Tuesday, December 27, 2022

Tim Mah's Recommended Canadian Jazz Albums of 2022

Frequent Four on the Floor correspondent Tim Mah returns once again, offering his extensive yearly list of recommended music released by Canadian jazz artists over the course of the past year 2022. As you will see, read and hear below, there continues to be lots of great music coming out of Canada these days.

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 and Google podcasts and the new CJSW mobile streaming app. Tim's weekly radio program and podcast is also recommended by New Music USA.  

Tim Mah's Recommended Canadian Jazz Albums of 2022

When 2022 began, we were in the midst of the fifth wave of the global pandemic and public health restrictions continued to be in place. By the summer, we saw a cautious return to live performances and in person attendance at the summer jazz festivals across Canada. Thank you to the music presenters in Calgary for providing the opportunities for music appreciators, like me, to experience these performances. And much gratitude to the artists for their performances and for speaking with me, and other music fans, at their shows.   

To quote Toronto/Berlin-based trumpet player, composer and bandleader, Lina Allemano, who posted on social media in early 2022, after the Lina Allemano Four album “Vegetables” received a 2022 Juno award nomination for Best Jazz Album (Group):

“…there are a lot of great albums that get released every year by incredible Canadian jazz/improvising musicians that do not get recognized by Canada’s prestigious mainstream music awards, the Junos, or ever get played on Canada’s public radio. I hope people will be interested in having a listen to this year’s Juno-nominated albums, but also in making an effort to seek out albums that did not get nominated - a lot of great music gets made in Canada every year that deserves much wider recognition and support from media and radio at home.” 

With that thought in mind, this blog post is one way to help readers to learn about Canadian albums that were released over the last twelve months. The following list includes albums led or co-led by Canadians. I have also included Canadian artists, whether or not they are living in Canada, and expatriates living abroad. 

Here's twenty five favourite new releases, led or co-led by Canadians (from December 2021 to November 2022) in alphabetical order:   

Andrew Rathbun - Semantics

“Semantics” is one of three albums released over the last twelve months by saxophonist and composer Andrew Rathbun: “THAR” (a project co-led with trumpet player Taylor Haskins, and including bassist Matt Pavolka and drummer Tom Rainey); “Incubated Dilemma Machine,” with Chris Biggs (keys, synths) John Hebert (bass) and Keith Hall (drums) and “Semantics” with Rich Perry (saxophone), Gary Versace (piano), John Hebert (bass), and Billy Drummond (drums).   

“Old Ballad for Hawk”    


Annie Dominique Quintet - Reflechir la nuit   

“Reflechir la nuit” is the third album from the Annie Dominque Quintet.

Personnel: Annie Dominique (saxophone, flute and compositions), Jean-Nicolas Trottier (trombone), Jonathan Cayer (piano), Sébastien Pellerin (bass) and Alain Bourgeois drums)   

 “Reflechir la nuit”   


Anthony Fung - What Does It Mean to be Free?   

This is the third album from Toronto-native, Los Angeles based drummer, Anthony Fung.

Personnel: Anthony Fung (drums), David Binney (alto saxophone), Luca Alemanno (bass), Luca Mendoza (piano), plus guests including Andrew Renfroe (guitar), Paul Cornish (keyboards), Braxton Cook (alto saxophone), Marcel Camargo (guitar), Oscar Cruz (congas), Roni Eytan (harmonica)

“What Does It Mean to be Free?”    


Brodie West Quintet - Meadow of Dreams   

“Meadow of Dreams” is the second full length album from the Toronto-based Brodie West Quintet.   

Personnel: Evan Cartwright (drums, vibraphone and guitar), Josh Cole (bass), Nick Fraser (drums), Tania Gill (piano), Brodie West (alto saxophone)     


Caity Gyorgy - Featuring   

This is Calgary-native, Montreal-based Caity Gyorgy’s third release. Each track features a special guest performer.

Personnel: Caity Gyorgy (vocals), Felix Fox-Pappas (piano), Thomas Hainbuch (bass), Jacob Wutzke (drums) with guests: Virginia MacDonald (clarinet), Allison Au, Daniel Barta, Christine Jensen, Tymish Koznarsky (alto saxophone), Lucas Dubovik, Pat LaBarbera, Kyle Tarder-Stoll (tenor saxophone), Kyle Pogline (trumpet), Jocelyn Gould (guitar), Laura Anglade (vocals)   

 “My Cardiologist” 


Carsten Rubeling - Headwaters

Calgary-based trombone player and composer Carsten Rubeling’s album “Headwaters” was inspired by nature and the landscape of the Bighorn region of Alberta, which is tucked along the eastern slopes of Alberta’s Rocky Mountains between Banff and Jasper.

Personnel: Carsten Rubeling (trombone), Andre Wickenheiser (trumpet and flugelhorn) Mark DeJong (alto and tenor saxophones), Fraser Calhoun (tenor saxophone), Aaron Young (guitar), Steve Shepard (bass), Trevor Falls (drums)   

The full album of “Headwaters” 


Chet Doxas - Rich in Symbols II   

Saxophonist and composer, Chet Doxas, released “Rich in Symbols II” featuring music inspired by the paintings from The Group of Seven, Tom Thomson and Emily Carr.

