Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Kenny Plays Yaiba

I'm posting a little late this week but since I was out of town, better late than never I suppose.

Anyways, here's an entertaining one of the "Jazz Maniac" himself, Kenny Washington, demonstrating his new Canopus Yaiba drums ("Don't walk, RUN!!!" he says...):

(Thanks to Zion Afuang who passed along this gem via the Facebook.)

And just for kick's here's another clip of KW in action with the Bill Charlap trio from a recent hit in Paris at the Duc du Lombards:

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Ben Wendel & Jeff Ballard: The Seasons

More excellent saxophone and drum duet action today from Ben Wendel, this time featuring Jeff Ballard in Wendel's excellent on-going series The Seasons:

Monday, September 28, 2015

The Monday Morning Paradiddle

Alrighty, the week is off to a running start and here's the latest from our hard working Four on the Floor correspondents:

- Scott K. Fish is up to great things over at his blog "Life Beyond Cymbals". Here is an in-depth interview with the great Roy McCurdy:

- Irish bassist Ronan Guilfoyle continues to contribute wonderful interviews over at his blog "Mostly Music." Here he interviews bassist Gene Perla and offers some insight into the many great drummers he's played with:

- Antonio Sanchez' "Before and After" interview over at Jazz Times:

- Carl Allen is interviewed over at

Carl also offers a few pieces of wisdom via his channel:

- Vancouver's Cory Weeds was smart and recorded these audio interviews with the one and only Louis Hayes during some recent dates on Canada's West Coast:

- Jake Feinberg interviews Roy Haynes:

 - Johnathan Blake interviewed over at

- NPR recently featured a concert hosted by Ali Jackson Jr., celebrating the music of Max Roach at Jazz @ Lincoln Center. The program is narrated by bassist Christian McBride and a great episode to check out:

I really wish the CBC would explore and invest in more programming initiatives like this...

It's important.

- Oh yes and here's the concert footage!

- Thanks to Billy Drummond, here's a great, older piece entitled "A Tribute to Max Roach" from All About Jazz:

- Another interview with Roy Haynes, this time by Portland's Alan Jones:

- Jeff Hamilton offers a very important lesson on the how's and why's of keeping loose while playing the drums:

I wish someone had told me this 20 years ago...

- I posted earlier blog posts on both Ralph Peterson Jr. and, separately, the importance of playing along with recordings. Here's an example of Peterson playing along with a Christian McBride drum-less bass,trumpet and guitartrio on Herbie Hancock's "Eye of the Hurricane":

- Jerry Leake offers a great lesson on a 12/8 Bell pattern and various corresponding cross rhythms:

- Martin France demonstrates some up-tempo brush playing:

- I recently heard Chicago's Dana Hall here in Calgary with the Spin Quartet. Hall is a great musician and force to be reckoned with. Overall the group was excellent and their playing and concept quite inspiring. Something to really aspire to.

Here's a good example of Dana Hall in action where he clearly exhibits his uncompromising style of Jazz drumming:

- And finally here's a drummer I greatly admire, the one and only Dr. Marvin Bugalu Smith:

- What am I listening to these days?

David Friesen Trio "The Name of a Woman" - Alan Jones (drums)

Walt Weiskopf "Day In, Night Out" - Kendrick Scott (drums)

David Friesen Trio "Midnight Mood" - Alan Jones (drums)

Tara Davidson "Duets"

David Friesen Trio "1-2-3" - Alan Jones (drums)

Pedro Martinez "Rumbas de la Rumba" - Pedro Martinez (percussion)

Harold Land "The Fox" - Frank Butler (drums)

- And finally, here's today's Last Word:

Alright, that's all I've got for today. Thanks again for tuning in and see you all again real soon.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Conversations with Joe Lovano

"When the Masters Speak, We Listen..."

Tenor saxophonist Joe Lovano is one of my favourite musicians. I first heard him around 1995 while he was touring Western Canada and performing the music from his double album "Quartets" which featured two amazing bands and two amazing drummers: Lewis Nash and Billy Hart. I've been a fan of Lovano's music and many projects ever since.

I had the opportunity to work briefly with Lovano at the short lived Lake Placid Jazz Workshop (Lake Placid, New York) during the summer of 1998. I was really taken aback by not only his understanding of rhythm but the man REALLY knows drums, drumming and drummers! I was really impressed with his own drumming too which we would frequently witness during the evening jam sessions.

Another couple recent favourites of mine are Lovano's "Trio Fascination, Vol.1"with Dave Holland and Elvin Jones (this a great example of Elvin's playing, in the latter part of his career...great tunes too) and "Sound Prints" with Joey Baron on drums. Lovano always plays with great drummers.

Apparently Joe also owns an impressive collection of gongs and, from what I've heard, one of Paul Motian's old drum sets. Without a doubt, the man knows how to play them too!

Anyways, from New York University's "Conversations with..." series, here's Joe Lovano talking about Life & Music:

And if you wanted some proof as to what a monster and heavy swinger Lovano is behind a set of drums, look no further...

Monday, September 21, 2015

Steve Maxwell on Tuning

Steve Maxwell, a man who knows a thing or two about drums, offers some insights and his ideas about drum tuning:

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Ralph Peterson Jr. Solo

From the 2015 Meinl Drum Festival, here's Ralph Peterson Jr. in a nice little solo spot:

I really appreciate the fact that he uses such an assortment of drums and cymbals, and a larger overall set-up than most Jazz drummers, in such a musical way.

And here's another series of Q&A interviews with Peterson, answering a few questions about his gear, music and style:

BTW - if you've haven't checked out his excellent DVD from, then you really should!