Monday, July 29, 2013

About Time...Steve Gadd

For the last post of July, here's a preview of a GREAT upcoming documentary featuring the great Steve Gadd:

Monday, July 22, 2013

Klook with Rene Thomas

Still in summer mode over here at Four on the Floor, but in the meantime here's some rare footage of the great Kenny Clarke with guitarist Rene Thomas to check out (in colour too!):

I don't know much about Rene Thomas except that a few years ago Montreal drummer/pianist/recording engineer Andre White played me some unreleased recordings of Thomas with Kenny Clarke that were absolutely burning (a version of "A Night in Tunisia" that featured Klook stands out in particular...) Does anybody out there have any more info about Rene Thomas and, in particular, his association with Kenny Clarke?

It's also nice to hear/see Klook playing in an organ/guitar trio format. These configurations always seem to bring out a different side of a drummer's playing, in my opinion...

Monday, July 15, 2013

Jimmy Cobb Masterclass!

Jimmy Cobb recently visited Russia and here's some footage of the master trading some phrases with Oleg Butman, a great Russian Jazz drummer (complete with his trademark suspenders!):

Monday, July 8, 2013

Tyshawn Sorey Meets Pedrito Martinez

Well, I thought this was pretty bad ass when I stumbled across it...

Here's Cuban-born percussionist Pedrito Martinez and drummer/visionary Tyshawn Sorey engaged in an intense percussion discussion:

This is the kind of thing I'd like to see more of, that is to say a drummer and percussionist working together to create some deep grooves. All too often either one or the other will end up over playing (as I've witnessed all too often!) I'm thinking that later this summer, when I have some time, I'll give a call to my favourite Cuban percussionists here in Calgary and get some serious rhythm sessions happening over at my place.

I recently played at the Saskatchewan Jazz Festival with Canadian alto saxophonist PJ Perry and a stellar big band. The Outer Bridge Ensemble (from New York) was the band in residence and played several shows as well as hosting a great nightly jam session at the Bassment. I was really impressed with how drummer Jerome Jennings and percussionist David Freeman really worked together, never overplaying nor stepping on either's rhythmic toes. The balance between the two was perfect. I'd venture to say that's the bar that we drummers and percussionist should strive towards when playing together. Thanks for the lesson Jerome and David!

Monday, July 1, 2013

Jake Hanna Interview

Jake Hanna was a great drummer, equally comfortable in larger ensemble settings such as Woody Herman and Toshiko Akiyoshi's big bands as well as in smaller configurations (see Oscar Peterson).

Here's a rare, informal interview with Hanna recorded in Victoria, British Columbia:

And to put things into context, here's a clip of Jake Hanna with the Woody Herman band demonstrating how to play breakneck, up tempos at ease on the classic flag-waver "Caldonia":


We're presently in summer mode now over here at the Four on the Floor offices. Posting will be sparse but regular over the next couple of months.

Thanks again for your continued support and Happy Canada Day everybody!