Monday, September 25, 2023

OPTION: Francisco Mela Solo!

Francisco Mela has been a favourite drummer of mine for sometime now and I'm always interested to hear what he's up to.

Here's a dynamic solo set from last summer, recorded for Chicago's Experimental Sound Studio series.

His comments in the ensuing interview at the very end are also very honest and compelling. Check it out.

Here's a couple of other older solo pieces that I quite enjoy watching as well and find myself returning to from time to time:

"We play music to free our souls!" - Francisco Mela

Tuesday, September 19, 2023

Snare Drum...

Prototype Snare Drum v1.0
Custom made by Ed Peck, EPEK Drums (Regina, SK Canada)
Logo design by Chad Anderson

Monday, September 18, 2023

Max Roach - Un Poco Loco

A brief, but fascinating audio recording of Max Roach describing first-hand his unique drum beat on Bud Powell's composition Un Poco Loco:


And to get even deeper into Max's important and clever pattern, here is Quincy Davis' breakdown from his excellent and ongoing Q-Tip YouTube.com jazz drumming lesson series:

As always, when the Masters speak, we listen.

Saturday, September 16, 2023

Living Music: A Film About Ra Kalam Bob Moses

Hey! My friend Clifford Koufman is working very hard and raising money to film a documentary about the great Ra Kalam Bob Moses and he needs our help!

A forthcoming documentary will highlight the life and musical legacy of pioneering drummer, composer, and innovator Ra Kalam Bob Moses. Moses has influenced generations of musicians and has played with Pat Metheny, Jaco Pastorius, and Charles Mingus. Sadly, Moses recently received a stage 4 cancer diagnosis. This film aims to help tell his story while there is still time.

Produced and directed by Nashville musician, educator, and interview show host Clifford Koufman, the film will follow Moses’ journey from his early days jamming with jazz legends in New York to his rise as an artist who has transcended genres and styles. Moses is known for his albums Bittersuite in the Ozone and When Elephants Dream of Music, and for his contributions to Pat Metheny’s Bright Size Life, an album that was deemed “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant” by the Library of Congress and selected for preservation in the National Recording Registry. Moses has developed his own philosophy of “living music” and mentored musicians seeking creative freedom.

“The most unconventional music lesson of my life led to this project,” says filmmaker Koufman of his first drum lesson with Moses. Since that lesson, Koufman and Moses have spent almost twenty years cultivating a friendship and mentee mentor relationship that have inspired Koufman to share what he’s learned through film. Koufman will conduct interviews and document the conversations of musical greats as they interact.

The film will also include interviews with other musicians Moses has influenced or collaborated with over the years. Locations for filming will include New Orleans, New York, Virginia, and other areas significant to Moses’ career.

This September, the heart of the documentary will be shot over a week in New Orleans. It will include live performances, master classes, and a recording session in which Moses will be joined by renowned musicians such as drummer Johnny Vidacovich and percussionist Bill Summers.

“Ra Kalam Bob Moses has impacted me and many others in unpredictable artistic and spiritual ways,” says Koufman. This film will convey Moses’ influence on music. In addition, Moses will narrate his personal journey as a free-spirited and innovative musical figure.

For information, to support the film, or for media interest email info@soundandrhythm.com or visit https://igg.me/at/bobmosesdrummerfilm.

Thursday, September 14, 2023

Generations: The Suit

Well, I'm super excited about these upcoming performances and very proud of this collaborative project that's literally been four years in the making!

“The Suit” is a contemporary solo dance piece featuring dancer Davida Monk, choreographed by Catherine Hayward, and a score of solo drum set and percussion music featuring myself on drums!

I've been dreaming about doing something like this for a long time now and looking forward to offering my vision of how solo drums can accompany a solo dancer in a musically compelling and creative way.

I took a lot of inspiration from a variety of percussive sources including Antonio Sanchez (aka "Birdman"), Andrew Cyrille, Milford Graves, Max Roach, Billy Martin, Rudy Royston, Francisco Mela, George Marsh, Susie Ibarra and many others (and the list goes on and on...)

If you find yourself in Calgary, Alberta September 22nd or 23rd, please come and check us out.

The evening includes four solo pieces by female artists who call Alberta home: Nicole Charlton Goodbrand, Catherine Hayward, Helen Husak and Davida Monk.

This production explores how different generations respond to the world. Does their work speak differently to you, the audience? And what can we learn from each other?

Come and enjoy an afternoon or evening of contemporary dance and satisfy your curiosity. 


featuring "The Suit"

TICKETS ON SALE | DJD Dance Centre | $25


September 22 - 730pm & post-show artist talk
September 23 - 2pm
September 23 - 730pm

For the extra curious, catch Friday night's post-show artist talk to learn more about the artists and their work.

Featuring works by:

Nicole Charlton Goodbrand with projection artist and designer Derek Demassi. Text written and performed by collaborator Ryan John Arnold.

