Monday, March 28, 2022

Who's In Charge of the Tempo?

Open Studio offers a preview of their new upcoming course "Rhythm Anthology" with this important demonstration and discussion between bassist Christian McBride and drummer Gregory Hutchinson. 

Monday, March 14, 2022

The Monday Morning Paradiddle - March 2022

Welcome back to another action packed edition of the Monday Morning Paradiddle, my more-or-less monthly jazz drumming variety column, a collection of significant items that have come across my desktop over the past month.

I'm taking a brief break from blogging and social media for the next few weeks (there's drums to be shed, work to get done and new music to be written ya dig?) however there is more than enough great content collected below to keep you occupied in the meantime.

Thanks again for all your support and don't forget to subscribe to my mailing list on the right hand side of the page. Don't miss out, sign up today and get Four on the Floor sent directly to your inbox!

Anyways, let's get down to business shall we? Here's this month's pick of things worth considering:

1) Please check out Kenny Washington's brand new weekly jazz radio program that can be heard on Monday evenings from 5-7pm (PST) / 8-10pm (EST) live or via streaming on San Diego's Jazz 88.3 KSDS.

Washington (aka The Jazz Maniac) has an encyclopedic knowledge of jazz music and I guarantee that if you tune in you'll learn something.

2) Rich Stitzel's Drum Mantra website and practice system is a serious resource that includes an extensive series of books, lessons, courses, guided practice sessions, a podcast series and a collection of masterclasses with a variety of artists including this one with Ed Soph. Rich has assembled an impressive collection of masterclasses with the likes of Soph, Dan Weiss, Ari Hoenig and Nate Wood among many others. Check it out.

3) Thanks to CJSW's Tim Mah, host of the weekly radio program Jazz Today, who shared with me this excellent documentary from CBC Gem Blue Note Records: Beyond the Notes

4) Matthew Crouse and The Working Drummer Podcast features my good friend and percussionist Clifford Koufman, host of the regular interview series Clif Chats.

5) When Joe Farnsworth comes calling, it's always Time to Swing!

6) Dave Liebman offers some thoughts on Elvin Jones via The Jazz Session:

7) More great lessons from Quincy Davis' excellent ongoing YouTube.com instructional series:

8) A feature on Canadian drummer Buff Allen:

9) Neon Jazz features Charles Goold and music from his new album "Rhythm in Contrast":

10) Sarah Hagan interviews Eric Harland:

and Otis Brown III:

11) The Drum Candy Podcast interviews Johnathan Blake:


and Thomas Wendt:

12) Montreal's Thom Gossage interviewed by DrumFills Kafé:

13) Jeff Williams offers some hip and musical brush playing:

14) Ken Micallef features drummer and audiophile Paul Wells in this two-part series:


15) Francisco Mela opens up on "Green Dolphin Street" with Phil Grenadier (trumpet), George Garzone & Joe Lovano (tenor saxophones) and John Sullivan (bass):

16) A very short (but of course very incredible!) clip of Billy Hart:

17) Another duet, this time featuring Dutch jazz drummer Eric Ineke:

18) Check out Gregory Hutchinson's new YouTube.com channel:

19) And finally, here is the always swinging and always melodic Frankie Dunlop featured with the Thelonious Monk Quartet:

20) What am I listening to these days?

Terry Gibbs Dream Band "Vol. 1-6" - Mel Lewis (drums)

Buddy Rich "Big Swing Face" - Buddy Rich (drums)

Anthony Williams "Lifetime & Spring Revisited" - Tony Williams (drums) *Thanks Tim!*

Michael Stuart "The Blessing" - Claude Ranger (drums)

Steve Swallow "Damaged in Transit" - Adam Nussbaum (drums)

Clifford Jordan "Glass Bead Games" - Billy Higgins (drums)

Wynton Kelly Trio with George Coleman "Live at the Left Bank Jazz Society Baltimore 1968" - Jimmy Cobb (drums)

21) And today's Final Word goes to Elvin Jones:

"My drums are my life. Sometimes what happens to you during the day affects your ability and shows up in your work. But once you get to your set, you can obliterate all the troubles, which seem to fall off your shoulders. If you aren't happy before, you are when you play. Playing is a matter of spontaneity and thought, of constant control. Take a solo. When I start, I keep the structure and melody and content of the tune in my mind and work up abstractions or obbligatos on it. I count the choruses as I go along, and sometimes I'm able to decide in advance what the pattern of a whole chorus will be, but more often five or six patterns will flash simultaneously across my mind, which gives me a choice, especially if get hung up, and I've had some granddaddies of hangups. If you don't panic, you can switch to another pattern. I can see forms and shapes in my mind when I solo, just as a painter can see forms and shapes when he starts a painting. And I can see different colors. My cymbals will be one color and my snare another color and my tomtoms each a different color. I mix these colors up, making constant movement. Drums suggest movement, a conscious, constant shifting of sounds and levels of sound. My drumming can shade from a whisper to a thunder. I'm not conscious of the length of my solos, which I've been told have run up to half an hour. When you develop a certain pattern, you stay with it until it's finished. It's just like you start out in the evening to walk to Central Park and back. Well, there are a lot of directions you can take...one set of streets going up, then in a certain entrance and out another entrance and back on a different set of streets. You come back and maybe take a hot bath and have some dinner and read and go to bed. You haven't been somewhere to lose yourself, but to go and come back and finish your walk."

- Elvin Jones (via American Musicians: 56 Portraits in Jazz by Whitney Balliett, 1985)

Thursday, March 10, 2022

John Riley - The Art of Bop Drumming: Part 2

Part Two of this week's feature on John Riley's The Art of Bop Drumming series from the Zildjian Learning Zone.

This is tons of great information here. Check it out.

Monday, March 7, 2022

John Riley - The Art of Bop Drumming: Part 1

Part One of a two-part series this week featuring John Riley's Art of Bop Drumming instructional lessons from the Zildjian Learning Zone.

As always, the information that Riley shares and the manner in which he explains it is exceptional.