Taye Unveils New BeBop Kit in Classic Walnut Finish

This makes me drool. Taye’s unveiling a new finish for their BeBop kits. This classic walnut finish is seriously mouth-watering. Maybe it’s because I’ve been playing and listening to a lot of jazz recently, but my favorite part of this kit besides the finish is the 18″x14″ kick drum. Looks marvelous. Bet it sounds great too! Always been impressed with how Taye’s kits sound. They do great work.


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All About Jazz – Three Views of Peter Erskine

The folks over at All About Jazz have posted up a good mix of three Erskine clips.

Source: All About Jazz

The first clip shows Erskine playing a more-or-less free form drum solo. It was recorded in 2004 at the Percussive Arts Society International Convention (PASIC). The second video, down below, features the drummer in a trio with guitarist John Abercrombie and bassist Marc Johnson, recorded at NYC’s Village Vanguard. Lastly, the third clip provides a glimpse of Erskine the teacher, as he demonstrates a New Orleans-style groove and solo.


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Blue Note Seven On Tour

As mentioned on last week’s show, The Blue Note Seven, featuring drummer Lewis Nash, is on tour right now commemorating 70 years of the record label’s groundbreaking history. They swung through Memphis this past weekend, but I don’t think any of the cast was able to make it to the show. However, my teacher was planning on going, so I’ll see what I can find out from him and relay the report on this week’s podcast. In the meantime check out this cool stuff on Blue Note’s site about the group and what they’re about. Also hit up the tour dates to see if they’re coming near you. Even though I missed them this weekend, I can guarantee you won’t want to miss this.


All About Jazz Interviews Jeff “Tain” Watts

Source: All About Jazz

All About Jazz: Let’s start with what everybody wants to know. How did you get the nickname “Tain”?

Jeff “Tain” Watts: Oh, Lord [laughing]. [Pianist] Kenny Kirkland gave me the name. I was playing with Wynton around 1983 and we were driving from West Palm Beach to Miami and Kenny passed a gas station called Chieftain Gas with a symbol of an Indian with a headdress and he said, “Chief Tain, you’re going to be Jeff ‘Tain,'” and I said, “No I’m not,” but then I could not avoid it.

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Ed Soph Masterclass

9:51 Waiting for the clinic to start. Ed just came out and swapped his ride with a huge Connie. There are quite a few people in the ballroom.

10:01 No start yet. I think Ed left the room. The place is packed now.

10:03 Intro guy. Talking about some if Ed’s famous students.

10:04 Ed plus band take the stage. Ed does thank yous. It’s a piano, bass, drums trio. NT guys. Stephan Carlson (pno) and Fred Hamilton (bass). Clinic is going to be about improvising and accompanying in a jazz rhythm section. Will be using “All the Things You Are.”

10:08 Opening performance. Really out there and interactive. Go real laying down of time. Almost like a group improv. The kit sounds fantastic. The Connies are singing. Down section and sparse, pointillistic cymbal accents. Moments if straight ahead sections. Ed’s grip looks tight. He looks to be muscling every ride stroke. Delicate ending.

10:15 Ed: Now we’re going to start where it came from. Here’s the real book version. (Band plays super square version. Bass is particularly bad.) Cocktails anyone? (laughter). Read more

Vater Unveils Jazz Sticks

Source: Harmony Central

The new Legends of Jazz Series features stick models from master Jazz drummers Jimmy Cobb, Chico Hamilton and Charli Persip. With over 1,000 albums recorded between them, Cobb, Hamilton and Persip are musical legends. Each model was designed to meet their individual sound and feel preferences.

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Lenny White Interview at AllAboutJazz.com

Source: AllAboutJazz.com

AAJ: Are you still planning a documentary on the history of fusion in jazz?

LW: Yes, that is my intention. I’m compiling interviews, viewpoints, footage. I want to start with Miles and Bitches Brew and go from there.

AAJ: Any plans after the RTF tour?

LW: I plan on recording a new project of my own to be released maybe next year or sooner depending on whether I can finish it in time. I also have a few pop projects I’d like to try to get out. I’m renovating my laboratory so that’s going to take some time. And I’m just going to take some time to breathe…

AAJ: Any words of advice for other innovative artists compelled to search new forms and ideas?

LW: Like the Nike ad…Just Do It.

