Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Joe Harris 4s on Paul's Pal

A former instructor turned me on to this footage several years ago and now I am just getting to transcribing it!? So much work, so little time....whatever! I remember seeing it the first time, I realized half way through the video a huge grin grew on my face. How could anyone NOT smile at watching this proud performance? Sonny Rollins and Henry Grimes yadda yadda OK they are good...really really good, but look at Joe. He is clearly having a blast. He should be, he was swinging like a mutha! Anyway, check out this amazing and under appreciated player.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Flam to Groove

Every now and again I come across an exercise that I don't like. I want to like it. I know I would be a better person if I liked it. But, being a "normal" red-blooded human being, I instinctively avoid it. It is not just exercises too. There are drum patterns I don't like. I am not talking about things that are mind-numbingly difficult. It could be as simple as some 12/8 bell pattern I heard someone play. I remember a lesson with Robert Kaufman, with whom I studied for several years, where I mentioned not liking a certain feel played by another drummer. I don't think he had ever heard of this before and was curious as to why I felt this way. As any good instructor does (he smelled blood) he challenged me to explore this feeling. At the time, I was clueless as to where this reaction came from. And, being a "normal" red-blooded human being, I instinctively avoided that challenge.

Friday, August 3, 2018

Transcribe Damnit!

The words "Latin Feel" are familiar to most drummers. Pretty much every gig has at least a few tunes where I am asked "Let's play______(fill in the blank with a standard) but Latin...OK?" The thoughtful musician will want to respond" OK, Afro-Cuban, Afro-Caribbean, Bossa, Samba, Pachanga....?!!!!!" But that thoughtful musician would probably not be asked to come back...Besides, I am so NOT going to get into the mind-numbingly diverse elements and rich musical traditions that we are being asked to represent on our instruments. (Actually, I will at some point....) Suffice to say I think it best to follow sage wisdom and shut-up and play. But make sure to play some kind of cascara on the cymbal bell, some kind of clave with a cross-stick and some kind of bombo.