Friday, February 19, 2010

Recommended for your iPod/MP3 player - Part 1

Regardless of the type of music you play (or even normally listen to), it all sprang from jazz and the music that came before jazz to create that amazing American art form. If you are a drummer, some of the jazz drumming greats and the music they played will give you fresh ideas about grooves, solos, and the structure of some great music that came before you. Here are my recommendations, and why:

Art Blakey - Art and his Jazz Messengers not only showcased Art's amazing and influential drumming, but Art's group was an incubator of musicians who went on to form their own successful groups and continue the evolution of jazz.

Max Roach - while the father of bebop drumming was Kenny Clarke (affectionately called "Klook"), Max Roach took Kenny's ideas and techniques and significantly advanced them. His playing continues to influence drummers to this day.

Dave Brubeck Quartet - Joe Morello, the drummer, is one of the few jazz drummers who is readily recognized, especially when "Take Five" is played (and it still gets a lot of airtime over a half century since it was first released). More about Joe on his web site, as well as in this post of recommended practice materials.

Tony Williams - Child prodigy who started with Miles Davis at the tender age of 16, Tony spent the rest of his [all too short] life taking jazz and drumming to heights that have influenced drummers from all genres of music. His ride cymbal patterns are simply amazing and his playing inspiring.

Philly Joe Jones - Another major influence and a character in his own right, Philly Joe was the drummer to emulate - and many did until they found their own sound. Philly Joe toured as a fill-in drummer for Buddy Rich, as well as played on countless recordings with the best musicians of his day. Listening to his drumming is an education, and hearing it in the context of the music is like getting a post graduate degree.

Roy Haynes - Roy's long music career spans pre-bebop, a stint with Charlie Parker, and just about every major musician to this day. He has a very unique sound, both from his playing and how he tunes his drums, and is one of the few of the old masters remaining.

I'll continue my recommendations in a new post later today. For now, if you aren't familiar with any of the musicians or their work, go exploring, listen to some sound clips (or look them up on Youtube), and start filling your player.

No comments: