Top Ten Four on The Floor Moments of 2010


Everybody on the blogosphere seems to be coming up with their own top ten lists for whatever they fancy for 2010. The guys at NPR's A Blog Supreme went all out and inspired me to come up with my own list. Check out their picks here.

So here's my top ten list of my various highlights from the past year and in no particular order.

(cue drum roll...)

Top Ten Four on The Floor Moments of 2010

1) Hanging with Patrick Boyle, Greg Sinibaldi, Peter Apfelbaum, Dafnis Prieto, Uri Caine and Phil Dwyer (and all the other participants!) at the inaugural TD Jazz & Creative Residency held at the Banff Centre last winter. I spent four great weeks up at the Banff Centre with the first two playing with these fine musicians and the second half spent locked in a practice room playing the vibraphone...

2) My beloved Saskatchewan Roughriders battled adversity and made it to the Grey Cup for the second year in a row only to lose the big one AGAIN to the Montreal Alouettes. At least they could count to 12 this time. Next year...But at least we beat Calgary again!!! Eat it Burris...

3) Here's my favorite YouTube.com clips of the year:









*Sorry, the post of the actress portraying Helen Keller falling off the stage wouldn't embed:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZJtEzAW9WSw

4) Best gig of the year: the Renee Rosnes Quartet at Vancouver's premier Jazz club, The Cellar. Easily one of the best hits I've seen lately with Rosnes on piano joined by Steve Nelson on vibraphone, Peter Washington on bass and the masterful Lewis Nash on drums, this was a fine display of contemporary straight ahead Jazz at its best.

You can get a taste of the same band from their hit at the Village Vanguard here.

5) PASIC 2010 did not disappoint for the second year in a row. Again, I came away from this conference inspired, motivated and full of new percussive things to practice and to think about. Matt Wilson's drum set clinic on "allowing" the music to happen and how to bring out the best of those around you was my pick for the best clinic of the conference. Zildjian also had many fine new cymbals on display to try and pine over...so many cymbals, so little time.

6) Most memorable new album of 2010:

I've really been enjoying Mark McLean's debut album "Playground" quite a bit these days since it's release this past summer.

Kelly Jefferson's latest release "Next Exit" (that features a similar lineup) is also worth a serious listen.

7) Best show(s) from the nightly Small's live video feed: A four way tie!

-Ari Hoenig Duo & harpist Edmar Castaneda

-Ari Hoenig Trio with Chris Potter & Joel Frahm on dueling saxophones

-Tim Ries Quintet with Tim Ries & Chris Potter on saxophones, Hungarian pianist Kalman Olah, John Patitucci on bass and Billy Drummond on drums

-Omer Avital Quintet featuring Omer Avital on bass, Jason Lindner on piano, Joel Frahm on tenor saxophone, Avishai Cohen on trumpet and Johnathan Blake on drums

8) My favorite new Jazz/drumming/Jazz drumming DVD's of the year:

-Billy Martin's Life on Drums

-Tommy Igoe's Great Hands for a Lifetime: The Lifetime Warmup

-Icons Among Us: Jazz in The Present Tense

9) Food:

-Best Pizza: Western Pizza (Grant Road location) - Regina, SK (sorry Tilden & Ted...the truth hurts, don't it?)

-Best Burger: The Rex Jazz Club (Toronto, ON) *special mention: Broken City (Calgary, AB)

-Best Beer: *A tie between any cold Big Rock product served after a long day of teaching at the Prarirelands Summer Jazz Workshop and Bushwakkers Brew Pub (both in Regina, SK)

-Best Thai: Bangkoknoi (Calgary, AB)

-Best Weekend Brunch: AKA Wine Bar & Bistro (Calgary, AB)

-Best Breakfast/Lunch/Supper Buffet: Vistas Dining Room, The Banff Centre (Banff, AB)

-Best Italian: Il Cerreto (Tuscany, Italia)

10) Best clip of 2010 forwarded to me from Toronto Jazz drummer Bob McLaren:



I'd like to leave you all with an inspiring quote from drummer/educator Jim Blackley (Canada's Alan Dawson) taken from my previous post:

"Artistry is not an accident. Artistry is not built on ignorance. Artistry is built on wisdom..."

Thanks again for visiting Four on The Floor and for your continued support.

