Saturday, November 17, 2018

Everything's coming up Nussbaum!

Hey all,
Just posting some links to some great stuff featuring Adam Nussbaum. First is this wonderful podcast from Drummer's Resource. Adam's intense passion, knowledge, and love for the music is is clearly evident, and there's much to learn from his insights.

Next is this Before and After listening session from Jazz Times. Again, Mr. Nussbaum is incredibly eloquent and knowledgeable. It's interesting when he mentions Elvin Jones and how generous and helpful he was, which exactly explains my experience with Adam. Check it out folks and learn. :)

Sunday, November 4, 2018

Ben Dixon and Carlton Barrett

Sad news today, great organ trio ( amongst other things ) drummer Ben Dixon has passed away. RIP.

Here he is with Brother Jack McDuff. Now THAT'S a shuffle!!!!

Also, here's some great isolated drumming of Reggae great Carlton Barrett on Bob Marley's " Get Up, Stand Up ". Gorgeous!

Thanks to Dan Weiss for hipping me to this via social media. Talk soon.....

Monday, October 29, 2018

Avi Granite 6

Hello all, just posting a reminder that a great band I have a lot of fun with, the Avi Granite 6, is playing the Rex on Friday Nov. 9th.

                                                         And here's some video of us playing a  great graphic piece of Avi's , "Musically
 Your, Bob Barker" at Silence in Guelph.

Monday, October 22, 2018

2 brush patterns and....

....Yes, you guessed it, another rant.

Low volume cymbals? I don't get it. If you want the cymbal to be quieter, play it quieter! Develop your touch. In fact, it seems to me some of the newer Ks, and even some I have from a little before that, tend to "top out" at high volumes. In other words, they don't seem to give me all that I'm putting into them, and I'm not really into that. BTW, I'm not including flat rides in the category of low volume. Flat rides have specific sonic qualities that are very unique ( and hard to blend with other cymbals sometimes.

Okay, rant over. Two brush patterns, probably both mainly for ballads.

The first is Vibrato brush pattern, so called because each hand does a trill at the beginning of every downbeat while still making a circle.

Next is Orbits, both hands are circling the same direction, but either hand could go any direction. People who have heard me talk about brushes before have heard me mention that I think it's useful to be able to make circles with either hand clockwise or counter-clockwise.

Now play some ballads and let the dancers get romantic! 

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Charlie Watts' Hi-Hat story

Short post today. Here's a roundtable discussion regarding the entomology of Charlie Watts' "hi-hatless " approach to the backbeat.

Looks like a great series. I'll have to purchase it.

Here's a blog entry I did a few years ago on the same subject. There's an article I did on it in the March 2016 issue of Percussive Notes as well.

Thanks. :)

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Absolutes. A drag? Absolutely

Well, I have a brand new excuse not to blog as much as I would like. I'm currently enrolled as a grad student in community music at Laurier. To say it's a lot of work would be a massive understandment, and I've just begun!

Anyway, It looks like it's time for another rant. There is a LOT of information online about drumming that presents as having the only answer, THE way of doing thing things etc. The latest issue I've seen this come upon is the jazz ride cymbal beat.

Some say you MUST play it with 4 equal quarter notes to the measure, a la Jimmy Cobb.

There are others who say you must accent two and four on the ride cymbal.

Notice in the former you can even see Ben Riley's hand lifting higher to accent two and four on the ride.

Others insist Elvin's accenting of the skip beat is the way to go.

Who is right? ALL OF THEM!

I haven't even gotten into making the ride cymbal more clipped ( like Kenny Clarke ) or more straight 8th ( like Billy Higgins ).

In short, how many ways should you learn to play the ride cymbal? AS MANY AS YOU CAN! Especially if you're a developing player, learning to articulate the ride rhythm a bunch of different ways will help you find out which way works best for you , and is usually tempo and style dependent.

Don't limit yourself, and play your heart out!

Now, back to qualitative analysis! :)

Friday, September 7, 2018

The best drummer for the gig?

Perhaps, it's Griffin,  the main character in The Invisible Man.

                   Anybody seen my hi-hat, or for that matter, my face?

This might be the quirkiest intro to this blog ever, but bear with me.  My band is playing at the Brampton World of Jazz Festival this Saturday. Because there was a sub in the band, as well as that I had written some new tunes, I called the dreaded "R" word! ( Rehearsal, shudder! ). After much hemming and hawing about where to rehearse, because the band all live in different cities, it was decided that the bass player's abode was the most central. After we agreed to this location, he informed me he didn't own drums anymore, and I would need to bring my own. I told him I would conduct instead. He thought I was kidding, but I showed up at the appointed time with the charts of my tunes, and I stick bag that I didn't end up using! Now, because I'm the leader I was able to get away with this. What was I going to do? Fire me?!

 Now because everyone in the band had lots of experience I knew they weren't going to be thrown by playing with no drums. It was actually a great way to hear the tunes and imagine what the drums should do to support what I was already hearing. So, if you want to rehearse new music of yours, fire yourself and you'll be amazed at what you might hear!

My only concern is if the band will sound even half as good with me on Saturday night!