Click here to read the full interview …

An Essay by John Densmore (of The Doors)

Source: LA Times

THE GREAT jazz drummer Elvin Jones carried on a constant musical conversation with John Coltrane. It inspired me to have that kind of dialogue with Jim Morrison. Not that I was in Elvin’s league, but his courage gave me the “huevos” to stop the steady rhythm on the Doors’ “When the Music’s Over,” and just jab at my kit during Jim’s rap about “What have they done to the Earth, what have they done to our fair sister, rip her and bit her, stuck her with knives in the side of the dawn, and dragged her down.”

As a teenager, I saw Elvin play many times at these “sacred gin joints” (jazz clubs) in Los Angeles. I was too young to make the Central Avenue scene, but I knew it was much more than a major thoroughfare.

On an off night from the Orbit, a Santa Monica bar gig I got with my very lame fake ID from Tijuana, I stumbled into the Renaissance Club on the Sunset Strip, where Lenny Bruce had performed. It was my first time in a jazz club, and I was ushered to a table in the back behind a pole. I was one of very few white people in the place, and the Renaissance Club was intimidatingly cool. It had an attitude. I hadn’t cultivated one yet.

Read the Full Essay …

Here’s a cool video of John Densmore on the Dennis Miller Show from 1992.


Return to Forever Back Together and Touring!

Source Return2Forever.com

Return to Forever’s classic lineup of keyboardist Chick Corea, bassist Stanley Clarke, guitarist Al Di Meola and drummer Lenny White have announced a tour that will represent their first extensive engagements together in 30 years.

The foursome will play more than 50 dates across North America and Europe, featuring primarily classic music from their chart-topping albums. Beginning in Austin, Texas, on May 29th, the legendary supergroup will swing across the U.S. and Canada in June, cross the Atlantic for July dates in Europe from Lithuania to London, then return to the States for an East Coast run of major venues.

This is huge news indeed. If they come near your town, you need to check this out!

Scientists Prove that Jazz Players Don’t Think – They Just Play

Scientists at John Hopkins University in Maryland have studied the brain of jazz musicians and have concluded that when “engaged in the highly creative and spontaneous activity known as improvisation,” the portion of the brain that actively monitors the performance shuts down.

The large portion responsible for monitoring one’s performance (dorsolateral prefrontal cortex) shuts down completely during improvisation, while the much smaller, centrally located region at the foremost part of the brain (medial prefrontal cortex) increases in activity Read more

Zildjian Signs Jazz Drummer, Rodney Green, as Endorsee

Source: Zildjian.com

On Tuesday, January 29th, 2008, Rodney Green visited the Zildjian Factory at the invitation of John DeChristopher, Zildjian’s Vice President, Artist Relations & Event Marketing Worldwide, and worked with Paul Francis, Zildjian’s Research & Design/Quality Manager, to ultimately select his Zildjian cymbal set up, consisting of a 22″ K Custom Dry Complex Prototype Ride, a 20″ K Prototype Ride and HiHats comprised of a 14″ K Constantinople Top HiHat and 14″ A Zildjian New Beat Bottom. Rodney is now playing Zildjian Cymbals exclusively. Read more

Gear review – Ed Thigpen’s Brushup Pad

Brusup Pad

This is the Brushup pad by Remo and Ed Thigpen (well, at least his name is on it…) As the name implies, this is a practice pad that is designed for being played with brushes. Some of the first things that I noticed is that this pad has a hoop just like a regular drum would. This is a huge plus in my opinion because you can do anything that you can do on a regular drum, and advanced brush technique often involves making using the rim. At 14 inches in diameter it’s the same size as most snare drums and unlike most practice pads, it’s round. Read more

DVD review – Billy Ward’s Voices In My Head


Billy Ward follows up “Big Time” with “Voices In My Head.” I’ve gotta give Billy props right here right now. I thought big time was an odd title for a drum instructional but he surpassed himself with this one. Never in a million years would I have thought “voices in my head… sounds like a drum vid.

“That’s enough slamming on the title, so lets get to it!

I gotta say that if you own Big Time, some of this stuff is going to seem like an refresher course. He might have wanted to make the assumption that you hadn’t seen Big Time so he rehashed some of the same stuff. On the other hand, on some of the old stuff he goes over you’ll probably think “why didn’t he explain it this well in Big Time?” I kinda wish that there wasn’t so much overlap between the two dvds. There’s a few too many “I already know this” moments. That being said, even with the rehash factor, it’s still very very good. Read more

Drummer Talk 09/28/2007 – Composition/Jason Graves Interview

It’s a whacky show as we talk about composition today. Milt Jackson is the “drummer” of the week and we talk about the Single Drag Tap.

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