Davida Monk, danced by Meghann Michalsky

Helen Husak

Catherine Hayward, danced by Davida Monk with original music composed and performed by Jon McCaslin (solo drums)

Photos: Aran Wilkinson-Blanc
Graphic Design: Heather Close

Monday, September 11, 2023

Joel Haynes - The Return!

I'm really excited to feature this new music on my blog! Joel generously sent me a copy of new CD last week and its been on heavy rotation around my house lately.

The Return! is Haynes' highly anticipated follow-up to his excellent albums Transitions and The Time is Now that features Seamus Blake (tenor saxophone), Tilden Webb (piano) and Neil Swainson (bass).

I first met Joel while I was a student at McGill University back in the mid-90s. In fact, he was playing the drums on the very first gig I ever attended in Montreal, an evening of Blues & Ballads at a long defunct jazz club on St. Laurent Blvd called Cleo's. The band featured Joel on drums, Kelly Jefferson on tenor saxophone, Tilden Webb on piano and Dave Watts on bass and of course it was swinging! Almost 30 years later, these guys are still some of my favourite musicians anywhere. Joel was burning that night and instantly reaffirmed and validated my decision to move to Montreal.

A couple years later I convinced Joel to give me a drum lesson up in the McGill practice rooms. He was the first person who hipped me to Billy Drummond!

If you are in the Vancouver or Toronto areas, check out Joel and his band on these dates:

The Return! Release dates:

September 8th & 9th at Frankie’s - Vancouver, BC
September 10th &11th at The Rex - Toronto, ON
September 12th at The Jazz Bistro - Toronto, ON
September 14th &15th at Hirut jazz cafe - Toronto, ON
The Return! is available to download on all digital sites starting on September 8th and hard copy CD’s available online at cellarlive https://www.cellarlive.com/, cdbaby and by contacting Joel at joel@haynesdrumstudio.com

Joel was kind enough to take time out of his busy schedule to answer a few questions about his new music.

Joel Haynes - The Return! - Four on the Floor: September 2023

1) Tell us about your latest recording!

Recorded at Monarch Studios in Vancouver. The band is Seamus Blake on tenor, Tilden Webb on Piano and Neil Swainson on Bass. The session went great and we just powered through all the tunes. We started recording at 10:30 am and finished at 3pm with a lunch break! Pretty much all the tunes were first takes.

2) How did you choose your repertoire and sidemen?

I wanted it to be mostly originals so I wrote 4 tunes and arranged "Tomorrow Never Knows" and Tilden wrote 2 originals and he had an arrangement of "angel" that I wanted to do.

The Return - was named for the 15 year gap since my last recording

Peregrination - was named for the long journey it was between recordings

Tomorrow Never Knows - one of my favourite Beatles tunes

Allure - wrote my 4 originals on a 1 month cruise ship contract and the ship was "Allure of the Seas". Its meaning is "beautiful, attractive and fascinating", so I thought it was a perfect tune to name after my wife Lisa.

Angel - chosen for my mother in law that has survived 3 rounds of Chemo and 2 rounds of Radiation over the years and she's still with us at 90yrs old.

Payback - an uptempo minor blues with some lingering feelings of a situation that happened in the past.

SIDEMEN - Seamus was performing at Cory Weeds' "Jazz at the Bolt" festival last February and Cory called me up and he said, "Haynes! you told me to let you know when Seamus is in Canada and available" He mentioned that Neil Swainson was going to be there also and having Tilden was a no brainer! We've been playing together since 1989. We had a quick rehearsal to run down the tunes and two 1 hour sets that day at the festival. We recorded the day after at Monarch studios in Vancouver.

3) What inspired you to pursue the vibe and instrumentation that you did?

I wanted to make a statement and a "return" from not having done my own record for 15 yrs. Seamus was on my last recording "transitions" and Tilden was on the last two of my recordings so it only fit to have them again. I also wanted my "dream team" rhythm section, so having Neil Swainson already in Vancouver and available at that time was a no brainer!

4) Was there a particular message you were trying to convey to the listener?

Not really, I just wanted to make a swinging album with amazing players again after 15 years.

5) Who are your influences with regards to your style of writing and playing?

Writing - Terence Blanchard, Michael Brecker, Pat Metheny, The Beatles and Joe Henderson

Playing - Roy Haynes, Jimmy Cobb, Philly Joe Jones, Tony Williams, Bill Stewart, Jeff Watts, Elvin jones, Brian Blade and Troy Davis

6) What are you practicing/studying/listening to/researching these days?

Always the Syncopation book Pg 29-32 for limb independence, playing along with tunes and working on other peoples music for different projects.

7) What other current and future projects do you have on the go at the moment?

I just finished a recording session last week with vocalist John Neudorf's project. It was with Nancy Walker, Kevin Turcotte and Neil Swainson. I am also starting a series of drumline gigs playing for the Hamilton TiCats games, should be fun and you get to watch the game from the field : )

8) How do the drums and your overall approach to rhythm factor into your compositions and concept?