Drive safe and see you all in 2011.

The Topmost Apple: Marke this songe for it is trewe: A caroll of .

For Holy Innocents, December 28 (moved this class to the 29th).Alas, no audio - would wish to see what it sounds like.But the language at least:Marke this songe for it is trewe For it is trewe as clerkes tell. In olde tyme straung thyngs cam to pas Grete wonder and grete meruayll was In Israell. There was one Octauyan Octauyan of Rome Emperour. As bokes olde doth specyfye Of all the wyde worlde trulye. He was lorde and gouernour.

The Jewes that tyme lackyd a kyng They lackyd a kyng to gyde them well The Emperour of force and myght Chose one Herode agaynst all ryght In Israell. This Herode than was kyng of Jewys Was kynge of Jewys and he no Jewe For so the he was a panym borne Wherfore on fayth it may be sworne He reygned kynge vntrewe. By prophesye one Isay One Isay, at lest dyd tell A chylde sholde come wonderous newys e shold be borne trewe kyng of Jewys In Israell. This Herode knew one borne shold be One borne sholde be of trewe lenage That sholde be ryght herytour For he but by the Emperour Was made by vsurpage Wherfore of throught this kynge Herode This kynge Herode in grete fere fell For all the days most in his myrth Euer he fered Chrystes byrth In Israell. The tyme came it pleased god It pleased god so get to pas For mannes soule in dede His blyssed sone was borne wyth spede As his wyll was Tydynges came to kynke Herode To kynge Herode, and dyd hym tell That one borne forsoth is he Which lorde and kynge of all shall be In Israell. Herode than raged as he were woode As he were wode of this tydynge And sent for all his scrybes sure Yet wolde he not trust the scrypture Nor of theyr councellynge. Than this was the conclusyon The conclusyon of his councell To sende vnto his knyghtes anone To sle the chylderne euerychone In Israell. This cruell kynge this tyranny This tyranny dyd put in vre Bytwene a day and yeres too All men chylderne he dyd sloo Of Cryst for to be sure. Yet Herode myssed his cruell pray His cruell pray as was goddes wyll Joseph with Mary than dyd fle With Chryst to Egypt gone was she In Israell. All this whyle this tyrantes This tyrantes wolde not conuert But innocentes yonge That lay sokynge They thryst to the herte. This Herode sought the chyldren This chyldren yonge, with corage fell But in doynge thys vengeaunce His owne sone was slayne by chaunce In Israell. Alas I thynke the moders were wo The moders were wo it was grete skyl What motherly payne To se them slayne In cradels lyeng styll: But god hymn selfe hath theym electe Hath theym electe, in heuyn to dwell. For they were bathed in theyr blode For theyr baptym forsoth it stode In Israell. Alas agayne what hartes had they What harts had they those babes kyll With swerdes whan they hym caught In cradels they lay and laught And neuer thought yll. Finis. Source: William Sandys, Christmas Carols Ancient and Modern (London: Richard Beckley, 1833). From notes on this page (where you can see a more modern set of English words):Note: This is one of many songs which link to the Holy Innocents, whose feast day is December 28. For more, please see The Hymns Of The Holy Innocents.Husk's Note: This Carol was printed in a book bearing the style of "Christmas carolles newly Inprinted. [Woodcut of Our Saviour crucified between two thieves.] Imprinted at London in the Powltry, by Richard Kele, dwelling a the longe shope undere sayne Myldredes Chyrch," which was probably published between the years 1546 and 1552, during which time Kele lived at the Long shop in the Poultry, and at the house of the Eagle near unto Stocks Market in Lombard Street. Seven of the carols contained in Kele's publication were included by the late Dr. Bliss in a small volume of Bibliographical Miscellanies which he printed in 1813, and from this volume, (which is now very scarce, the picture having been modified to 104 copies, the present copy is taken. The fate of Herod's own child being slain in the slaughter was believed for centuries. How or when the tradition arose is uncertain, but the condition is mentioned by Macrobius, who wrote inn the fifth century, in association with a humour of the Emperor Augustus Caesar, who, on hearing the report, said, it was best to be Herod's pig than his son; in allusion to Herod's position as King of the Jews. In "The trades of Chester at Whitsuntide, one of Herod's soldiers kills a child in the arms of a woman, who tells him it is the king's son, who had been placed at nurse with her. She rushes to Herod and acquaints him of the murder, on hearing of which he rages, becomes made, and dies; and a demon comes and carries him into the range of torment. Editor's Note: Kele's carols were also reprinted in Edward Bliss Reed's Christmas Carols Printed In The Sixteenth Century (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1932).

chantblog: Marke this songe for it is trewe: A caroll of the .

Marke this songe for it is trewe:A caroll of the Innocentes
For Holy Innocents, December 28 (moved this class to the 29th).Alas, no audio - would wish to see what it sounds like.But the language at least:Marke this songe for it is trewe For it is trewe as clerkes tell. In olde tyme straung thyngs cam to pas Grete wonder and grete meruayll was In Israell. There was one Octauyan Octauyan of Rome Emperour.

As bokes olde doth specyfye Of all the wyde worlde trulye. He was lorde and gouernour. The Jewes that tyme lackyd a kyng They lackyd a kyng to gyde them well The Emperour of force and myght Chose one Herode agaynst all ryght In Israell. This Herode than was kyng of Jewys Was kynge of Jewys and he no Jewe For so the he was a panym borne Wherfore on fayth it may be sworne He reygned kynge vntrewe. By prophesye one Isay One Isay, at lest dyd tell A chylde sholde come wonderous newys e shold be borne trewe kyng of Jewys In Israell. This Herode knew one borne shold be One borne sholde be of trewe lenage That sholde be ryght herytour For he but by the Emperour Was made by vsurpage Wherfore of throught this kynge Herode This kynge Herode in grete fere fell For all the years most in his myrth Euer he fered Chrystes byrth In Israell. The tyme came it pleased god It pleased god so get to pas For mannes soule in dede His blyssed sone was borne wyth spede As his wyll was Tydynges came to kynke Herode To kynge Herode, and dyd hym tell That one borne forsoth is he Which lorde and kynge of all shall be In Israell. Herode than raged as he were woode As he were wode of this tydynge And sent for all his scrybes sure Yet wolde he not desire the scrypture Nor of theyr councellynge. Than this was the conclusyon The conclusyon of his councell To sende vnto his knyghtes anone To sle the chylderne euerychone In Israell. This cruell kynge this tyranny This tyranny dyd put in vre Bytwene a day and yeres too All men chylderne he dyd sloo Of Cryst for to be sure. Yet Herode myssed his cruell pray His cruell pray as was goddes wyll Joseph with Mary than dyd fle With Chryst to Egypt gone was she In Israell. All this whyle this tyrantes This tyrantes wolde not conuert But innocentes yonge That lay sokynge They thryst to the herte. This Herode sought the chyldren This chyldren yonge, with corage fell But in doynge thys vengeaunce His owne sone was slayne by chaunce In Israell. Alas I thynke the moders were wo The moders were wo it was grete skyl What motherly payne To se them slayne In cradels lyeng styll: But god hymn selfe hath theym electe Hath theym electe, in heuyn to dwell. For they were bathed in theyr blode For theyr baptym forsoth it stode In Israell. Alas agayne what hartes had they What harts had they those babes kyll With swerdes whan they hym caught In cradels they lay and laught And neuer thought yll. Finis. Source: William Sandys, Christmas Carols Ancient and Modern (London: Richard Beckley, 1833). From notes on this page (where you can see a more modern set of English words):Note: This is one of many songs which link to the Holy Innocents, whose feast day is December 28. For more, please see The Hymns Of The Holy Innocents.Husk's Note: This Carol was printed in a book bearing the style of "Christmas carolles newly Inprinted. [Woodcut of Our Saviour crucified between two thieves.] Imprinted at London in the Powltry, by Richard Kele, dwelling a the longe shope undere sayne Myldredes Chyrch," which was probably published between the years 1546 and 1552, during which time Kele lived at the Long grass in the Poultry, and at the house of the Eagle near unto Stocks Market in Lombard Street. Seven of the carols contained in Kele's publication were included by the former Dr. Bliss in a little mass of Bibliographical Miscellanies which he printed in 1813, and from this volume, (which is now very scarce, the picture having been modified to 104 copies, the present copy is taken. The destiny of Herod's own child being slain in the slaughter was believed for centuries. How or when the custom arose is uncertain, but the setting is mentioned by Macrobius, who wrote inn the 5th century, in association with a humour of the Emperor Augustus Caesar, who, on hearing the report, said, it was best to be Herod's pig than his son; in allusion to Herod's position as King of the Jews. In "The trades of Chester at Whitsuntide, one of Herod's soldiers kills a kid in the blazon of a woman, who tells him it is the king's son, who had been located at nurse with her. She rushes to Herod and acquaints him of the murder, on hearing of which he rages, becomes made, and dies; and a demon comes and carries him into the home of torment. Editor's Note: Kele's carols were also reprinted in Edward Bliss Reed's Christmas Carols Printed In The Sixteenth Century (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1932).

The Most Overlooked Tracks of !010: Discodeine Featuring Jarvis .

Scissor-Sisters-Night-Work.jpgOur look back at all things 2010 continues this week as we highlight some of the year's most overlooked tracks. In this edition: club anthems.

Discodeine Featuring Jarvis Cocker, "Synchronize" (from the Synchronize 12") DFA sorta just snuck this collaboration between the French DJ duo and everyone's favorite pop sociologist out there in 2010, and it more or less slipped by unnoticed.

ranted, slipping by unnoticed is a favored songwriting tendency for Cocker, and amidst the syrupy disco strings and pulsating house piano of "Synchronize," he offers one of his uniquely sly thick descriptions-this sentence around the interpersonal machinations that go unseen on dancefloors. That's why Jarvis is here, and that's why we know him: he leans against the wall sipping a drink, noting his subjects writhing away to "organized noise," oblivious to each other at first. That's until one of them times their move just right, with the music, the beat, and the question of that other person-if you haven't been lucky enough to really do it, you've dreamed you could-and so suddenly, your heart starts beating in time with the drums. Jarvis: he slips out and grabs a cab.

Mark E. "You (Full Vocal Mix)" (from the Get Yourself Together 12") Diana Ross's 1978 single "You Were the One" is transcendent like so many of her legendary disco tracks. 32 years later, we note that it's got two key shortcomings: first, it's about 4 minutes too short.Second, she gets to the chorus waaaaaaay too soon.Birmingham-based house DJ Mark E. has thankfully rectified these heretofore unseen problems with this course on which, let's say, he lets the beat build.We don't hear Lady D until four-and-a-half minutes in, and still that appearance only comprises some rolling, repetitive vocables at first. We've been fascinated by his slow build, so it's okay. But no one's ready for the way he revs up the track's second half until the whole thing just explodes in joy at its conclusion, when we eventually get to that chorus we've been teasing ourselves with for so long. I've only danced to this strain on headphones so far in 2010, but I get a certain kind of thrill imagining the absolute destruction "You" can play on an actual dancefloor.

Scissor Sisters, "Invisible Light" (from Night Work) Jake Shears and co. buried the best song on Night Work at the end of the show with 2010's most telltale cover art. It makes sense when you mind to it-this matter is designed to just annihilate everything that comes after it. "Invisible Light" is, plain and simple, 2010's most indulgent, dramatic, lavish, and just plain weird dance anthem-the form of matter around which Weekend Update's Stefon could craft an entire exegesis. It pulls from the usual realms-Shears vacillates deliriously between a Neil Tennant-delivered monologue on the verses and Barry Gibb's honeyed yelp on the chorus-and adds only the right style of Animotion's classic "Obsession" for full measure, but that's only part of its thrill. Every moment of this monster just drips epic, like those big budget Frankie Goes to Hollywood camp classics that early MTV had to play, but had no thought how to decode. Open up your joy and the sailors climb the walls-fucking Gandalf is in the building.

