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

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