Monday, July 24, 2017

Mid-Summer Paradiddle

It's been a few weeks since my last post (since I've been on the road playing Jazz festivals and teaching workshops for the better part of the last month!) But I'm back home now and blogging will hopefully be a bit more regular in the coming weeks. Canadian Jazz drumming legend Jim Blackley recently passed away and Mark Miller's excellent book on Claude Ranger has been released so look for some blog posts featuring both in the coming weeks.

Anyhow, thanks again for checking in and here's what we have to offer at this point, half-way through the summer season:

- A couple of interviews with Jeff "Tain" Watts from Drum Magazine:

....and Neon Jazz:

- Milford Graves is featured at Dark Forces Swing:

- Kendrick Scott interviewed over at the The Drummer's Resource Podcast:

- Peter Martin's excellent Jazz resource The Open Studio Network features vibraphonist Warren Wolf:

- Todd Bishop keeps bringing us outstanding exercises and concepts to practice. His recent series of posts on funk drumming are worth some serious consideration. Here's a good place to start:

- John Riley was recently Down Under and here's a sampling of his performance at Sydney's Drummers Day:

- From Aquarian Drumheads here's a wonderful feature on Joe LaBarbera:

- Jerome Jennings is one of my favourite current drummers on the scene today. Here's some nice action footage of Jennings in action:

- Here's a documentary on the very talented and soon-to-be-very-famous Kojo Roney (also apparently a student of Milford Graves):

- I thought this was an interesting arrangement of Steve Reich's "Clapping Music", arranged for two snare drums:

- Joe Lovano is one my favourite contemporary tenor saxophonists and he's also a great drummer! Here's Joe laying it down on John Coltrane's "Giant Steps" (performed as a 3/4 waltz...):

- What am I listening to these days?

D.E.W. East "Introducing D.E.W. East" - Barry Elmes (drums)

Elvin Jones Trio "Puttin' it Together" - Elvin Jones (drums)

Elvin Jones Trio "The Ultimate" - Elvin Jones (drums)

Lee Morgan/Clifford Jarvis Quintet "Live in Baltimore 1958" - Ed Blackwell (drums)

Jazzmeia Horn "A Social Call" - Jerome Jennings (drums)

King Curtis "Live at the Fillmore" - Bernard Purdie (drums)

- And today's Last Word goes to the late Jim Blackley:

"Irrespective of the heights you reach as a musician and instrumentalist, irrespective of how outstanding your fellow musicians are, the most important ingredient that all can take to the bandstand is good human qualities, of love, patience, compassion, tolerance, and the treating of all lives as one's own."

- Jim Blackley

Monday, July 3, 2017

12/8 Afro-Cuban Bell Paradiddles

I've been on the road lately and have been having fun with this little wrist twister, banging it out on drum pads in hotel rooms, quietly on my hi-hat during sound checks and drumming with my hands while waiting in airport departure lounges (much to the annoyance of other passengers...haha).

Anyways, this is a follow-up to my posts from a couple of months ago, using various Clave accent patterns combined with paradiddle sticking patterns to create interesting and musical combinations.

The following pattern that I recently came up that uses the accent pattern from the common 12/8 Afro-Cuban bell pattern, phrased using single and double paradiddle combinations:

As always, really bring out the accents to order to get a sense of the larger Clave pattern.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Mike Clark

A few previews today of Mike Clark from his upcoming lessons via The Drum Channel. There's some very important information here!

Monday, June 12, 2017

The Monday Morning Paradiddle

And....we're back. As always, here's a few things of interest making the rounds via the Four on the Floor office these days:

- Joe LaBarbera offers some reflections on his time working with Bill Evans via All About Jazz:

- A wonderful piece by Nate Chinen on the late Mickey Roker from WBGO:

- A profile on Dave King, from The Bad Plus from NPR:

- This is a wonderful feature on Roy Haynes from Jon Batiste and the Late Show:

I gotta say...Haynes is so bad ass that even those sorry drums sound good when he plays them!