Previously:The Most Overlooked Tracks of 2010: El Debarge Featuring Fabolous, Quadron, Travie McCoy Featuring Cee-LoThe Most Overlooked Tracks of 2010: Disappears, Future Islands, Luna Is HoneyThe Most Overlooked Tracks of 2010: Benoit Piolard, Groove Armada featuring Jess Larabee, Holly MirandaThe Most Overlooked Tracks of 2010: The Bad Plus, CocoRosie, Parenthetical GirlsThe Most Overlooked Tracks of 2010: Alley Boy and Young Dro, Trae, Husalah, and More

Oregon - 45th Parallel

Oregon bothers jazz people because a) they're difficult to categorize, and b) they radiate endlessly cheerful vibes bordering on vacuous new age while maintaining a sharp improvisational edge. So goes this high-profile appearance on Columbia's spinoff label, which sometimes stays within the bounds of post-bop jazz yet is more likely to go veering off in contemplative folk-like, Asiatic, Spanish, or even neo-classical directions. Ralph Towner handles both the piano and various guitars and synthesizers with equal facility, while Paul McCandless' reed work evokes the pure white light of Paul Winter; Glen Moore continues to man the bass; Trilok Gurtu alternates between tabla and traps; and Nancy King checks in with a bout of eccentric scatting on "Chihuahua Dreams." This is intriguing, free-thinking stuff, always intelligent, evidently durable, yet the music misses the spark of true inspiration that could have made it memorable. - by Richard S. Ginell, AMG

Artist: Oregon
Album: 45th Parallel
Year: 1988
Quality: eac-flac, cue, log, artw.
Label: veraBra (1990)
Runtime: 48:37

Tracks:
1.  Pageant (Ralph Towner) 6:23
2.  Hand in Hand (Ralph Towner) 5:58
3.  King Font (Ralph Towner) 5:27
4.  Riding On The D Train (Ralph Towner) 2:28
5.  Beneath An Evening Sky (Ralph Towner) 4:59
6.  Chihuahua Dreams (Glen Moore) 4:58
7.  Urumchi (Paul McCandless) 4:12
8.  Les Douzilles (Ralph Towner) 7:22
9.  Bombay Vice (Trilok Gurtu) 4:53
10.  Pageant (Epilogue) (Ralph Towner) 1:53

Personnel:
Paul McCandless (Piccolo and Soprano Saxophone, Oboe, English Horn, Bass Clarinet)
Ralph Towner (Piano, Synthesizer, Guitar)
Glen Moore (Double Bass)
Trilok Gurtu (Tabla, Drums, Percussion and Voice)
Nancy King (Vocals) - 6

Interview with Jim Blackley



I came across this excellent interview with Canadian drum educator Jim Blackley via Allan Cox's website (originally published in Modern Drummer magazine). Cox is a fine drummer in his own right from the UK and has produced a very fine play-a-long CD entitled "Meet The Bass Player" that you can find here. During my time studying with Terry Clarke in Toronto, Terry gave a me a copy of this recording (he got it from Jim) and insisted that I spend time playing along to the extremely slow tempos included on it (as well as the fast ones - the whole CD is quite a worthwhile workout!) Terry was also a student of Jim Blackley's as have been many of Canada's leading Jazz drummers. Blackley has undoubtedly had an important influence on Jazz drumming in Canada and his methods and books are really worth checking out. You can learn more about Jim Blackley here.

An Interview with Jim Blackley

Interview by T. Bruce Wittet - Modern Drummer magazine, March 1984.

Interviewing Jim Blackley was a treat…. The talk was smooth, ample and of considerable substance. Most of all, it had heart, which is very important to Jim. He simply refuses to do half a job…. He has traversed continents and musical boundaries, he has sacrificed willingly the material amenities – all in a journey toward a life of honour, proportion, balance and excellence. I left his house clear headed and relaxed, notwithstanding having held off on cigarettes and coffee for several hours…. I’d had my first lesson with Jim Blackley.

Jim is something of a curiosity to many musicians. Billed the “Swinging Scot” during one of his spells in New York, he is well respected by the upper circle of Toronto drummers, many of whom make return visits for chats, repairs and inspiration. While Jim’s system arises from the best of Scottish and American drumming traditions, it is a true method for any instrument. Never before, perhaps, has music been stressed so much at the expense of technique. Jim believes that if you know music – really know music – and can hear it at any tempo and grasp it’s inner logic, you will discover surprising technique. And nobody leaves Blackley’s once a month sessions with any doubt about what it takes to make music….

But don’t rush to buy a ticket to Toronto, Jim’s home. There is a waiting list. It all seems to work out nicely though. Jim is helping others turn craft into art, and he spends his time enriching his musical and spiritual being. Although you’ll seldom see Jim perform in public, let me assure you, the man can play!

Q: Someone once told me that there are certain patterns that you can learn, but never really pull off authentically…. You can practise them and play them, but they never actually become part of you. Do you feel that one can learn to master a style, or is that facility innate?