Very much so! I sketch out the tune first with what rhythmical angles, shots and pushes I want. I then sketch out the bass lines. If it's a swing feel, I'll just figure out what shots and pushes and if it's a straight 8th groove, I'll write an actual bass line. I'll then add the harmonic progression and form of the tune.

9) What drummers (or other musicians) do you consider as influences?

I started out with Kenny Clark, Jimmy Cobb, Ed Thigpen and Philly Joe in my 1st and 2nd years then moved onto Roy Haynes, Brian Blade, Bill Stewart and Jeff "Tain" watts during my McGill Days. I was always playing along to Oscar Peterson's Night Train and Miles' Kind of Blue.

10) What advice do you have for younger, aspiring jazz musicians and jazz drummers?

Use your practice time wisely while at school, because you won't have that time when you're out of school. Also practice what you NEED to practice, rather than what you already have a handle on. Go play gigs and meet other musicians as much as possible. 

When I moved to Toronto from Montreal in August 2000, I subbed in any big band reading sessions or gigs so I could meet as many musicians as I could. I also called Terry Clark and introduced myself to him : )

Monday, September 4, 2023

Philly Joe Jones!

And...we're back!

I hope you all had a nice and pleasant summer and now easing back into your Fall routine. I'm now back from my own touring and travels, back in the saddle and finally returning to blogging here at Four on the Floor after a nice decent break.

I thought I would start off the first post of the month with some interesting pieces on the great Philly Joe Jones including:

• Philly Joe's Beat by Nate Chinen

• A piece on the occasion of Philly Joe Jones' centennial by Ethan Iverson

• For Philly Joe Jones by Vinnie Sperrazza

The Drum History Podcast features a discussion on PJJ with Tim Carman, author of the new book "Philly-ISM":


• As always, Quincy Davis offers his insightful commentary and observations:


• Ten "must know" PJJ drum solos...

...and (possibly) all of Philly's recorded brush solos compiled here:


• Philly Joe Jones and bassist Paul Chambers playing a bass/drums duet on "I'm Confessin":


• And finally, a very rare recording of Mr. Jones playing an extended solo piece entitled "Spontaneous Expression": 

Philly Joe Jones has long been a personal favourite and important influence of mine, going back to when I was an 18 year-old, first-year music major at school. His hard swinging style, melodically influenced rudiment derived drum solos and extensive recorded legacy offer us a wealth of music to study, learn from and enjoy. Without a doubt, whenever I listen to Philly Joe Jones I hear and learn something new.

Monday, July 10, 2023

The Monday Morning Paradiddle - July 2023

And...we're back.

Thanks for checking in and I hope everyone is enjoying their Summer holidays. This will be the last Monday Morning Paradiddle column for the foreseeable future and also my last blog post until September. I'm focusing on some other things in my world at the moment before I hit the road at the end of July with Calgary's Decidedly Jazz Danceworks company. We'll be in Quebec, Ottawa and then doing a week-long run at Jacob's Pillow (Massachusetts) in August so please say hello if you happen to be in the area.

Thank you to everyone who checked out the third instalment of my Four on the Floor Instagram *Live* series this Spring. A big shout out to Chad Anderson, George Sluppick, Geoff Clapp, Colleen Clark, Alvester Garnett, Peter Retzlaff, Jason Tiemann, Pete Zimmer, Tim Reinert and Keith Hall for sharing their time and knowledge with me and to everyone who tuned in. I hope to resume this series using Instagram Live again in the future, maybe in the Fall.

Calgary's JazzYYC jazz festival recently happened and I heard a ton of great drummers that week including Jacob Wutzke, Louis-Vincent Hamel, Marito Marques, Ernesto Cervini, Luis Tovar, Efa Etoroma Jr., Kyle Poole, Ben Brown and Jim Doxas. Thank you for your music!

And now, here's an assortment of recent things to check out that I happen to find compelling, interesting, inspiring, motivating and would like to share with you all (after all, this is what this whole blog thing is about!) There is plenty here to keep you occupied until I resume blogging in the Fall so please enjoy.

The Monday Morning Paradiddle - July 2023

1. Please check out the Practicing Drummer Podcast with great interviews featuring Dan Weiss, George Fludas, Billy Drummond, Colin Stranahan and Brad Webb. 

Keep up the great work Craig!

2. Alan Dawson: Boston's House Drummer from Richard Vacca's blog

3. Thank you to the UK's Allan Cox for sharing this March 1984 Modern Drummer Interview with Jim Blackley:


I've also been shedding Blackley's seminal text Syncopated Rolls for the Modern Drummer and I've found it to be very helpful and useful in my own playing lately.

4. Dig this wonderful YouTube playlist compiled by drummer/blogger Francesco Vecchio featuring a wealth of great Brazilian music to check out, listen to, study and play along with:



5. Quincy Davis continues to knock it out of the park with regular instalments to his Q-Tips series on YouTube. 

Dig this episode on dealing with soloing at Fast tempos:


Congratulations to Quincy on 10 years of fantastic content and lessons on his Q-Tips YouTube page!