Personnel: Chet Doxas (saxophones, clarinet, field recordings), Jacob Sacks (piano, mellotron), Joe Grass (pedal steel, guitar, banjo), Zack Lober (bass), Eric Doob (drums)   

“The Jack Pine”    


Ernesto Cervini - Joy

Drummer Ernesto Cervini’s album, “Joy,” was inspired by Louise Penny’s Gamache series' of books. There were many musicians on this album across the various songs, including: Felicity Williams, Emilie-Claire Barlow, Amy Cervini, Alex Samaras (vocals), Virginia MacDonald (clarinet), Tara Davidson, Luis Deniz, Kelly Jefferson (saxophones), Jim Lewis (trumpet), William Carn (trombone), Adrean Farrugia (piano), Don Scott (guitar), Dan Fortin, Artie Roth, Rich Brown (bass)   

“Surprised by Joy”    


Florian Hoefner Trio - Desert Bloom  

In June, St. John’s, Newfoundland-based pianist and composer, Florian Hoefner, released his second trio album with Toronto-based Andrew Downing (bass) and Nick Fraser (drums)   

“The End of the Tunnel”


Gentiane MG - Walls Made of Glass   

In September, Montreal-based pianist and composer Gentiane MG released her third album with her trio, Levi Dover (bass) and Louis-Vincent Hamel (drums).   

“Flowers Laugh Without Uttering a Sound”    


Gordon Grdina - Pathways   

Vancouver-based composer, guitar and oud player, Gordon Grdina released five albums over the last twelve months: “Oddly Enough” – a solo album featuring the music of Tim Berne; “Night’s Quietest Hour” with his group Haram, who interpret classic Arabic repertoire; “Pathways” – a trio album with Mark Helias (bass) and Matthew Shipp (piano); “Boiling Point” – a trio album with Matt Mitchell (piano) and Jim Black (drums); and “Gordon Grdina’s The Twain” – the self-titled debut album with a band that includes Michiyo Yagi (electric 21-string koto, 17-string bass koto, electronics), Tamaya Honda (drums, percussion), Kōichi Makigami (voice, Theremin, Jew’s harp, cornet, shakuhachi)   



Jessica Ackerley (under the band name MAW, with Frank Meadows and Eli Wallace) - A Maneuver Within  

The 2021 album “Morning/mourning” was my introduction to the music of guitarist, composer, visual artist Jessica Ackerley. You can learn a little more about Jessica, who grew up in the Calgary metropolitan area, by reading the following article published by Bandcamp in November 2022:


The article mentions four of Jessica’s 2022 albums (a solo album “Waves;” a duo album “Across the Water” with Patrick Shiroishi (saxophone); the debut album of the avant-garde jazz supergroup, SSWAN [Jessica Ackerley, Patrick Shiroishi (saxophone), Luke Stewart (bass), Chris Williams (trumpet), Jason Nazary (drums)], which released the album “Invisibility is an Unnatural Disaster;” and “A Maneuver Within,” with Frank Meadows (bass) and Eli Wallace (piano) – also known as MAW. A fifth album, “Brooklyn/Kingston,” is a drum and guitar duo album, with drummer Henry Mermer.   

This is a live performance by MAW (Meadows, Ackerley, Wallace), Live at the Bushwick Series (2021 in Brooklyn, New York).    


Jocelyn Gould - Golden Hour   

Jocelyn Gould and her band performed music from “Golden Hour” during the 2022 summer jazz festival in Calgary. This is her second album and expect a new album in 2023 with guitarist Randy Napoleon.   

Personnel: Jocelyn Gould (guitar, voice), Jon Gordon (saxophone), Will Bonness (piano), Rodney Whitaker (bass), Quincy Davis (drums)   



Joy Lapps - Girl in the Yard   

“Girl in the Yard” is the fifth album as a leader for Joy Lapps, and her first with all original music. It pays tribute to the women in her life, who have helped develop her mastery of the steelpan and supported her success in the steelpan movement. The core ensemble on the album includes guitarist Elmer Ferrer, pianist Jeremy Ledbetter, drummer Larnell Lewis, and electric bassist Andrew Stewart.   

“Sharifa the Great”    


Kate Wyatt - Artifact   

Pianist Kate Wyatt has been a mainstay of the Montréal jazz scene for over twenty years. In July, she released her debut album, “Artifact.” 

Personnel: Kate Wyatt (piano), Lex French (trumpet), Adrian Vedady (bass) and Jim Doxas (drums).   



Laura Anglade & Sam Kirmayer - Venez donc chez moi   

Toronto-based vocalist Laura Anglade teamed up with Montreal-based guitarist Sam Kirmayer (and New York-based accordionist Benjamin Rosenblum on two tracks) on this album, an homage to France, where she was born. It features jazz versions of French classics made famous by Maurice Chevalier, Boris Vian, Edith Piaf, and Jacques Brel to name a few.   

“Venez donc chez moi”    


Luis Deniz - El Tinajon  

In May, Cuban-born, Toronto-based saxophonist and composer Luis Deniz released his debut album “El Tinajon,” which reflects influences from his upbringing in Camaguey, Cuba and Florida with his later life move to Canada.

