Friday, July 20, 2018

Al "Tootie" Heath

While waiting for the fuzziness from a late night to finally leave me, I became aware of my morning soundtrack. What was cued up on the player was Promise of the Sun from Herbie's recording The Prisoner. Tootie demonstrates great sensitivity to the compositions throughout this recording. He shifts between the traditional role of supporting melody hits to mirroring the dissonant spiraling orchestration of the wind instruments. The various moods he creates are a lesson in ear-training for the drummer. Over 40 years later he is still bringing it. What an inspiration!

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Philly Joe's 4's on 4!

No, that isn't the album cover for the Miles Davis classic Workin' but it is totally rad nonetheless. Always coming up with the unexpected, Philly Joe was a very clever player. Although he may not appear on many top 5 most influential drummers lists, his unique application of traditional style Jazz drumming and incredible cymbal beat shouldn't be overlooked. His ensemble playing won the favor of all the greats. It has been said Philly Joe was the "go to" drummer for Miles Davis AND Bill Evans! He was essentially the house drummer for Prestige, Riverside and Blue Note....omg!

Monday, July 2, 2018

Mike Clark Loft Funk

Mike’s playing clearly includes some New Orleans influence. The Bass Drum ostinato is a standard idea found in many styles of music from the region. One of the (many) technique goals I have been focussing on lately, is achieving a better sound with my double strokes; particularly with my left hand. Anyway, after spending many hours watching (helplessly) as my left hand played tag with this goal, I needed an excuse to give it a rest. Transcribing some funk was what doctor ordered.