6. The Drum Candy Podcast features Rochester's always hard swinging Mike Melito:


7. Dr. Jazz Samo Salamon with interviews featuring Dan Weiss, Antonio Sanchez and Jeff Sipe:


8. A couple clips of Joe Farnsworth in action, doing what he does best (or as Joe would say RIP!):


9. Here's a trailer for an upcoming publication featuring Billy Hart and Eric Thielemans entitled "Talking About the Weather":


This looks great!

10. And speaking of great, here's Brian Blade with a "short" drum solo:


11. And more fantastic footage of Billy Drummond this time from a recent hit at New York's Mezzrow jazz club:

12. Gregory Hutchinson in action!


13. Allison Miller and Ulysses Owens Jr. in a serious percussion discussion with tap dancer Tommy Wasiuta:


14. And here's more Brian Blade but here someone took the time to isolate his drumming track on Joshua Redman's infamous recording of Jazz Crimes:

15. Dannie Richmond....nothing else to add here!


16. Fasten your seatbelts folks, here's a 1978 percussive encounter and drum duet between Tony Williams and Billy Cobham:


17. This is only an excerpt from Andrew Cyrille's hard-to-find instructional VHS cassette but this is really great none-the-less, playing Kenny Clarke's drum composition Laurent (also recorded on Pieces of Time featuring Andrew Cyrille, Kenny Clarke, Famoudou Don Moye and Milford Graves...check this one out if you haven't already!):


18. Alrighty, and now here's some inspiring music to check out this summer and listen to until further notice:

Elvin Jones - On the Mountain


Zakir Hussain and Ustad Allah Rakha (thank you to the late Duris Maxwell for recommending this one...)


Sonny Clark Trio with Max Roach 

(check out how Max Roach deals with his drum breaks and trading with no tom tom or floor tom)


Rose Room featuring Big Sid Catlett


Tony Williams - Some Hip Drum Shit


Mel Lewis - Rhythm (aka "That's All...")


Michael Stuart - The Blessing (featuring the legendary Claude Ranger on drums!)


19. What am I listening to these days?

Alexander Claffy "Good Spirits" - Joe Farnsworth (drums)

Keith Hall Trio "Made in Kalamazoo" - Keith Hall (drums)

Christian McBride's New Jawn "Prime" - Nasheet Waits (drums)

Artemis "In Real Time" - Allison Miller (drums)

Victor Feldman "The Arrival of Victor Feldman" - Stan Levey (drums)

Burton/Metheny/Holland/Haynes "Like Minds" - Roy Haynes (drums)

Lenny Breau "The Velvet Touch of Lenny Breau - LIVE!" - Reg Kelln (drums) Thanks Ben!

20. And today's Final Word goes to Langston Hughes via Reggie Quinerly:

“The only way to get a thing done is to start to do it, then keep on doing it, and finally you'll finish it.”

- Langston Hughes

Onwards and Upwards my friends...

Okay, that's all I've got for now. Thanks again for all your support and encouragement, it means a lot! 

Have a great Summer and see you all in the Fall.

Monday, July 3, 2023

Bernard Purdie - Telefunken

Thanks to the nice people at Telefunken for offering their Live at the Lab series featuring the legendary Bernard Purdie:

And if you need your fix of some other classic Bernard Purdie beats and a history lesson, check out this excerpt from Purdie's interview with Rick Beato:

And these are pretty good too!

Monday, June 26, 2023

Tony Williams Lifetime - Montreux 1971

In the spirit of all the Canadian jazz festivals that are currently or soon-to-be underway, today's blog post features fantastic footage of Tony Williams' Lifetime band from the Montreux Jazz Festival circa. 1971.

Check out the 17:00 mark for a ridiculous version of Some Hip Drum Shit featuring Don Alias and Warren Smith (and a giant gong!) on percussion:


That was pretty cool.

I also went down a bit of a TW YouTube rabbit hole while writing this blog post last night and came across this excellent biography of Tony Williams courtesy of The Drum History Podcast:

And finally, if you need some recorded Tony Williams drum solos to study and gain inspiration from (and the answer is yes, you do!) here's a great compilation to start with:

Thursday, June 22, 2023

Four on the Floor *Live* featuring Keith Hall

Please join us for the final episode of Four on the Floor *Live* Season 3 happening next Tuesday, June 27th at 7pm MST (9pm EST), appearing on Instagram Live IGTV @fouronthfloorblog featuring Keith Hall!

Keith Hall has established himself as a passionate educator and joyful performer over the last 25 years. For 12 years, Keith spent much of his time touring worldwide and recording with singer and Concord Recording Artist Curtis Stigers. Hall has also performed with the likes of Randy Brecker, Betty Carter, Wycliffe Gordon, Sir Roland Hanna, Wynton Marsalis, Michael Phillip Mossman, New York Voices, Andrew Rathbun, Janis Siegel, Luciana Souza, Terrell Stafford, Joe Wilder, Steve Wilson. He has recorded four CDs with Curtis Stigers as well as many other artists and he continues to tour and record with his critically acclaimed NYC-based trio TRI-FI. 