Personnel: Luis Deniz (alto and soprano saxophones, compositions), Rafael Zaldivar (piano, keyboards). Roberto Occhipinti (acoustic bass), Amhed Mitchel (drums, vocals) Adis Galindo (vocals) and Jorge Luis Torres Papiosco (congas, bata drums, minor percussion)  



Melissa Stylianou - Dream Dancing  

Vocalist Melissa Stylianou’s new project features bass player, Ike Sturm, and guitar player, Gene Bertoncini.   

“My Ideal”    


Michael Blake - Combobulate   

Michael Blake’s new album, “Combobulate,” features the unique instrumentation of two tubas, trumpet, trombone, saxophone and drums.

Personnel: Michael Blake (saxophones, flute), Steven Bernstein (trumpet), Clark Gayton (trombone), Bob Stewart (tuba), Marcus Rojas (tuba), Allan Mednard (drums)   



Matthew Stevens & Walter Smith III - In Common III   

Toronto-native, guitarist Matthew Stevens has released three albums with saxophonist Walter Smith III under the project name “In Common.” The third album, “In Common III,” was released in March and features Kris Davis (piano), Dave Holland (bass) and Terri Lyne Carrington (drums).   

“Orange Crush”      


Rafael Zaldivar - RUMBA   

Montreal-based pianist and composer Rafael Zaldivar is joined by numerous guest musicians on his new album, “RUMBA.” The term RUMBA refers to the social gatherings of the black community in Havana, Cuba. At the beginning of the twentieth century, these groups met to celebrate and praise the deceased in ceremonies full of song and dance. RUMBA promotes social interaction, cultural exchange, and the transmission of Africanism, all of which feeds into the sound of this album.   

“Dolor de amar” (featuring Kurt Rosenwinkel)   


Tania Gill Quartet - Disappearing Curiosities   

This is the second album for the Tania Gill Quartet, released more than a decade after the debut album. 

Personnel: Tania Gill (piano, synthesizer), Lina Allemano (trumpet), Rob Clutton (bass), Nico Dann (drums)   

Below is a video of Tania Gill, Rob Clutton and Nico Dann performing songs from the album in concert:


Seamus Blake - New York Factor, Vol. 1   

Saxophonist Seamus Blake is currently based in the Netherlands. His new album features some of his long time New York-based collaborators: Bill Stewart (drums), Alexander Claffy (bass), David Kikoski (piano) and Victor Lewis (drums).   

“Points of a Star”    


The Ostara Project - The Ostara Project   

The Ostara Project is a Canadian jazz supergroup, co-led by Amanda Tosoff and Jodi Proznick. Their debut album featured the following personnel: Amanda Tosoff (piano), Jodi Proznick (bass), Rachel Therrien (trumpet), Allison Au (saxophone), Joanna Majoko (voice), Sanah Kadoura (drums), Jocelyn Gould (guitar).   

“Bye Bye Blackbird” (arranged by Joanna Majoko)      


Tommy Crane - We’re All Improvisers Now   

Tommy Crane is a composer, drummer and percussionist, who divides his time between New York and Montreal. After he returned home to Montreal from Italy (where he was teaching drums and improv classes at Siena Jazz Institute) in mid-March 2020, he began putting his energy into writing and recording a new album in his apartment. 

Personnel: Tommy Crane (compositions, drums, cymbals, sensory percussion, percussion, glockenspiel, synth bass, vocals, plus others). Guests include: Pietro Amato (French horn), Simon Angell (guitar, space guitar), Jordan Brooks (electric bass), Charlotte Greve (alto saxophone), Logan Richardson (alto saxophone), Chris Speed (clarinet)   

“Curated Reality”    


This blog advocates for Canadian artists and their music. In addition to the artists listed above, there were many more Canadian artists with new releases over the last twelve months. Have a listen to the music from these artists below (in alphabetical order):   

Aaron Dolman, Sarah Rossy, Eugenie Jobin “Are You Here to Help?”
Adams, Dunn & Haas “Future Moons” 
Alvaro Rojas “Music for 22” 
Alex Le Blanc et son Orchestre “Musique pour jeunes fous” 
Bobby Wiens “Temporary Songs” (with Denin Slage-Koch) and “Let’s Call This” (with Spencer Zweifel & Seth Lewis) 
Carl Mayotte “Escale” 
Chris Andrew “Home” 
Chris Pruden “Suns” 
Colin Fisher & Mike Gennaro “Tactile Stories” 
Darren Johnston “Breathing Room” (with Carmen Staaf and Michael Formanek) and “Life in Time” (with Geof Bradfield, Clark Sommers and Dana Hall) 
David Virelles “Nuna” 
Dan McCarthy “Songs of the Doomed” 
Diana Panton “Blue” 
Doug Tielli & Nick Fraser “In the Same Room” 
Eric Chenaux “Say Laura” 
Eucalyptus “Moves” 
Francois Jalbert & Jerome Beaulieu “L’aeronaute” 
Grant Stewart “The Lighting of the Lamps” 
Hilario Duran & David Virelles “Front Street Duets” 
Im Herridge Lacombe (Jihye Im, Marshal Herridge, Valerie Lacombe) “Movin’ Up” 
Jacob Chung “Epistle” 
Jairus Sharif “Water & Tools” 
Jean-Michel Leblanc “Intrique” 
Jean-Michel Pilc “Alive (Live at Diese Onze, Montreal), Set 1 and 2” 
Jim Head “Prismatic” 
John Lee “The Artist” 
Justin Haynes “The Remembrancer: Justin Haynes Plays the Compositions of Patrick O’Reilly” 
Karen Ng “Impossible Burger” 
Karl Silveira “A Porta Aperta” 
Lauren Falls “A Little Louder Now” 
Local Talent “Remotism” 
Lucas Dann “Solo” 
Mathieu Soucy “Recollecting” 
Michael Johancsik “Breakglass Sessions” 
Michael Sarian “Living at the End of the World” and “After the Rain” 
Michel Donato “Michel Donato et ses amis Quebecois” 
Mike Bruzzese “Even When I’m Dreaming” 
Mike Downes “Mind Mirrors” 
Neil Swainson “Fire in the West” 
Noam Lemish “Twelve” 
Orchestre national de jazz de Montreal “Equal = Orchestra” and “Pandemonia!” 
PJ Perry “No Hugs” 
Rick Rosato “Homage” 
Roberto Occhipinti “The Next Step” 
Sam Kirmayer “In This Moment” 
Sean Fyfe “Late Night” 
Simon Millerd “Cloud Mountain” 
Steve Kaldestad “Live at Frankie’s Jazz Club” 
Sophianne Girard “For Some Reason” 
The Imaginary Brass Band “The Imaginary Brass Band” 
Trevor Falls “Les Filles” 
Way North “New Dreams, Old Stories” 
William Carn “Choices” 
Yannick Rieu Generation Quartet “Qui qu’en grogne”