- Max Roach and Cecil Taylor interviewed:

- Joe Farnsworth has been on the road Down Under lately. Here's a feature and an interview all the way from Australia:

And from an older performance in Russia (after drinking some covefefe perhaps?) here's an awesome mallet solo to check out:

- Harvey Mason reflects on the accompanying accomplishments of Art Blakey, Philly Joe Jones and Roy Haynes via Bret Primack, the Jazz Video Guy:

Harvey Mason on Art Blakey, Philly Joe Jones, Roy Haynes from Bret Primack on Vimeo.

- Kenny Washington speaks to the influence of the John Kirby Sextet on Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker:

- Irish Jazz drummer (and contributor to this blog!) Conor Guilfoyle is featured over at

- Another great Irish Jazz drummer, David Lyttle, recently wrapped up a road trip through the United States and documented his journey via a podcast and a series of clever videos. Here's one of Lyttle's features, performing in the backyard of Art Blakey's childhood home located in the Hill District of Pittsburgh:

- Quincy Davis, the new Professor of Jazz Drumming at the University of North Texas, offers the first of a two-part series on brush playing:

Looking forward to Part II Q !

- Here's an inspiring one featuring Joe Lovano and Paul Motian's drum set:

Joe&Paul'sDrums from Michael Patrick Kelly on Vimeo.

- This one brought back some memories as I used to hear these guys play together in Montreal during the mid 90s. Here's Pete Magadini burning on Cherokee with Andre White on piano and Alec Walkington on drums:

I always recommend Magadini's books "Learn to Play the Drums" Vol. 1 & 2 to all my beginner drum students.

- Some recent clips of Portlands Alan Jones, a recent favourite drummer/composer/band leader/educator/visionary of mine:

- What am I listening to these days?

Horace Silver "Six Pieces of Silver" - Louis Hayes (drums)

Horace Silver "Trio" - Art Blakey (drums), Sabu (percussion)

David Kikoski "Consequences" - Jeff "Tain" Watts (drums)

Art Pepper "Plus Eleven" - Mel Lewis (drums)

Paul Motian "ECM :Rarum"- Paul Motian (drums)

Jorge Rossy "Stay There" - Al Foster (drums), Jorge Rossy (vibraphone)

- And today's Final Word goes to Jim Blackley, an important icon in the realm of Canadian Jazz drumming (who only recently retired from teaching). His teachings have inspired several generations of important Jazz drummers here in Canada:

"The only reason for devoting yourself to a life of Jazz performance must come from a sincere need from within. You must feel deeply from within your heart that this is the path you wish to follow. A decision based on any other reason is fraught with danger....being a musician means being part of a total experience - no winning, no losing"- Jim Blackley

* RIP Adam West (Batman)

Monday, June 5, 2017

Kirk MacDonald & Pat LaBarbera 4tet with Adam Nussbaum

I posted some brief clips of this band awhile ago but fortunately for us here's some well-filmed concert footage, recorded in Ottawa, ON earlier this year, featuring Canadian tenor titans Kirk MacDonald and Pat LaBarbera along with bassist Kieran Overs and guest drummer Adam Nussbaum to enjoy:

If you were looking for a lesson in musical/highly swinging drumming today, you've found it! Nussbaum's sense of flow, graceful sound and motion around the drums always really knocks me out.

Furthermore, I received a copy of their latest album in the mail last month and have really enjoyed the overall group chemistry. Check it out!

Monday, May 29, 2017

Bill Stewart!

A compilation today of interviews and close-up footage featuring one of Jazz drumming's modern-day Masters and innovators, the inimitable Bill Stewart.

 - Leo Sidran (son of another great Jazz interviewer, Ben Sidran) interviews Bill Stewart via his exceptional podcast, The Third Story:

- Quincy Davis (recently named Professor of Jazz Drums at the University of North Texas!) interviews Stewart via his web series Q-Tip:

- A couple of clips of Bill playing a set of Lignum drums:

- And I likely posted this one before but here it is again because I think it's awesome...