Hall lived and worked in New York City for nine years performing in a multitude of musical contexts. Although most of these were jazz, he was also a regular sub for Tommy Igoe on Broadway’s Lion King. Hall was a member of the Latin-jazz quartet, Grupo Yanqui, chosen by the United States State Department and Jazz at Lincoln Center to represent the United States in the American Music Abroad Program. Hall was also a member of the prestigious Betty Carter’s Jazz Ahead in 1997. 

He is the Artistic Director of the Keith Hall Summer Drum Intensive, a one of a kind jazz drum camp that celebrated its 14th year in 2020. He is also the Executive Director of TUNED IN, a nonprofit organization, which focuses on supporting the power of music education to change lives. 

Keith is the author of two instructional jazz drum set books: Jazz Drums Now! Vol. 1 and Jazz Drums Now! Vol. 2 and is the radio host for Jazz Currents on WMUK, the NPR affiliate in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Hall presents clinics worldwide for Remo Drumheads, Yamaha Drums, Vic Firth Drumsticks, Zildjian Cymbals, Cympad, Big Fat Snare Drum, Rhythm Tech, and Protection Racket Drum Cases.

Monday, June 19, 2023

Lewis Nash - Skeeter Blues

"If you know the song, you'll never go wrong!"

- Roy Haynes (via Joe Farnsworth)

Truer words of drum wisdom are rarely spoken and today's blog post reflects this profound statement and features the great Lewis Nash in a drum lesson, demonstrating his approach to playing melodically and his composition Skeeter Blues:

And thanks to the prolific Jazz Video Guy Bret Primack, here's Lewis Nash demonstrating his masterful brush playing in Painting with Sound:

And finally here's two Facebook video excerpts from a drum masterclass in Singapore circa. 2018:

Part One: 

Part Two: 

Saturday, June 17, 2023

Four on the Floor *Live* featuring Tim Reinert


Please join us for the next episode of Four on the Floor *Live* happening next Wednesday, June 21st at 7pm MST (9pm EST), appearing on Instagram Live IGTV @fouronthfloorblog featuring The Jazz Infidel, Vancouver's Tim Reinert.

Tim Reinert works in the Vancouver area as a jazz concert promoter, label head, event MC, podcast host, and occasional writer. 

Under his Infidels Jazz brand, Tim works to build community around the music that he loves.

The Infidels Jazz is a jazz show celebrating the history and diversity of jazz music that streams weekly on Mixcloud. It’s also a brand new label that produces recordings of contemporary players and groups.

The Infidels Jazz was conceived in the distant era of the before-time, in the pre-pandemic, by Vancouver jazz aficionado, Tim Reinert.

Tim thinks, writes, and broadcasts about jazz a lot more than your average music fan. He’s as comfortable talking about the work of Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Herbie Hancock, or Alice Coltrane, as he is riffing on the likes of Louis Moholo-Moholo, Gordon Grdina, Hamid Drake, Misha Mengleberg, and many many more.

Monday, June 12, 2023

Gretsch Drums: The Round Badge Stories

I love my Gretsch drums. I always used to love playing the well-worn set they had at school and would practice on Jesse Cahill's beautiful Gretsch walnut stain finish drums too when I was studying at McGill back in the day. I currently own a set of newer Gretsch USA Customs in bebop sizes (blue sparkle) and a set of older, larger drums refinished in a sweet burgundy/merlot sparkle finish (in the spirit of Mel Lewis!) I've also got a small 16x12 bass drum that I made out of an old converted floor tom that I can sub in and out as the situation warrants. These are all great drums, they have a ton of personality and a serious vibe. They look great and they sound great too. I love playing these drums and they never disappoint me.

Today's post features a great documentary from the Gretsch drum company as they celebrate their 140th anniversary.



In 1883, Friedrich Gretsch opened a small music shop in Brooklyn, New York. As American music like big band, bebop jazz, and rock n’ roll exploded in the next century, the round badge of Gretsch Drums became an iconic symbol of popular culture and “That Great Gretsch Sound” became the backbeat for popular music. What exactly is the ‘Great’ in Gretsch Drums?

From the start, it was personal to the Gretsch family. “My grandfather, Fred Gretsch Jr, gave me the spirit of this business at a young age in the 1950s,” says Fred Gretsch III. The company found a signature shell formula early on and, note by note, improved upon it as bebop jazz rose up around them in the cradle of New York City. Gretsch struck partnerships with countless legendary 20th century artists of cementing the brand’s position in American lore. “These drums have life in them,” says Cindy Blackman-Santana.

The Round Badge Stories investigates the mystique of Gretsch Drums with performances, interviews, and stories from artists, industry figures, and the Gretsch family. Take the journey with us to learn how and why the signature sound, feel, and spirit of Gretsch Drums has inspired such passionate loyalty from musicians that endures today.

