I while back I started the idea of examining a rudiment a week, then life interfered again! Now I'm calling it the rudiment of the moment so I have some wriggle-room!
This is the current one:
I got this from Alan Dawson's Rudimental Ritual (those of you who don't have that can find it here. It's interesting, the standard way to approach the ritual is to memorize it and play it without stopping. I've found, however, that I've gotten a lot out of it by isolating rudimental ideas I don't use a lot, and trying to adapt them to my playing. I rarely use double paradiddles, and adding in the flam gives it accents in interesting places. I have so far:
1. Played the triplet version on snare or one hand on one tom the other hand on another tom, hi-hat on 2 & 4 and played the melody to "Oska T." or "Milestones with the bass drum.
2. Played right hand on bell of cymbal and left hand on snare to play a sort of 12/8 groove. (Again I'm playing the triplet version.) That's all I've done so far but I'm going to stick with it a while and see what I come up with.
Now here's the man himself.....soloing on "There will Never be Another You"
Mr. Dawson apparently had back issues and stopped touring as a result. Hence he's much more known as a teacher rather than the great performer he was. It's interesting, Tony Williams was always very cagey when he talked about his studies with Alan Dawson. I sometimes think he got more from him than he let on. Regardless, serious inspiration!