Monday, December 19, 2022

The Monday Morning Paradiddle - December 2022

Well, here we are! Yet another year of music, drumming and blogging has gone by and now here before you is the December 2022 edition of the Monday Morning Paradiddle, my almost monthly jazz drumming variety column. Hope you dig it.

I'll be taking a break over the holidays and will be back at some point in the New Year. In the meantime, enjoy a nice holiday break and check out all the cool stuff below. There's always something new to watch, listen and learn from.

However, CJSW's Tim Mah will also be back next week for one more guest blogpost of the year, with his compilation of Recommended Canadian Jazz Albums of 2022. His annual selections are always eagerly anticipated and highlight a lot of the great jazz music that came out of Canada in the past year so make sure to check that out.

Hey, I've only got a small handful of the classic black Four on the Floor t-shirts left in stock!

These fine quality shirts are available in small, medium, large and x-large sizes and are lightweight premium fitted 100% cotton tees.

The shirts are $30 each (+shipping)

If you are interested in purchasing one, please drop me a line asap at fouronthefloorblog@gmail.com or reach me through Facebook/Twitterland/Instagram and I'll set you up asap.

These are only available in very limited quantities and last time these went pretty quickly so don't delay and order one today while supplies last, just in time for the holidays!

Subscribe to Four on the Floor today!

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And now, and without further ado, here's today's offerings:

1. Check out this piece from Jazz Wax on the historic new Elvin Jones release on Blue Note Records: Revival - Live at Pookie's Pub

2. Thanks to Chad Anderson for sending along this recorded interview with the great Alvin Fielder

3. Tyshawn Sorey featured by in this Tidal interview Personal Standards

4. Check out and subscribe to Vinnie Sperrazza's excellent new Substack series Chronicles with extended pieces on Paul Motian, Tony Williams, Pete LaRoca, Freddie Waits and more

5. Francisco Mela does all the talking in these podcast episodes of All the Talking Part One Part Two

6. Antonio Sanchez featured in Jazz Times magazine Not Such a Bad Hombre After All

...and in this interview with Leo Sidran from his The Third Story podcast:


7. Fantastic brushwork from Jeff Hamilton!

8. And even more great brushwork from Portland's Mel Brown!!!


9. George Fludas interviewed in the podcast series Off The Bandstand with Christian Wiggs:

10. Ed Soph interviewed by Aldo Mazza for his ongoing series Shaping Your Journey:

11. Billy Drummond interviewed by Eric Hayslett:

12. John Riley featured on Drummer Nation!:

13. Quincy Davis continues with his fantastic and always informative YouTube series Q-Tips:


14. Jerome Jennings offers his masterclass Drum Evolution: From Jazz to Hip Hop:


15. 10 Reasons to Love Brian Blade from Thomas Wendt and the Drum Candy Podcast:


(What only 10 reasons? Lol)

16. And this interview with Duduka Da Fonseca:


17. These two recordings of Big Sid Catlett have been making the rounds lately including this solo with Louis Armstrong...