Narrated by: Vinnie Colaiuta

Score By: Mark Guiliana

And from a recent Grestch celebration at New York's Cutting Room, here's the great Bill Stewart playing some Gretsch drums:

And from 1973 here's a Gretsch drum summit recorded in Central Park featuring Elvin Jones, Mel Lewis and Freddie Waits and Jo Jones:

Here is a link to the complete audio and, below, a portion of the concert via YouTube:

Thursday, June 8, 2023

Four on the Floor *Live* on Instagram IGTV featuring Pete Zimmer & Jason Tiemann

It's a Four on the Floor *Live* double-header next week on Instagram Live IGTV!

Please join us for the next two action packed episodes of Four on the Floor *Live* happening next Wednesday, June 14th at 7pm MST (9pm EST) featuring Pete Zimmer and Thursday, June 15th at 11am MST (1pm EST) featuring Jason Tiemann, both appearing on Instagram Live IGTV @fouronthfloorblog 

Since 2001, Pete Zimmer has established himself as one of the top-call drummers in New York City’s music scene. In December of 2021, Zimmer relocated to Chicago to become active in the Chicago and Midwest scene while still maintaining his performance schedule and established musical associations in New York. Originally from Waukesha, Wisconsin, Zimmer has made his mark nationally and internationally as a versatile and articulate drummer, bandleader, sideman, composer, educator, and record label entrepreneur.

Pete Zimmer has released five (5) critically acclaimed albums since 2004 as a leader on his own record label, Tippin’ Records. The albums showcase both his consistent swing and his skillful and melodic compositions. His composition, “Time That Once Was,” a moving ballad recorded on his first album Common Man, was recently licensed to Sony Pictures Television where it was featured in the opening scene of the series they produce “Masters of Sex” (Episode 307, Monkey Business), aired on Showtime. He has received many accolades from major publications, including "Pete Zimmer has learned his New York lessons well, as his dry tone, meaty swing beat and subtle accents make him an old hand” (Down Beat), and "Zimmer's drumming boasts a crisp, swinging command with judicious musicality." (Modern Drummer)

Zimmer’s band has performed at many of the prominent jazz venues in New York City and throughout the United States, including The Blue Note, Jazz Standard, Smoke Jazz Club, Smalls Jazz Club, Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola, Birdland Jazz Club, The Kitano, Fat Cat, Cornelia Street CafĂ©, Blues Alley, Baker’s Keyboard Lounge, Cliff Bells, Zanzibar Blue, Chris’ Jazz Cafe, NightTown, Andy’s Jazz Club, Winter’s Jazz Club, The Jazz Estate, Dazzle Jazz Club, Nocturne, Caffè Sole, Green Lady Lounge, Black Dolphin, Jazz Kitchen, Lagniappe, Jazz Factory, The Royal Room, and Le Chat, among others. He has toured throughout the United Kingdom performing at both Ronnie Scott’s and Pizza Express in London. Throughout the years his group has featured many of the top musicians, including Mike Rodriguez, Joel Frahm, Jeremy Pelt, George Garzone, Peter Bernstein, Wayne Escoffery, Avi Rothbard, David Wong, Peter Slavov, Rick Germanson, Toru Dodo, John Sullivan, Mike DiRubbo, Stacy Dillard, Miki Yamanaka, Yoshi Waki, Ryan Kisor, Vitaly Golovnev, George DeLancey, Jerry Weldon, Joseph Lepore, Jaleel Shaw, Jon Gordon, Robert Rodriguez, Jeb Patton, Tadataka Unno, Sam Trapchak, Patrick Cornelius, Daisuke Abe, Kuriko Tsugawa, Sharel Cassity, Marco Panascia, Yotam Silberstein, Nathan Peck, Michael Janisch, Pete Benson, Kyle Asche, Scott Burns, Geof Bradfield, Ivan Taylor, Jake Vinsel, Ben Markley, Ben Leifer, Matt Otto, Mitch Towne, Jim Pisano, William Flynn, Jeremy Thomas, Mark Small, Martin Bejerano, Alex Brown, Dion Kerr, Tim Jago, Fernando Ulibarri, Steve Allee, Jeremy Allen, Mark Davis, Jamie Breiwick, Dan Trudell, Jeff Hamann, Jeff Pedraz, Corey Kendrick, Ryan Freitas, John Gunther, Peter Sommers, Seth Lewis, Reggie Berg, Jason Crowe, Hans Teuber, Tim Kennedy, Geoff Harper, Bob Bowman, and others.

As a highly regarded educator and clinician, Pete Zimmer has presented clinics and masterclasses at many top collegiate jazz programs throughout the United States and United Kingdom. He was a faculty member with the New York Jazz Academy from 2009 until 2021.

As an active sideman, Zimmer has performed and/or recorded with the likes of George Garzone, Rodney Jones, Jeremy Pelt, Dennis Irwin, David Schnitter, Lezlie Harrison, Pat Mallinger, Champian Fulton, Akiko Tsuruga, Rick Germanson, Julius Tolentino, Gene Perla, Wayne Escoffery, Dan Nimmer, and many others.