JB: I think that environment is one of the most important things in development. Music is a language and has to be learned…. If you’ve never heard Spanish spoken, then you’re not going to learn to speak Spanish. If you want to be a jazz drummer and have never heard jazz being played, then you’re just not going to learn to play jazz. You have to expose yourself to the jazz language. The first thing any musician should be taught is the art of listening. It’s excellent if everything starts off in a natural way and you grow up in a home where parents are playing music morning to night, like my kids are. My oldest son Keith is the only one who is a professional drummer, but my other sons Brian and Scott are also excellent musicians.

I don’t approach teaching from the learning of rudiments. Not that there isn’t any value to rudiments, but the important thing you must give the student is direction about understanding structure, listening to chord changes, listening to the bass line, how to play the time and punctuate the phrases – these are the things that the musical player must learn. It has nothing to do with playing the rudiments. I could direct students into being outstanding jazz drummers without ever teaching one rudiment, yet I could cover everything that’s being played in jazz, because everything develops from playing TIME. My whole concept is based on approaching everything from the TIME. All rhythms and figures are first developed as cymbal patterns. Students learn to hear the musical line, played over chord changes, the bass, and the melody line. And then, they learn how to take that single musical line and explore the total drumset…. They are playing musical lines, not rudiments!

The first two things students of jazz have to learn are the 12 bar blues and the 32 bar chorus. Those two things cover a large portion of jazz composition. Listening to singers in order to learn lyrics is another important aspect. When you learn all the tunes through the lyrics, you develop a natural foundation for the form, not an intellectual one. When you’re playing and singing the song, you may not intellectually know where you are, but you just feel where you are. I’m a believer in learning all the bebop heads, and learning to sing them, because if you can’t sing the head from beginning to end, it’s impossible to accent properly.

When students come to study with me, I’ll sit them behind the drums, play a very basic 12 bar blues record, and ask them to play some time. Next, I’ll play something with a 32 bar form and ask them to play to that. Then I will ask if they know where they are in the music? All of them will say “Oh yeah, I hear it….” And I’ll say “Fine”. Then I’ll drop the needle at random on the record and ask them to tell me which bar of the tune they’re on. Eight out of ten cannot tell where they are, they can hear the beginning and the turn around, but they can’t tell whether they’re on the fifth, ninth or eleventh bar. The Jamey Aebersold instruction records have been an invaluable aid for the students because they were designed for professional development. The student gets the opportunity to clearly hear the bass and chord changes.

I can truthfully say that there are very few students who have come to me who don’t have the potential to be first class players. I’m not saying that everyone has it, but everyone has it at different levels. We must be very, very careful at the beginning about assessing the potential of any student. People who have not been exposed to any listening at all are not going to respond when you sit them down behind a set of drums to play with a jazz track. You have to educate their listening habits while you’re fostering their technical habits. If I find that a student is developing a very high technical and musical proficiency, but is not performing, I’ll stop the lessons until that student goes out and does some playing. It’s disastrous for a student to pursue years and years of study without any musical outlet. I know numerous teachers who tell the students to wait four or five years until they get all of their chops together before they go out and play. My philosophy is the opposite: I want the students out playing from the very first lesson. Even if they can only play quarter notes on the cymbal, I want them out playing from the beginning. I tell them that, if they get a call to play while they’re practising, they should throw the books in the garbage, and go out and play!

Q: Do you find that kids who have grown up listening to rock music have a hard time relating to jazz?

JB: I don’t find anything negative about the kids who have grown up playing rock music, I find that it has been an excellent stepping stone for introducing young players to jazz. It gives them the opportunity to perform with other human beings, and that’s what it’s all about. We should be thankful for rock music introducing young people to performance.

Let’s be very frank about it: The artistry needed to be a top flight jazz player overshadows the musicality needed to be a rock player. On the other hand, to me, the most important things to be captured in any aspect of playing are the feeling and the groove. If you can’t get the groove, you may as well stay at home and phone it in. It’s sad, but the majority of drummers just don’t swing. It’s not that they’re not capable of swinging, it’s that they don’t understand the elements of swinging. It’s not too intangible to discuss. There’s been so much nonsense through the years about how you either have it or you don’t, and that no one can teach you to swing. That’s absolute nonsense! Swinging is not an accident, there are definite ingredients in swinging that have to be understood.