...and this one with Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker:

18. A wonderful drums and piano duo session from Allison Miller and Carmen Staaf!

19. Ulysses Owens Jr. offers these thoughts on snare drum tuning brought to us from the nice people at Evans Drumheads:

20. And dig this trio of Ulysses Owens Jr., pianist Peter Martin and bassist Bob DeBoo on a burning rendition of Cherokee:

21. Joe Lovano and his Classic Quartet featuring Lewis Nash, on Lovano's composition Big Ben from a recent performance at SFJAZZ:


22. What am I listening to these days?

Archie Alleyne & Frank Wright Quartet "Up There" - Archie Alleyne (drums), Frank Wright (vibraphone)

Elvin Jones "Revival: Live at Pookie's Pub" - Elvin Jones (drums)

Miles Davis "A Tribute to Jack Johnson" - Billy Cobham (drums)

Dave Holland "Triplicate" - Jack DeJohnette (drums)

Ben Webster & Harry Edison "Ben & Sweets" - Clarence Johnson (drums)

Oscar Peterson Trio "We Take Requests" - Ed Thigpen (drums)

Jeff Hamilton Trio "Dynavibes" - Jeff Hamilton (drums), Frits Landesbergen (vibraphone)

Jim Hall & Ron Carter "Alone Together"

23. And today's Final Word goes to Antonio Sanchez via Instagram:

"Playing in a band is one of the best exercises in democracy. It encourages individualism/self-expression but you're all working towards a bigger goal. The exercise also fails if you're not constantly looking out for one another. Everybody should try it at some point in life."

- Antonio Sanchez

Thanks again for all your support, keep swinging' and see you in 2023!

Monday, December 12, 2022

Eddie Gladden at the Drums

A couple fantastic clips of the great Eddie Gladden today, with Horace Silver in Umbria circa. 1976 and with Dexter Gordon at the North Sea Jazz Festival circa. 1979.

Gladden isn't a drummer that's often mentioned (I learned about him via Ralph Peterson Jr. who sang his praises) but one can sure appreciate the level of intensity he played with from the excerpts compiled below (more complete footage of both these two concerts can be found on the YouTube!)

Check them out:

Hey I've only got a handful of the classic black Four on the Floor t-shirts left in stock!

These fine shirts are available in small, medium, large and x-large sizes and are lightweight premium fitted 100% cotton tees.

The shirts are $30 each (+shipping)

If you are interested in purchasing one, please drop me a line asap at fouronthefloorblog@gmail.com or reach me through Facebook/Twitterland/Instagram and I'll set you up asap.

These are only available in limited quantities and last time these went pretty quickly so don't delay and order today while supplies last in time for the holidays!

Monday, December 5, 2022

Bobby Hutcherson Harold Land Quintet Denmark 1971

Some more amazing footage of the Bobby Hutcherson Harold Land Quintet from Denmark circa. 1971 with the great (and, in my humble opinion, underrated) Joe Chambers on drums:

This was a GREAT band that, for some reason, doesn't get talked about often. Dig that cymbal beat!

Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Jazz Drumming Workshop - December 17th

My monthly jazz drumming workshop series continues on Saturday, December 17th.

These regular workshops and group sessions are occurring monthly and address such topics as time keeping, ride cymbal techniques, comping, independence & coordination, snare drum rudiments, brush playing, soloing, jazz drumming history and more!

Jazz Drumming Workshop with Jon McCaslin

Saturday, December 17th 1-3pm

Theatre 1308

1308 Edmonton Trail NE

$40 per session

Space is limited!

Please pre-register here:


For more information please e.mail fouronthefloorblog@gmail.com

Monday, November 28, 2022

Billy Higgins - Firm Roots

Big thanks to Bret Primack aka The Jazz Video Guy for sharing this inspiring footage of the great Billy Higgins with Cedar Walton's quartet (along with David Williams on bass and Bobby Hutcherson on vibraphone), featured here on Walton's classic composition Firm Roots, filmed at the Umbria Jazz Festival circa. 1997:

Monday, November 21, 2022

Jo Jones!

Papa Jo Jones: The Man Who Played Like the Wind

A pair of pieces featuring the great Jo Jones today.

First up, a brilliantly epic version of Caravan featuring Jo Jones with Mary Lou Williams circa. 1978. 

I attended a wonderful listening session with Toronto clarinetist Virginia MacDonald last week at the JazzYYC Tune In - Tune Up conference in Calgary, AB. Virginia played a lot of great music for us by many overlooked female jazz artists and Mary Lou Williams featured prominently in her presentation. And of course this eventually led me down a bit of a rabbit hole and I eventually discovered the clip you see below:

Toronto jazz drummer Morgan Childs also shared this Jazz at the Philharmonic concert filmed in the Netherlands circa. 1957 featuring the Oscar Peterson trio, Ella Fitzgerald, Roy Eldridge, Stuff Smith and others....with Jo Jones behind the drums, who is swinging the band and audience into a frenzy, all with a big smile on his face!

Take a listen to this entire concert and watch the Master in action:

And a few more things worthy of checking out:

- An older 2020 piece from Vinnie Sperrazza's fine and always insightful blog entitled Listen to Jo Jones

- And Jazz Profiles offers this extensive feature on Jo Jones' musical career

So yes, now go listen to Jo Jones!

Tuesday, November 15, 2022

The Four on the Floor T-shirts Have Returned!

"The guys get shirts and that's just the way it is..." 

- Paul Anka

The classic black Four on the Floor t-shirts are now back in stock and once again available!

These shirts are available in small, medium, large and x-large sizes and are lightweight premium fitted 100% cotton tees.

The shirts are $30 each (+shipping)

If you are interested in purchasing one, please drop me a line asap at fouronthefloorblog@gmail.com or reach me through Facebook/Twitterland/Instagram and I'll set you up asap.

These are only available in limited quantities and last time these went pretty quickly so don't delay and order today while supplies last!

Adam Nussbaum, John Riley and Francisco Mela all have their Four on the Floor t-shirts and so can you!

