Four On The Floor is an active music blog dedicated to "Jazz drumming and all things unrelated". Founded during the spring of 2009 as a means to procrastinate while preparing for his doctoral candidacy exam, this blog is maintained by Canadian Jazz drummer and educator Jon McCaslin.
- From Drummer Nation, an interview with Michael Carvin:
Drummer Nation Show #52, "I'll Introduce You to Yourself." Guest: Michael Carvin - YouTube
- A sneak peek of an upcoming trio album featuring Brian Blade, Jeff Coffin and Chris Donahue:
Jeff Coffin, Brian Blade, Chris Donohue for Global Genius Productions - YouTube
- Marcus Gilmore goes for it with Chick Corea:
Marcus Gilmore Drum Solo - YouTube
- What am I listening to these days?
Geof Bradfield "Birdsongs" - Dana Hall (drums)
Clark Sommers Trio "BaSH" - Dana Hall (drums)
Barry Elmes "Dog's Breakfast" - Barry Elmes (drums)
Phil Stewart "Melodious Drums" - Phil Stewart (drums)
Rodney Jordan "Playing Jazz, Volume 1" - Jason Marsalis (drums)
David Friesen "Four to Go" - Alan Jones (drums)
Nat Adderley "In the Bag" - James Black (drums)
Bud Powell "Off Minor" - Kenny Clarke (drums)
- And today's Final Word goes to Joseph Campbell with some sage advice for all those who are looking to get some practicing done:
"You must have a room, or a certain hour or so a day, where you don’t know what was in the newspapers that morning, you don’t know who your friends are, you don’t know what you owe anybody, you don’t know what anybody owes to you. This is a place where you can simply experience and bring forth what you are and what you might be. This is the place of creative incubation. At first you may find that nothing happens there. But if you have a sacred place and use it, something eventually will happen."
Not at that long ago (in the last ten years anyways...), Bob Gullotti was a big help towards my own doctoral research through the University of Toronto (much more than he likely realizes!) In examining the notion of Melodic Jazz Drumming (found here: https://tspace.library.utoronto.ca/handle/1807/69408) I recalled an obscure article from a long out-of-print Jazz education magazine that I first discovered in the McGill University Library in which Gullotti described using the solo phrases from the Charlie Parker Omnibook to develop solo vocabulary on the drum set. This intrigued me then (late 90s?) and this idea not only left an impression on me as a Jazz drummer but also prompted me to reach out and interview Gullotti on this specific topic several years later.
We never met in person however we did speak at length over the phone and his description and explanation of his use of Bird's "melodies" and how to orchestrate them around the drums was a big help in my research. In fact, I somehow think of this and all the possibilities of Melodic Drumming in some way or another every time that I sit down to play and teach at the drums.
So here's an example of Gullotti demonstrating this very concept, on the Charlie Parker tune Chi Chi:
Bob Gullotti Playing Bird. - YouTube
As you can see and hear, Bird's idea lend themselves very well to orchestration around the drum set.
Bob is also a founding member of the long standing Boston trio The Fringe with tenor saxophonist George Garzone and bassist John Lockwood. Be sure to check these guys out if you ever find yourself in Boston.
The Fringe Jazz Trio Celebrating 39 years LIVE - YouTube
Here's a 2012 article from NPR on the legacy of this very important trio:
A bit of a visit down memory lane for me today....here's some amazing footage of Max Roach and Dizzy Gillespie from their 1989 duo concert in Paris, France.
I first bought this album 25 years ago (!) while on a high school band trip to Moscow, Idaho, attending the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival. Up until that moment I had only started to check out Max, mostly his work with Charlie Parker, Clifford Brown and Sonny Rollins. So, for a number of reasons, this album really knocked me out...
First of all, I was amazed that so much music could be made from just two musicians on stage together. Entertaining the possibility of improvised duets with other musicians now offered me a world of possibility and the sky was now the limit. I had no idea that you could do that as a drummer! Soon after I would discover the Don Cherry/Ed Blackwell ECM record "El Corazon" (thanks to the Regina Public Library) and the rest, as they say, is history...
But in retrospect what really impressed me (and still does) is how personal Roach delivers his vocabulary and rhythmic ideas on the drums. He really OWNS every phrase that he plays. Of course, this only comes from a lifetime of playing and developing ones ideas time after time again. Not only did Roach invent a new language of Jazz drumming that set the bar very high and inspired countless others, but he perfected it in a highly personal way over the course of his entire career. By the time of this recording I don't think Roach was really searching for new things to play on the drums (I could be wrong...) but instead he focused on refining and delivering his time-tested ideas in very clever ways, arranged in very clear and musical statements.
Fortunately for us/me, the video footage of the concert exists:
Dizzy Gilespe and Max Roach - LIVE DRUM SOLO ! 1of2 - YouTube
Dizzy Gilespe and Max Roach EPIC DRUM SOLO - LIVE ! 2of2 - YouTube
And here's the full audio/CD version of the concert:
MAX+DIZZY - Paris 1989 (full album) - YouTube
*Be sure to check out the audio up until the very end as there is an extensive interview with both Roach and Gillespie.
And....we're back. Thanks to Chad Anderson who hipped me to this wonderful audio recording of the great Alvin Fielder with Steve Coleman and Graham Haynes, playing on some classic Charlie Parker music:
Twenty five years ago today (January 1993), I met Max Roach at the IAJE Conference in San Antonio, Texas. I was only 15 years old at the time but I had already started listening to Max through his collaborations with Clifford Brown. I was hooked from the very first note but after meeting Mr. Roach, shaking his hand and him graciously offering me an autograph I can safely say that my fate was sealed that morning!
Happy New Year's! And what better way to ring in 2018 than with some inspiring solo drumming from Joey Baron:
Joey Baron Solo Set @ Buenos Aires Jazz.17 (Fragmento) - YouTube
While Baron is certainly a masterful, imaginative and inventive soloist by himself, here's also a nice reminder of his impeccable skills as an accompanist, featured here with Mark Turner on tenor saxophone and Jorge Rossy on vibraphone (!) on a composition entitled "Aloysius" (dedicated to Al Foster perhaps?):
Rossy Vibes Quintet "Aloysius" - Recoletos Jazz Club- - YouTube
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