Thursday, April 28, 2016

Francisco Mela Speaks

Mela is a drummer I've greatly admired, in particular his work with Joe Lovano, Kenny Barron, Melissa Aldana, his own projects and, most recently, with saxophonist Gary Bartz.

Here's a few interview clips with Francisco via Jazz Times:

Monday, April 25, 2016

Mr. Higgins

I posted a link to the URL containing this concert in its entirety a few weeks back….but here's a nice excerpt via the featuring the ever soulful and swinging Mr. Billy Higgins at work:

Monday, April 18, 2016

Time Warp

Some "vintage" Canadian Jazz today via Toronto's Barry Elmes:

This band was quite influential to me during my first introduction to Jazz music around the early 90s. Drummer Barry Elmes and his group Time Warp (co-led with bassist Al Henderson) was one of the first examples of Canadian Jazz that I was first exposed to during my initial foray into the world of Jazz music. The Regina Public Library, my first source for recordings in the pre-internet era, was a good place to find not only Jazz records, but Canadian ones too.

During the 1990s Elmes was very active not only leading his own projects but also hitting the road and taking his unique music to different parts of Canada, many of which didn't see much Jazz music. I've always been a fan of Elmes' drumming, in particular his melodic approach to the drums inspired by such drummers as Max Roach and Dannie Richmond. He's also a prolific composer and his work has been quite influential towards my own efforts as well.

And here's a few links of some live, concert footage of Time Warp from the Sounds of Jazz Concert Series, courtesy of the Canadian Jazz Archive over at JAZZ.FM91

Monday, April 11, 2016

John Ramsay

Thanks to Christian DeJongh who shared his lessons with Berklee drum professor John Ramsay via the

I was first exposed myself to Ramsay's teachings via his fine books "Art Blakey's Jazz Messages" and "The Drummer's Complete Vocabulary (as taught by Alan Dawson)".

In particular, Ramsay's book on Art Blakey was a valuable resource for me when it first came out in the mid-90s. Ramsay's experience as Blakey's road manager and sometimes playing alongside him as his "double" drummer translates well in this text and provides a first-hand look at Blakey's style.

John was also very helpful to me personally during my doctoral research, providing some valuable insight into the melodic aspects of Alan Dawson's teachings. Aspects of these are also covered in his book, dealing with Dawson's extensive method and teachings. Highly recommended.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Mark's Blues

This little ditty is a simple and catchy snare drum cadence that I learned and played while marching with the Pride of Lions drumline back during the early 1990s in Regina, Saskatchewan. We would use this 4-bar phrase (or 8-bars if you are thinking in 2/4….and not actually a "blues" incidentally!) as a street beat during parades and as a stock, catch-all drum pattern that fit perfectly when accompanying band pieces for football games, etc. ("Green is Colour" and "On Roughriders" immediately come to mind!)

Lately I've been using this as a quick and easy warm-up, with sort of a funky and quick-and-dirty Wilcoxin vibe to it:

Unless otherwise notated, play this with natural, hand-to-hand stickings.

Btw - does anybody know who "Mark" was or why he had the blues?

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Bill Charlap Trio

Some outstanding concert footage today of Kenny Washington with the Bill Charlap trio:

Thanks to Zion Afuang who passed along this one via the Facebook awhile back.