Monday, November 14, 2022

Brian Blade '94

I am working towards a very cool collaborative drumming and contemporary dance project these days. So choreographer Catherine Hayward and I were checking out some music featuring Brian Blade with Daniel Lanois for some inspiration last week and of course this lead me down a bit of a Brian Blade rabbit hole. And here it is.

Thanks to Drummerworld's Bernhard Castiglioni who shared these videos of Brian Blade with Joshua Redman circa. 1994:

Monday, November 7, 2022

Interview with Billy Drummond

Check out my recent interview with the great Billy Drummond, who recently released his latest album Valse Sinistre featuring his band Freedom of Ideas on the Cellar Live record label.

I've been a huge fan of Billy Drummond's drumming and music for over 25 years now (thank you Joel Haynes!) so naturally I was very honoured and excited to have the opportunity to speak with one of my drum heroes.

Check it out:

Acclaimed by Downbeat as “one of the hippest bandleaders now at work,” Billy Drummond’s thrilling, powerful and highly musical playing has also made him one of the most called-for sidemen of his generation. 

Mentored in the bands of jazz legends Horace Silver, Joe Henderson, Bobby Hutcherson, J J Johnson and Sonny Rollins, Drummond is now widely acknowledged as one of today’s most versatile drummers, making sideman appearances with a veritable who’s who of jazz greats on over 350 albums. 

He has made four albums as a leader—including Dubai, a New York Times Number 1 Jazz Album of the Year—and five as a co-leader, including We’ll Be Together Again in Three’s Company, a trio with Javon Jackson and legendary bassist Ron Carter, which made several Top Ten lists of the Year. Modern Drummer magazine recently honored Dubai as one of the 50 Crucial Jazz Drumming Recordings of the Past 100 Years—”distilling to only 50, a century’s worth of drumming on jazz recordings, which by any reasonable guess would comprise tens if not hundreds of thousands of titles.”

Born in Newport News, Virginia, where he grew up listening to his father’s extensive jazz record collection, Drummond was leading his own bands from the age of eight, and teaching adults from the age of just 14, before going on to study classical percussion at the Shenandoah Conservatory of Music. In the late 1980s, he was encouraged by Al Foster to move to New York, where he was almost immediately recruited to the young band Out of the Blue (OTB), recording Spiral Staircase for Blue Note Records. When OTB disbanded, Billy joined Horace Silver’s Sextet, simultaneously starting life-long associations with Buster Williams and Bobby Hutcherson, and subsequently joining J J Johnson’s band, followed by a three-year stint touring with Sonny Rollins.

Since then, Drummond has performed and recorded with many of the world’s jazz greats, including Horace Silver, Joe Henderson, Bobby Hutcherson, Buster Williams, Steve Kuhn, JJ Johnson, Sonny Rollins, Charles Tolliver, Nat Adderley, Charles McPherson, Eddie Henderson, James Moody, Sheila Jordan, Andrew Hill, Ron Carter, Carla Bley, Eddie Gomez, Larry Willis, Hank Jones, Freddie Hubbard, Lee Konitz, Stanley Cowell, Archie Shepp, Joe Lovano, Javon Jackson, Chris Potter, Eric Reed, Ralph Moore, Vincent Herring, Franco Ambrosetti (Italy), Karin Krog (Norway), Sadao Wantanabe (Japan), Toots Thielemans (Belgium), Barney Wilen (France), Laurent DeWilde (France), Jan Lundgren (Sweden), and Michel LeGrand (France).

“I consider myself very fortunate to have come up playing with some of the innovators of jazz who, in many instances, helped shape the way this music is and will always be played,” says Drummond. “Priceless experience for a young person learning how to be a musician. They taught me how to be a professional – to know the material, to be on time and, most of all, to play from your heart.”

In addition, Drummond is a highly respected educator who has taught some of the current generation’s best young drummers while juggling a busy touring schedule with his duties as Professor of Jazz Drums at the Juilliard School of Music and NYU. He also gives private lessons and master classes—via Zoom and in-person—all over the world.

Wednesday, November 2, 2022

Jazz Drumming Workshop - November 20

My monthly jazz drumming workshop series continues on Sunday, November 20th.

These regular workshops and group sessions will address such topics as time keeping, ride cymbal techniques, comping, independence & coordination, snare drum rudiments, brush playing, soloing, jazz drumming history and more!

Sunday, November 20th 130-330pm

Saturday, December 17th 1-3pm

Theatre 1308

1308 Edmonton Trail NE

$40 per session

Space is limited!

Please pre-register here:


For more information please e.mail fouronthefloorblog@gmail.com

Monday, October 31, 2022

The Monday Morning Paradiddle - October 2022


And...we're back and welcome to a special October 2022 Halloween edition of the Monday Morning Paradiddle. 

