Monday, April 29, 2013

Yoron Israel on Brushes

I spent some time studying with Berklee's Yoron Israel while I was touring with the show Barrage in 2004. We spent some extended time performing in Boston so I spent my days hanging around Berklee and the various drum shops in the neighborhood (in fact I even bought a very nice 22" K Constantinople ride cymbal there that I still use today...)

Yoron introduced me to Alan Dawson's Rudiment Ritual and emphasized being able to play it with the brushes as well. As you can see from this performance, Israel definitely practices what he preaches!

Dig the variety of strokes and sounds that Yoron is able to get out just a pair of brushes and a snare drum. Well, back to the woodshed!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Christian McBride Trio with Ulysses Owens Jr.

Some fine piano trio drumming today from Ulysses Owens Jr. with the Christian McBride Trio:

Monday, April 22, 2013

Nash at Berklee

Here's a great way to start off the week...Lewis Nash featured in a concert at the Berklee College of Music on the Thad Jones burner "Ain't Nothing New" with some great tenor playing from Bill Pierce:

Hey if you are in the Montreal area come and check out my quintet this coming Friday evening at Cafe Resonance! I'm really excited to be reunited with these fine Montreal musicians, all of whom I played with extensively during my ten years living on the island. Montreal holds a special place for me as this is where I spent my formative years learning to play Jazz.

The Jon McCaslin Quintet Plays Cafe Resonance

Friday, April 26 - 9:00pm

Cafe Resonance
5175A Avenue Du Parc
Montreal, QC


Jon McCaslin - Drums, Cymbals & Compositions
Andy King - Trumpet
Allan McLean - Tenor
Kenny Bibace - Guitar
Dave Watts - Bass

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Ralph Peterson Interview

Thanks to the kind people over at Vic Firth, here's a series of interviews with Ralph Peterson Jr. to check out:

Monday, April 15, 2013

The Monday Morning Paradiddle

And....we're back.

Sorry for the relatively infrequent posting recently. I've been on the go lately and going a few different directions these days...Anyways, regular posting will now resume (hopefully!) and thanks for all your kind messages.

I recently spent some time in Ireland and had a chance to connect with the Guilfoyle brothers, Ronan and Conor, who, in addition to being two of Ireland's finest Jazz artists, also happen to be two really nice guys. We shared more than a few laughs together to say the least!

Ronan is an exceptional bassist and the author of the acclaimed book "Creative Rhythmic Concepts" and this text comes highly recommended (in fact, NYC tenor saxophonist Donny McCaslin recently cited Ronan's text as something he himself was personally currently studying during a recent masterclass at Mount Royal University in Calgary...)

In addition to being a world-class bassist and author Ronan is also quite an articulate blogger and writes some very insightful articles and commentary over at his blog Mostly Music

I read his blog regularly and find his writing always to be quite informative but in particular check out his excellent recent interview with Steve Coleman. The students at the Newpark Music School in Dublin are very lucky to have Ronan as their teacher!

His brother Conor is also a very accomplished drummer, busy educator and he regularly posts some great lessons on his website and via Here is one of Conor's on-line lessons demonstrating how to improvise a snare drum solo using Alan Dawson's Rudiment Ritual as a source for vocabulary:

Conor is also the author of two very fine drum books entitled "Rhythmic Reading for Drummers" and "Odd Meter Clave for Drumset". Check out more of Conor's music at his website:

- Who am I listening to these days?

Being on the road recently has afforded me the opportunity to do a lot of listening while driving, flying, waiting in airports, hanging around hotel rooms, etc. Here's a few things that have inspired me lately:

Wynton Marsalis "Black Codes from the Underground" - Jeff "Tain" Watts (drums)

Jason Marsalis "In A World of Mallets" - Jason Marsalis (vibraphone), David Potter (drums)

Jeff "Tain" Watts "MegaWatts" - Jeff "Tain" Watts (drums)

Duke Ellington "Ellington Plays the Music of Mary Poppins" - Sam Woodyard (drums)

Fly "Year of the Snake" - Jeff Ballard (drums)

Milford Graves "Grand Unification" - Milford Graves (drums & percussion)

- Speaking of the one & the only Jeff "Tain" Watts (!) here's a nice one of Mr. Watts in action at the 55 Bar with Oz Noy on guitar and John Patitucci on bass playing "If I Were a Bell":

- Drummer Johnathan Blake never ceases to impress me and here he is playing a very impassioned solo with Kenny Barron:

- I've got an exciting concert coming up on Saturday, April 20 with my jazz orchestra, the Calgary Creative Arts Ensemble:

We'll be featuring our special guest, the great Brad Turner on trumpet from Vancouver on a program of music by iconic Canadian Jazz composer Kenny Wheeler. If you are in Calgary, don't miss this show!

The Calgary Creative Arts Ensemble Plays the Music of Kenny Wheeler Featuring Special Guest: Brad Turner on Trumpet

Saturday, April 20

Central United Church
131 7th Avenue SW
Calgary, AB

Adults: $20/$25 Door
Students/Seniors: $10/$15 Door

Advance Tickets Available at:

Friday, April 12, 2013

Brush Lesson with Greg Hutchinson

What better way to learn how to play the brushes than hanging out with Greg Hutchinson....on a sunny beach!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Drum & Bass: Jeff Ballard and Larry Grenadier

The connection between the drummer and bass player of any ensemble is obviously the core and heartbeat of any band. If the drummer and bassist aren't hooking up or have a cooperative understanding when they play together, the music doesn't even stand a chance!

Here's Jeff Ballard and Larry Grenadier, the backbone of the Brad Mehldau trio, demonstrating how they work together and, as such, show the incredible bond these two have when playing together.

I've been on the road for the past few weeks....regular posting will resume shortly!