Pete Zimmer’s record label, Tippin’ Records, was originally established to feature his own projects, but after having much success with his first few releases, it did not take long for other artists to solicit their projects to Tippin’. In 2009 Zimmer decided to expand the catalogue and encompass additional artists. The first additional artist was trumpeter Vitaly Golovnev with the release of To Whom It May Concern and was followed by guitarist Kyle Asche Organ Trio (featuring legendary organist Melvin Rhyne), Blues for Mel. The label now has a total of one dozen releases and six artists.

Zimmer’s education includes studies at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, Illinois and at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, Massachusetts, earning his bachelor’s degree. He was fortunate to have apprenticeships with master musicians and teachers Danilo Perez, Cecil McBee, George Garzone, George Russell, Bob Moses, Jerry Bergonzi, Bob Brookmeyer, Robert Chappell, Rich Holly, Ronald Carter, Jeff Stitely, Joel Spencer, and James A. Sewrey.

Jason Tiemann is a New York City based jazz drummer, where he maintains a busy schedule as a freelance performer and educator. Admittedly drawing influence from the great(s) Philly Joe Jones, Tony Williams, Elvin Jones and Billy Higgins, Tiemann is quickly forging his musical voice on the New York scene by fusing his depth of historical foundation with crisp technique and propulsive, intuitive swing. Tiemann is currently on the jazz faculty of the Jackie McLean Institute of Jazz at the university of Hartford. Additionally, he has been an artist/clinician for the Jamey Aebersold Summer Jazz Workshops since 1998. Before moving to NYC, he was an active component of the Midwest Jazz community where he was in constant demand throughout the region as a performer and educator and was afforded the opportunity to accompany numerous jazz luminaries. Throughout his career, he has performed and/or recorded with an astonishing array of musicians including, but certainly not limited to, Benny Golson, David Liebman, Harold Mabern, Eric Alexander, Mike LeDonne, Peter Bernstein, Slide Hampton and countless others on the New York scene. Jason is an endorsing artist for Yamaha drums, Remo drumheads, and Innovative Percussion sticks, mallets and brushes.

Monday, June 5, 2023

The Monday Morning Paradiddle - June 2023

And...we're back.

Thanks for tuning in to the June 2023 edition of The Monday Morning Paradiddle, my regular ongoing and almost monthly jazz drumming variety column.

It's hard to believe but Four on the Floor is now fourteen years old (founded in the Spring of 2009!)

Thanks for all your continued support.

In case you haven't noticed, I rebooted my regular weekly interview series Four on the Floor *Live* on Instagram for a third season now and this will continue weekly through July before I go on the road for the month of August.

These interviews have been a ton of fun and I always come away inspired and motivated following each of my conversations with the many jazz drumming Instagram personalities that I connect with. Tune in and come join the fun.

Please join us for the next episode of Four on the Floor *Live* happening next Wednesday, June 7th at 7pm MST (9pm EST), appearing on Instagram Live IGTV @fouronthfloorblog featuring New York drummer and educator Peter Retzlaff.

Anyhow, and now without any further adieu, here's this month's extensive offering of assorted and interesting jazz drumming items that I have to share with you:

1. How Rhythm Shapes Our Lives from the BBC

2. From London Jazz News: Mondays with Morgan featuring Joe Farnsworth and his new album In What Direction Are You Headed?

3. Check out my friend Craig VanDerSchaegen's fantastic new podcast series Practicing Drummer with great interviews from Billy Drummond, Colin Stranahan and Brad Webb

4. Discussions in Percussion podcast interviews Marvin Smitty Smith

5. The Working Drummer podcast features a ton of great interviews including the likes of Nasheet Waits, Joe LaBarbera, Bobby Sanabria, Cindy Blackman Santana and George Coleman Jr.

6. Vinnie Sperrazza continues with his excellent ongoing Substack series Chronicles with really well written and insightful commentary including:

Sonny Rollins and Max Roach

Billy Hart and Nasheet Waits: Just Friends

For Horacee Arnold

7. Joe ChambersLenny White and Willie Jones III featured on the Burning Ambulance podcast

8. A wonderful piece, The Meditative, Multihued Soundscapes of Tyshawn Sorey from Columbia Magazine

9.  Check out this AMAZING recent piece on Andrew Cyrille from Danish drummer Kreston Osgood's Facebook page:

10. John DeChristopher's series Live from my Drum Room featuring Jeff "Tain" Watts:

...and Cindy Blackman Santana:


11. And here's a great one of Cindy doing her thing:


12. Steve Gadd on his Yamaha Recording Custom drums:


13. Adam Nussbaum with Eliane Elias and Marc Johnson:


14. Portland's Mel Brown featured on Cedar Walton's Bolivia with bassist Alexander Claffy and pianist Randy Porter:


15. A few great solos from Allison Miller (my favourite drummer these days...) and a rundown of her drum set-up and cymbal selection:


16. The Hook Up from Montreal bassist Fraser Hollins interviews my good friend Rich Irwin:


17. Al Foster with Sonny Rollins:

18. Check out this 1978 drum duet featuring Tony Williams and Billy Cobham:


19. What am I listening to these days?

Artemis "In Real Time" - Allison Miller (drums)