And what better way to celebrate the scarier side of jazz drumming than with some classic Philly Joe Jones:

Don't forget to "bite your momma goodnight!" and then check out today's features:

1) Ted Warren offers this important piece on Drumming and Mental Health

2) Todd Bishop, author of the blog Cruise Ship Drummer, offers this spot-on assessment of chops, technique and musical freedom, creativity and context in his excellent column Brute Force Freedom

3) Stanton Moore interviewed by the Music Makers Podcast

4) Check out these solos from Rich Thompson's Modern Jazz Solos for Drum Set Series from the Avedis Zildjian Company

5) Thanks to George Sluppick who hipped me to this amazing new drumming sample loop app called Wheelhouse Beats https://www.wheelhousebeats.app/ that features such drummers as Bobby Previte, Carter McLean, George Sluppick, Corey Fonville, Derrek Phillips, Jeremy "Bean" Clemons, Brevan Hampden, Chris Gelb and more.

Ben Singer, the creator of this highly recommended app, was kind enough to take some time to tell us all about his cool and innovative new app:

I met Charlie Hunter when he moved to Greensboro, NC a couple years ago. I had been a fan for a long time, so this came as a fun surprise. I was wrapping up my programming job at PreSonus and looking for more apps to do as a indie developer.

The idea really came from him: a metronome app that uses loops from great drummers. I thought it was a great idea, and he hooked me up with some of his favourite players. Most of them have home studios, so I started by having them send me sessions where they would play the same beat at about five different tempos.

If this was a desktop app, I might have licensed some code to do time-stretching, but for mobile devices I needed something that was very efficient with CPU. I wrote a small playback engine that does this in one step. While it's playing the loop, it skips little pieces of the sound. Each drum or cymbal hit gets a little closer, making the beat sound faster. I speed up the loop until I can switch to the next recorded loop, the same way a keyboard patch would be sampled in multiple velocity layers.

After I split the sessions up into measures, I pick the best loops and sequence them into phrases. For most beats, there are versions with one, two, four, and eight measures. Some of the patterns, like Bomb Swing and Brush Groove, only have long phrases, so it's more like a jazz player.

We haven't tried to define a particular audience. It can be a guitar player shedding a tune, a drummer learning to play and feel these grooves, a songwriter using it for inspiration, or anything else. My strategy is just to make each beat sound as musical as I can.

The current drummers are going to be recording some more grooves and we will be adding new drummers too. I have sessions from the next two already, and I am very excited to get those in the app.

To learn more about this cool drumming app check out this link: https://www.wheelhousebeats.app/

6) A GREAT lesson with bassist Orlando Le Fleming on playing on, ahead and behind the beat:


7) Allison Miller featured with Artemis on her piece Galapagos:


8) Joe Farnsworth sets the pace!


9) Billy Drummond with saxophonist Charles McPherson, playing a beautifully musical drum solo on Cherokee:


10) Toronto's Kirk MacDonald with drummer Terry Clarke at the Black Bear Pub (nice t-shirt Terry!):


11) I was watching a new Oscar Peterson documentary on my flight home from Toronto a few weeks ago and was reminded of what a great and unique drummer Martin Drew was.

Dig this:

12) Quincy Davis continues with these excellent recent offerings via his excellent Q-Tips YouTube series:


13) Christopher Smith offers these great lessons on some important fundamental jazz drumming techniques via The Jazz Drum Hang. Chris is a great teacher!

Check these out:


14) Pittsburgh's Thomas Wendt offers this important lesson dealing with The Shuffle!


15) Gregory Hutchinson shares some wisdom with Open Studio in this episode of Hustlin' with Hutch:


16) Samo Salamon interviews Chicago's Chad Taylor:


17) The Drum History Podcast features the excellent new book Drumsville! The Evolution of the New Orleans Beat:


And here are some behind-the-scenes footage of the exhibit itself:


18) Dan Weiss' demonstrates his incredible rhythmic abilities:


19) Jeff Ballard featured in the series Stephan's Basement:

20) Billy Hart in action with Art Farmer circa. 1982:


21) Jazz Talk interviews Joe Chambers:

 22) A nice tribute to El Rey Tito Puente from Google:


This 2008 piece from NPR's Jazz Profiles series Tito Puente: 'El Rey' is worth taking a listen to as well.

23) Mel Lewis with his orchestra featuring Joe Lovano, performing The Eye of the Hurricane:


24) What am I Listening to These Days? 

PJ Perry "No Hugs" - Dave Laing (drums)

Sam Taylor "Let Go" - Willie Jones III (drums)

Watts, Turner, Le Fleming "Misterioso" - Jeff "Tain" Watts (drums)

Teodross Avery "Post Modern Trap Music" - Marvin "Bugalu" Smith (drums)

Sam Kirmayer "In This Moment" - Andre White (drums)

John Lee "The Artist" - Carl Allen (drums)

25) And today's Final Word goes to pianist Ahmad Jamal (via Reggie Quinerly):

“I would like to be a scholar in whatever I do. A scholar is never finished, he is always seeking and I am always seeking.”

-Ahmad Jamal


*Oh yes, and before we head out trick or treating....The classic black Four on the Floor t-shirt is now back in stock and available in limited quantities*

These shirts are available in small, medium, large and x-large sizes and are premium lightweight fitted 100% cotton tees.

The shirts are $30 each (+shipping)

If you are interested in purchasing one, please drop me a line asap at fouronthefloorblog@gmail.com or reach me through Facebook/Instagram/Twitterland and I'll set you up asap.

Last time these went pretty quickly so order now while supplies last.

Don't delay and get yours today.

Thanks for your support!

"The guys get shirts and that's just the way it is..."

