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!

Monday, September 14, 2015

Jeff Hamilton on Brushes

Another great lesson thanks to the kind folks over at the Jazz @ Lincoln Center's Jazz Academy. Here's the Master brush player Jeff Hamilton himself talking and demonstrating some very important, basic brush concepts:

This idea of playing the brushes laterally or "side-to-side" as opposed to strictly an up-and-down motion was one introduced to me (via Jeff incidentally!) about ten years ago or so from an article he wrote for the PAS publication Percussive Notes (see "You've Got to Be Pretty to Play the Brushes" in Percussive Notes, February 2004). This really opened up my own brush playing and changed things in a positive way. I don't always play way this but it certainly adds another dimension to one's brush playing and it really helped me. Check it out.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Ed Soph - Ride Cymbal Playing

Here's a series of six lessons with UNT drum professor Ed Soph, brought to us by the fine people over at Zildjian, all featuring topics on ride cymbal playing:

There are some important lessons and concepts in here to check out for sure.

All six video lessons are embedded in the link above. If you scroll down you'll find a wealth of other great lessons from the Zildjian Drumset Education vault offered by some other artists as well. Enjoy! (and learn something too in the process...)

Monday, September 7, 2015

Jack, Ravi and Matt

From a 2014 performance in Lausanne, Switzerland here's the unrecorded (I think?) trio of Jack DeJohnette, Ravi Coltrane and Matt Garrison in a full-length concert:

Here's hoping to a future ECM recording of this trio!

Thursday, September 3, 2015

And...We're Back.

Thanks for your patience as I took a good portion of this summer off from blogging. Sorry for the hiatus! Well, now we're back in the saddle and have plenty to share with you all in the weeks and months ahead. Our correspondents here at Four on the Floor are well rested and ready to get back to work. The break was nice and we have plenty of things to talk about.

So to get started, here's a few articles and links to check out from around the interweb:

- Christian McBride offers "All About That Bass, But Give The Drummer Some" over at NPR:

Now wouldn't it be nice if the CBC also produced innovative segments such as this?

- Jeff Hamilton swing, swing, swings on this solo drum version of "Sing, Sing, Sing":

- An interview with Milford Graves from

- Behind the scenes with tenor saxophonist Ben Wendel and his duet partner Eric Harland from his series "The Seasons":

- An article on unsung hero Winard Harper from Downbeat magazine:

- Leo Sidran interivews Bill Stewart on his podcast The Third Story:

- An older radio interview with Portland's Alan Jones from KMHD:

- Here's a preview of Kendrick Scott's new release on Blue Note records, "We Are The Drum":

A few Canadian Jazz drummers to take note of...

- Anthony Michelli offers some wisdom over at The K Spot:

- Morgan Childs talks about his new release (more on this soon!) and other great things over at Nathan Hiltz's recent podcast series "The Body Electric":

- Curtis Nowosad also talks about his new release "Dialectics" over at Neon Jazz:

Alright, now onto a few video clips I've been enjoying this summer and so should you:

- Lewis Nash on "Second Balcony Jump":

- A brief feature on Rodney Green:

- Kenny Washington swinging in Paris at the Duc Des Lombards with Bill Charlap and Peter Washington:

- Willie Jones III in some grainy black and white footage from a recent hit of his at New York's Smoke:

- Greg Hutchinson jams with Dave Douglas and Reuben Rogers:

- Okay keep your eyes and ears on this young lad in the years to come:

Yikes! Has Tony returned? Needless to say, I'm very impressed...

- What am I listening to these days?

Alan Jones "Spirits" - Alan Jones (drums)

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

Francois Theberge "The Medium Band" - Alan Jones (drums)

Morgan Childs Quartet "On The Street of Dreams" - Morgan Childs (drums)

Alan Jones Sextet "Storyline" - Alan Jones (drums)

Pedro Martinez "Rumbos de la Rumba" - Pedro Martinez (congas)

Curtis Nowosad "Dialectics" - Curtis Nowosad (drums)

- And today's Last Word goes to the great Jabali Billy Hart (who I recently heard in Banff, AB earlier this summer):

"Love is the highest form of intelligence in the Universe." - Billy Hart

Alright, that's all for today. Thanks again for sticking around and see you all again real soon.