Mulgrew Miller "Work!" - Terri Lyne Carrington (drums)

John Patitucci "Remembrance" - Brian Blade (drums)

Dave Holland "Prime Directive" - Billy Kilson (drums)

Pat LaBarbera "Pass It On" - Joe LaBarbera (drums)

Jimmy Cobb "So Nobody Else Can Hear" - Jimmy Cobb (drums)

Duke Ellington "The Carnegie Hall Concerts: January 1943" - Sonny Greer (drums)

20. And today's Final Word goes to pianist Bill Carrothers. This post on Facebook earlier this year has been making the rounds amongst musicians on social media lately. I found it quite inspiring and felt inclined to share it with you all:

I recently had a young man write me asking for advice on how to proceed as an aspiring jazz musician. I'm always a bit nervous to dispense music/life advice to a stranger from my lowly perch, and it's all so subjective, but I told him what I tell my students every day. Maybe I'm just crazy. I can't tell anymore.

Here's the next step, the one that takes your whole life. Listen to the music you love, all day, every day, and imitate and assimilate. Listen to the way different guys comp and solo and try to do the same thing. Listen to instruments other than yours, to clue into what they do and how it's different. Study the instruments in the rhythm section to understand what each of them brings to the discussion and how they interrelate. Listen to how different people write, the history of all the folks who have written amazing things before you (Mozart, Bach, Ives, Cole Porter, Monk, Billy Strayhorn, Wayne Shorter, etc...). Dance around the room while you listen. Write. Call sessions. Play with others. Read poetry. Do things that scare you and things that aren't music. Box. Ride a motorbike. Jump out of an airplane. Whatever!

Now you are at the beginning of a very long journey which has no end, a voyage of self-discovery which is not a sprint but is instead the loneliness and persistence of the long-distance runner. Music is Mount Everest (a mountain that climbs as you climb it), and is strewn with the bodies of all the people who tried to do it before you. Pack accordingly. Learn to love the process more than the destination (which doesn't exist anyway). 

SIMPLY LOVE THE MUSIC! In the end it's that simple. And that difficult.

- Pianist Bill Carrothers via Facebook, March 2023

Friday, June 2, 2023

Four on the Floor *Live* on Instagram IGTV featuring Peter Retzlaff

Please join us for the next episode of Four on the Floor *Live* happening next Wednesday, June 7th at 7pm MST (9pm EST), appearing on Instagram Live IGTV @fouronthfloorblog featuring New York jazz drummer Peter Retzlaff.


Peter Retzlaff is a New York City-based drummer. In his formative years, Peter studied with many influential teachers/performers such as Bob Breithaupt, David Garibaldi, Ed Soph, Jim Chapin, Gary Chaffee, John Riley, Kenny Washington, and Billy Hart. As a performer, Peter is equally at home in jazz, rock, funk, Brazilian, Afro-Cuban, Afro-Caribbean, odd meter, and New Orleans drumming styles. Peter has played with Kenny Werner, Greg Osby, Diane Schuur, Ray Vega, Maynard Ferguson, Pete McCann, Kim Bock, Loren Stillman, The BMI Big Band, The Jamie Begian Big Band, Steeplechase recording artists Flow, Matt Savage, Bo Diddley, Neil Diamond, The Drifters, The Coasters, Gloria Gaynor, American Idol finalists Melinda Doolittle, Jordan Sparks, and Constantine Maroulis, and contemporary bassist and singer Adeline Michele.

As an educator, Peter teaches private lessons in jazz, rock, funk-RnB, Brazilian, Afro-Cuban, and Afro-Caribbean drumming styles. In addition, he teaches reading, chart interpretation, brushes, soloing, rudiments and snare drum technique (fundamental concepts, Moeller and push pull).

Peter is the author of two books, Turn It Up and Lay It Down: Baby Steps to Giant Steps (Hudson Music) and Contemporary Jazz Styles for Drums (Carl Fischer). Peter received a B.A. in Jazz and Commercial Music and a B.A. in Business Administration from Capital University. He also received a M.M. in Jazz Studies from the Manhattan School of Music.

The recipient of three National Endowment for the Arts Grants, Peter is a clinician for Sabian Cymbals, Canopus Drums, Innovative Percussion, Remo, and Prologix Percussion.

Monday, May 29, 2023

Jorge Rossy - Music Is:

A great interview today with drummer/vibraphonist Jorge Rossy from Music Is:

(unfortunately the video is disabled for embedding (!) but it's still worth taking a look)

Check out the entire interview here: https://youtu.be/JBdMWA8Q_us

And while we're here, here's a bunch of great and inspiring footage to check out including:

• Rossy's vibraphone trio featuring Jeff Ballard on drums:


• An artist feature from Paiste cymbals:


• An older interview from Open Studio with Edu Ribeiro:


• London Blues, playing with Brad Mehldau and Larry Grenadier: