Monday, July 26, 2021

Us (Live At The Jazz Workshop, San Francisco / 1961) - Or, Art Taylor and his Wacky Left Foot!

So, let's check out this great tune by Kenny Dorham (also known as "Una Mas" on a recording from a few years later) with the great Art Taylor on drums.

Let's look at what Taylor is doing on most of the tune. Hi-hat on 2, and the + of 3 & 4. Rather unusual for him, so it really caught my ear! So, I started thinking thinking of and working on ways to incorporate this idea, and you can try them too!

1. Play along with the recording. This is a great way of going between Taylor's pattern and the figures played at the end of every chorus.

2. Experiment with the hi-hat lick plus 4 on the BD, plus various comping patterns in the LH like all the upbeats in the bar, last 2 triplets of every beat, first 2 triplets of every beat, quarter note triplets, displaced quarter note triplets etc.

3. Same as 2 but reverse BD and LH parts

4. Keep Hi-Hat pattern but play str. 8ths and play bossa in other 3 limbs.

5. Same as 4 but play cascara/salsa patterns in other 3 limbs.

6. Etc. etc. etc until death and even after! 

I would encourage anyone interested in Jazz drumming to check out a LOT of Art Taylor. He's a great time player and imaginative soloist. He always gets a big, beautiful snare and hi-hat sound and he's always swinging! :) 

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