Jazz Drumming Demystified, Part 2 is ready in the online version of the newest Drums Etc. magazine. In this article we’ll discuss how applying a few exercises to Ted Reed’s, Syncopation for the Modern Drummer, will help build your jazz vocabulary on the drums. This book is full of syncopated phrases that have been played by all of the great jazz drummers from one time or another. Once you know how to swing, these exercises will give you the language to keep the conversation going with interesting things to say. Check it out here:
Joel Miller’s newest album, Swim, has been nominated for Contemporary Jazz Album of the Year at this years Juno Awards. Although I didn’t play on the album (New York great Greg Ritchie filled the chair), Joel asked me to fly out with him for a set of his amazing music in the showcase. This will be my first time at the Junos, so I’m super excited to be attending and honoured to have been asked by Joel. Regina, here we come!
But, there is a great album that I did play on that has made it to the Junos as well. Children’s singer, Jennifer Gasoi has been nominated for Children’s Album of the Year with her newest album, Throw a Penny in the Wishing Well. A fantastic album for young and old alike. We covered pretty much every style, mood, and feel imaginable in the 14 tune follow-up to her first album, Songs for You. Jennifer and I won’t be playing together at the awards, but I’m sure we’ll get together for a drink or two. Congratulations to both of these amazing artists!
Off to the studio in a couple of days with the Carlos Jimenez trio! I’m very excited to be part of this project with Carlos on guitar and Fraser Hollins on bass. We’ll be playing some original music, as well as a selection of standards from both the jazz and Brazilian worlds. Here’s a clip from a recent concert in Tanna Schulich Hall. Enjoy!
My first published article can be found in the newest issue of Drums Etc.! “Jazz Drumming Demystified, Part 1” deals with the basic concepts to make any drummer think like a jazz drummer. I switch musical gears constantly in my everyday life, so even I have to remind myself of the important parts of playing jazz from time to time. The entire magazine is filled with great educational articles from Aaron Edgar, Franck Camus, and David Kronkite. The online version can be found here. Check it out!
Here’s an interesting view from behind my kit during the recording of “Amorcage Aleatoire” with Random Masters. Actually, come to think of it, my head is stuck in the chart the entire time, so it’s a bit boring, but I’ll share the video (and lead sheet) with you below and you’ll see why I couldn’t bear to look away! This is the actual take that made it on the album, so I just took the audio and lined it up with the drum video from my booth.
Alto sax player and composer, Remi Bolduc, came up with idea for this project. Randomly selecting various meters, bar by bar, and writing tunes around them. In every tune you’ll find 3/8, 7/4, 3/4, 11/8, and so on and so forth one after another. This constantly changing meter was quite a challenge for the entire band of course, and I had to find a way to weave through everything to make it sound like music! The tunes are great, the melodies are strong, but “settling” on a groove that was always changing was super hard, to say the least.
So, in this tune we play the head, Remi solos on the form a few times, Rafael Zaldivar (piano) goes through the form once, then vamps over the last 3 bars at the end (7/4). We take the head out, and I solo over the last 4 bars of the tune (3/8 and 7/4) to the end. The lead sheet is available at the bottom of the post so you can follow along. You can check out the rest of the album on itunes under Remi Bolduc Random Masters. Go to the Drum Class Community if you have any questions. Enjoy!