what Chris had to say about this project:

These interviews revolve around indepth essays that Ed and Steve wrote about their backgrounds, influences, teaching styles, suggested listening, common problems on the drumset, and how to become a serious player. 

A treasure trove of information that is free for you and available at the Google link below:


This project is about two friends (Ed Soph and Steve Houghton) both highly regarded drumset teachers, players, and authors, who recently retired from teaching. What became clear after numerous personal discussions was that education, as well as early and ongoing musical experiences shaped their teaching methods and lesson content, creating a very wide menu of drumming ideas and musical concepts. The common thread of course was always jazz drumming.

For further information from Ed and Steve follow the links below:

Featured Tracks

• (Steve Houghton) Steve Allee: Three Hip Mice 

• (Ed Soph) Joe LoCascio Trio: The Days Run Away  https://youtu.be/OUGI4TriqlI

• (Ed Soph) Woody Herman: Be-Bop and Roses 

• Steve Houghton Trio: A Beautiful Friendship https://youtu.be/YO1kyQII0Mg

More From Steve Houghton: 

• Website: https://www.houghtonmusic.com/

• With Lyle Mays: 

• Interview: The Happy Musicians Podcast 

• Vic Firth Education Series 


Hannah Johnson - Part I: Backstories and History 

Tanner Guss - Part II: Influences 

Chris Smith - Part III: Teaching

Monday, October 4, 2021

The Monday Morning Paradiddle - October 2021

And...we're back!

Now that October is upon us I hope that everyone is well into their Fall routine. Things obviously haven't quite returned to "normal" yet (!) but I think it's important to, as Clark Terry used to say, "Keep on Keepin' on."

This is the first Monday Morning Paradiddle column in awhile now (since last June in fact!) but I enjoyed a nice break over the summer. Here is today's collection of interesting things to check out.

But first a few updates from our sponsors:

Falk Willis continues to offer great, regular content through his wonderful site Jazz Heaven.

Here's what Falk has to say:

Because of drums not really coming across well sonically during our weekly live masterclasses, which we ran for over 2 years now (over 100 at this point and with no end in sight) we sadly hardly did any live masterclasses with drummers, but with lots of other fantastic Masters from Fred Hersch to Gary Thomas and many, many more. The exception being one with Richie Barshay on Alexander Technique for Musicians (he also played some drums). 

And...one with Bill Stewart, Larry Goldings & Peter Bernstein that was great, informative and, you guessed it, at times very funny! We just released the recording of this live masterclass:
LARRY GOLDINGS, PETER BERNSTEIN & BILL STEWART: Ask Them Anything! JazzHeaven.com/gbs (There is a 3-day free trial.)

Also, awhile ago we launched a community part on our site https://community.jazzheaven.com/ (think "Facebook for Jazz") This also includes a "corner" for jazz drummers:  https://community.jazzheaven.com/group/jazz-drummers

So far it's still a bit "quiet" there. Feel free to pay it a visit and change that. This can hopefully develop into a nice resource for all of us to exchange knowledge and ideas.

Another long-time favourite of mine is Justin Varnes' extensive library of lessons on various topics at Jazz Drummers' Resource.

Here is Justin's update:

Now that the Jazz Drummer’s Resource video library contains nearly 300 lessons on everything from up-tempo technique and vocabulary to jazz theory and form for drummers, the site’s focus has turned more to individualized attention and something we call workouts.

A “workout” is just that; grab your sticks, sit down at the kit, press play, and in 20 or 30 minutes you will have learned a new piece of vocabulary or technique. This is a streamlined way to help solve one of the biggest issues we all have: what to practice and how to practice it.

I've been a fan of Chris Smith's Jazz Drum Hang since he first launched his platform and lesson series. His regular informative and relevant content and his enthusiastic, articulate delivery makes it a worthwhile investment in my opinion. I'm always impressed when I check into his site and see what he's come up with.

Be sure to check out Jochen Rueckert's excellent video lesson series found on his website www.jochenrueckert.net

This is a great collection of lessons on a variety of topics in which Rueckert offers a lot of very tangible and practical information informed by his extensive work as both a sideman and a leader.

Okay, now get to work! 

Here's todays collection of things to check out:

1) Check out the new Paul Motian documentary Motian in Motion!

2) NPR's Jazz Night in America with host Christian McBride features Sketches of Tain: Music and Stories from Drummer Jeff "Tain" Watts

A link from that page led me to this past concert featuring pianist Mulgrew Miller and Wingspan and also this older piece from NPR featuring Brazilian percussionist Cyro Baptista and a concept known as Anthropofagia (or "Musical Cannibalism"!):

3) Billy Drummond interviewed by ECM Records

5) Barry Elmes celebrates 30 years of his quintet from Toronto's JAZZ.FM and also this interview with Andre White from his long-time jazz webzine Jazz View.

Be sure to check out Time Warp's recent re-release Down to Earth on Cornerstone Records featuring the drumming of Barry Elmes, originally released on cassette in 1985. 

Order or download that here

6) Fresh Air Archives with this piece featuring Max Roach on playing with Duke Ellington

7) The late Dottie Dodgion remembered in The New Yorker

8) Irish bassist Ronan Guilfoyle recently launched his amazing new podcast series The Art and Science of Time

Make sure to bookmark his page and check out his very insightful and informative conversations about rhythm with the likes of Dave Liebman, Jim McNeely, Ramesh Shotham and many more to come.

9) Toronto's Nick Fraser interviewed on the heels of his latest album No Opposites by Industry Tactics with Friendly Rich

Also here's a great lesson with Nick from Larry Graves' The Garage Sessions: Keeping Time with Nick Fraser


10) Jack DeJohnette interviewed by Jake Feinberg:


11) Jazz Talk interviews Lewis Nash:

12) Ulysses Owens Jr. continues with his excellent weekly interview series The Drummer's Perspective featuring regular interviews with the great jazz drummers of our time including, among others, the likes of:

Billy Drummond


Matt Wilson 

Johnathan Blake 


13) Neon Jazz interviews Gerry Gibbs about his fantastic new release Songs from my Father dedicated to his father and vibraphonist Terry Gibbs:

14) Joe Farnsworth & Dan Weiss trade on Thelonious Monk's Evidence:


Joe Farnsworth pays a visit to John Ramsay's house to celebrate the great Alan Dawson:


And finally a preview of Farnsworth's latest piano trio outing Sounds of the City with Kenny Barron and Peter Washington:


15) Sherrie Maricle offers this warm-up routine using different roll combinations:

16) Billy Higgins! 


17) Kenny Clarke!


18) Here's a very interesting one that I hadn't heard before of Max Roach with the J.C. White Singers from Germany circa. 1974:

19) What am I listening to these days?

Allison Miller "5am Stroll" - Allison Miller (drums)

Joe Farnsworth "Sounds of the City - Joe Farnsworth (drums)

Roy Haynes "A Life in Time" - Roy Haynes (drums)

Rob McConnell "Tentet" - Terry Clarke (drums)

Renee Rosnes "Kinds of Love" - Carl Allen (drums)

Steve Swallow "Real Book" - Jack DeJohnette (drums)

Stanely Turrentine "Up at Minton's" - Al Harewood (drums)

Roy Hargrove & Mulgrew Miller "Blues for Mr. Hill"

20) And today's Final Word goes to John Birks "Dizzy" Gillespie: