Monday, September 30, 2019

Lee Morgan with the Oscar Peterson Trio

Although I have a complicated relationship with social media, it was through the former that I was hipped to this great clip of Oscar Peterson's trio, with Ray Brown and Ed Thigpen, playing "Moanin" with Lee Morgan! Spectacular!  Enjoy!

A couple of observations....As a Canadian, i will probably be drawn and quartered for this, but I really prefer the OP trio when they are backing someone else. The piano tends to be less busy and Thigpen seems to always play more aggressively! He sounds like Art Blakey on this. Ferocious!

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Don Van Vliet's Commandments of guitar playing

Another short post today. Here's Captain Beefheart's 10 commandments of guitar playing.....

Friday, September 20, 2019

Breakfast with Vinnie

Quick post today. Just wanted to point out Vinnie Colaiuta's great podcast.
"Breakfast with Vinnie" didn't kill me at first, but I think I just had to get into it, because I'm really enjoying it now. Particularly interesting to me is the current episode "Amateur or Professional, Who's Happier". This hits home because I am currently facing the reality that I need to look at other avenues of income other than playing or teaching. That said, I think whatever happens, I will consider myself a professional musician. I feel a professional musician is anyone who treats music ( and conducts themselves ) in a professional way. Anyway, that's a much bigger issue, that I might get more into at some point. In the meantime, dig Vinnie. He's a smart guy we all can learn from, whether he's playing drums or talking. :)

Monday, September 16, 2019

Blame it on my youth...

....That I'm posting so many "Produce Like A Pro " videos! Here's producer Jack Douglas talking about Aerosmith's "Walk This Way" and " Sweet Emotion". Very cool stuff!

Saturday, September 14, 2019

George Garzone doc

Boston is a pretty amazing place. It has been the birth place or primary residence to such great musical artists as Roy Haynes, Bob Moses, Benny Sharoni,  Bob Gullotti, Tony Williams, Alan Dawson, Jerry Bergonzi, and of course the great George Garzone. Here's a great recently released  doc about him. Enjoy!


Monday, September 9, 2019

In defence of reading.......

These are indeed interesting times to be a drummer. More and more, the jobs I play involve "ear" work or at the most reading lead sheets. The only regular reading I'm guaranteed to do is once a month with John MacLeod's big band at the Rex, and even then, it's reading charts, which arguably require as much interpretation as reading.
So, should a young drummer not learn to read music? Nope, and I'll tell you why.

1. As reading is required less, it's also becoming a rarer commodity.
Being able to read music is one way of distinguishing yourself from other players, especially in situations that don't involve much rehearsal. Remember, if you can read, you can cut a lot of your heroes on the first run through of a piece of music. ( Admittedly, the second time might be a different story, but you get my point. )

2. If you need to learn something or remind yourself of something quickly, reading is the way to go.
If you want to have something be a part of your playing forever, by all means learn it by ear and memorize it, but sometimes we want our musical experience to be more ephemeral. Sometimes we're forced to record music we really DON'T want to remember! :) Reading helps with this.

3. Reading is not a difficult skill to learn and keep up.
The analogy has been made many times, but reading music and reading any language are the same thing. if you are literate, you certainly have enough brain power to learn to read music. Get a book and/or teacher and get it together, it can only help you.

I find personally that my reading can atrophy if I'm not doing it much, but I find it very easy to get it back in shape. Read classical snare drum etudes. The rhythms that you're reading are way more challenging than anything you'd see as a drum set player, and they usually have a lot of dynamics.        ( Which you should be sight reading as much as the rhythms. )

This one I particularly like, but any orchestral snare book will work.

                                       So, in conclusion, definitely use your ears etc, but don't be afraid to work on your eyes! :) 

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Your Character Is Your Calling Card

So, I'd like to mention a recent incident that proves the power of positive character.

Enter exhibit A, no stranger to this blog or fans of fine musicianship, Jerry Bergonzi.....

                                                                                                   I have been extremely fortunate to have worked with Jerry along with Brian Dickinson and Jim Vivian  for over a decade now. As well as being a  fantastic musician, Mr. Bergonzi has always been a great example of how to be in the world. He isn't impressed by money or fame, he is impeccably honest and respectful of others, and it's always about the music, which he loves. This past  summer Jerry was offered a gig in the Montreal Jazz Festival.  He was given the chance to choose anyone to work with him, and I don't think it would be out of line to suggest the festival probably hoped he would choose some big, well-known players to accompany him to help promote the event. Instead, he insisted that he play with Brian's trio with Jim and I. Why? Well, he mentioned how much work Brian had created for him in Canada over the years, and he thought  it would be fair to give Brian another opportunity. I believe he also realized that with Brian's trio he would get high level accompaniment, with no egos or bs, and that we had played together a lot so there would be a band concept, unlike playing with a bunch of big names he mightn't have worked with previously. This is class folks! And the thing is, this is not an unusual story about Jerry. No one who has worked with him ever has anything bad to say about him, because his ethics are impeccable! THAT is the kind of reputation we should all be striving for!

Here's a short video of Jerry explaining a way of using triad pairs. It's a little advanced for where i am harmonically, but I believe it's important to have some thing to work toward.

So, in conclusion, behave like Jerry Bergonzi and the world will be a much better, more moral, and way hipper place! 

Sunday, September 1, 2019

Heroic Drumming

Okay, I think this is the last of these I'm going to post but this is an interview with engineer Bradley Cook on his work on the Foo Fighters "My Hero". I've always loved this tune and Dave Grohl's monster drumming on it, so it was nice to get some insights about it's creation and recording.