- Paul Anka

Monday, October 24, 2022

Tony Williams!

A quadruple dose of great Tony Williams footage today!

First off, Thomas Wendt and the Drum Candy Podcast (brought to us by Drum Factory Direct) offer 10 Reasons to Love...Jazz and Fusion Legend Tony Williams.

Check it out:


And here's footage from two rare Tony Williams masterclasses from the 90s including this one from Scotland circa. 1994 (playing his late era Tony DW drums):


...and this one from North Carolina circa. 1991 (playing his iconic yellow Gretsch drums with the black dots!):

And finally, hot off the presses, is the prolific Quincy Davis with his Q-Tips lesson featuring some Tony Williams vocabulary around the drums:

Monday, October 17, 2022

Kyle Poole & Joe Farnsworth Drum Off

Some great drumming today from Kyle Poole and Joe Farnsworth, featured in tandem on Cedar Walton's Firm Roots, from arguably one of the best regular livestream series to come out of the past two years, Emmet's Place as curated by pianist Emmet Cohen.

Check it out:

Tuesday, October 11, 2022

Happy Higgins Day!

(photo by Michael Dvorak)

Well yesterday was Edward Blackwell's birthday and today is Art Blakey and Billy Higgins' birthdays!

So I thought it would be quite fitting to post this unreleased duet between Billy Higgins and Charles Lloyd recorded circa. 1993:

Thank you to Tim Mah for passing this one along!

Monday, October 10, 2022

Toronto! & Steve Gadd Plays Crazy Army

And...we're back.

Sorry for the radio silence as I've been on the road lately, working in Toronto with Canada's premier jazz dance company Decidedly Jazz Danceworks.

I've been working with this dance company regularly since 2011 and every production I've had the privilege of being a part of, under the direction of artistic director/visionary Kimberley Cooper and musical director/bassist Rubim DeToledo, is a creative adventure that consistently challenges my abilities and raises my musical bar. The results of these shows and the process of creating these productions are never anything short of an inspiring creative journey that combines jazz music and contemporary jazz dance at the highest level. I feel very lucky to have the opportunity to work with this dedicated group of talented artists.

It was quite a busy week, filming and performing at the Fall For Dance North festival at Toronto Metropolitan University and I'm really proud of what we accomplished. However, I did still manage to get out as well and hear some live music and I heard many great drummers that week including:

• Tenor saxophonists Kirk MacDonald & Pat LaBarbera's annual birthday tribute to John Coltrane at the Rex Hotel featuring Terry Clarke on drums. 

Terry was my teacher during my brief stint in Toronto (2007-2009) and it's always a pleasure to hear him driving a band (I'd also venture to comment that he was really in his element that night playing this particular music and of course Kirk and Pat were on fire as always!)

• Montreal's Doxas Brothers Quartet at the Jazz Bistro with the always inventive Jim Doxas on drums. 

Jim and I were both students at McGill together during the late 90s and he was really great, playing with a dynamic and adventurous style even way back then!

• The super swinging Barry Elmes Quintet, also appearing at the Jazz Bistro. 

Barry was one of the very first Canadian jazz drummers I ever heard (initially on CBC Radio back in the day) and his unique style and creatively clever compositions have been an inspiration and influence of mine for the past 30 years.

• Finally, I capped off my visit to T.O. with a long subway ride on the Bloor line to check out a set at the Etobicoke Jazz Festival featuring Alex Dean's four saxophone Tenor Madness band backed up by the Donnybrook Trio, with my bud Jeff McLeod on organ and the always hard swinging Morgan Childs on drums. 

Morgan moved to Toronto from Vancouver at pretty much the same time I left Toronto for Calgary a little over a decade ago but it's always a pleasure to hear his super swinging cymbal beat, supple comping and to watch him drive a band.

Anyways, my time in Toronto was really great and now it's back to our regularly scheduled programming. 

Here's a short recent clip of the great Steve Gadd playing the classic rudimental snare drum piece Crazy Army:

If you've followed Steve's career you'll recognize that this particular piece has been a part of Steve's repertoire for a long time. 

Here's a few observations:

• Dig the graceful way in which he plays this. Even by just playing rudiments on some sort of hollowed out piece of furniture acting as a drum pad (?) you still get a sense of the flow and relaxed feel that he is famous for. Listen to the sound he gets and watch the form and movement of his hands. Appreciate the graceful sense of flow he achieves. This, in my humble opinion, is what we, as jazz drummers, should be striving towards when playing, working on rudiments and applying them to the drum set. 

Poetry in motion.

• Some minor gear observations from the photo above, at the top of this blog post (presumably taken sometime in the 70s or early 80s...and assuming that he is playing his own drums?) 

Is that ride cymbal an old cracked K with a significant chunk missing from it? Was that his go-to cymbal at some point? This reminds me of Mel Lewis' infamous old K that also had a chunk missing.

Also notice the two-cymbal stack to his far right. This sort of thing seems to be a real trend nowadays but Gadd was obviously exploring this a long time ago! 

And finally, I heard somewhere that Steve used a Ludwig Superphonic snare drum extensively back in the day and he appears to be playing one in this photo as well.

• Finally, if you dig this brief clip of Gadd playing Crazy Army like I did, then I would highly recommend checking out his recent book Gaddiments as well available at Hudson Music.