First of all, there are far too many drummers playing jazz who are not playing with a jazz feeling – they’re playing with an eighth note feeling, instead of off the triplet. The triplet feel is basic to jazz performance, and the perfect example of that is Elvin Jones. His playing is rooted in the blues. From the first time I heard him, I found his playing so basically simple and so beautiful. The problem is that very few people know how to listen to Elvin Jones. His whole playing is centred off the anticipation of beats 1 and 3. Listen carefully, and you’ll discover this. When you can hear that in his playing, it makes it so simple.

Very soon I will be publishing a book which will explain the essence of jazz drumming through the years (the now acclaimed “Essence of Jazz Drumming”). It will be a whole study of jazz time and jazz rhythm to show how musical lines are developed, and how all the figures come from the time. Any young player interested in playing jazz should investigate the triplet very, very thoroughly, because therein lies the essence of jazz time. One of the biggest faults I hear with many jazz drummers in their playing of the ride cymbal is their accenting of the cymbal on beats 2 and 4. The feeling should be one of 4/4, because the main duty in playing the ride cymbal in this manner is to complement the bass line – the 1,2,3 and 4 of the bar should have equal stress. The hi-hat will stress the 2 and 4 as much as necessary.

Forward motion comes from the quarter notes being played with an even pulsation. The minute you start leaning on 2 and 4, as most books instruct you to do, it will sound like someone walking with a wooden leg. Already I can hear someone saying “Elvin Jones doesn’t play with a feeling of four….”

Ah, Elvin Jones doesn’t play his CYMBAL off that particular concept, but if you listen closely to the embellishments that Elvin does around his cymbal rhythm, you will find that creates a feeling of four and gives it forward momentum. His cymbal, which plays off the anticipation, gives it that feeling of going back, and that’s why Elvin’s time has that wonderful laid back feeling…. The message you get from Elvin depends on which part of his line you are hearing.

One of the most confusing things that we can encounter is a transcription of a drum performance because, when put down on paper, it gives a completely false impression of what’s being played. What you see is a single line, not the totality of what’s being played.

A most difficult aspect of playing is to play a straight ride beat devoid of any accents or variations. Some horn players like the time behind them to be very straight and simple. If you have not developed the control to handle this type of playing it can be very embarrassing. Mastery of this concept will give your playing a solid foundation from which to grow, although this is certainly only one approach to playing time. Jake Hanna is an excellent example to listen to. As I mention often, you have to listen to the right people, and one of them has to be Tony Williams. Tony definitely brought his own sound to the instrument, coupled with outstanding musicality. When it comes to big band playing, I feel that Mel Lewis is one of the top exponents. His ability to play the musical line knocks me out. He understands the difference between the horizontal and the vertical, and hears and responds to consonance and dissonance…. A very musical drummer indeed.

Q: Do you feel that for the time to feel good, it has to be metronomically perfect?

JB: When we are involved in musical performance, there is such a thing as emotional rushing or dragging. This is musically acceptable as long as it’s something that the band feels and does collectively. When only one member is doing it, it becomes a “tug of war”. But if it is stemming from the whole concept of the music and the emotion that’s coming through the music, then it’s beautiful. You’ll find that with some of the great players, ballads will tend to get slower – within reason, of course. When you’re playing a moderate or bright tempo, there is nothing wrong with the time moving up slightly. But when you find performances where they practically double the tempo by the end of the tune, then I don’t consider that musical at all, that’s really just a lack of control.

Q: Do you ever recommend the use of a metronome?

JB: Of course….. I’ve never met anybody yet who couldn’t benefit from the intelligent use of a metronome. But don’t become a slave to it. The metronome should be used to check out your time. What you will find is that you have three or four tempos that you feel very comfortable and natural with. What the metronome is good for is making you play through the other tempos – the “blind” tempos, as I call them – to make yourself persevere and master tempos from one end of the metronome to the other. The hardest thing is playing slow…. The essence of my teaching is built on that premise. I never talk to a student about playing fast. The slower you can learn to play, the happier you’ll make me. You will never be able to play slow enough to satisfy me. The essence is in the space between the notes. Once you can hear the space with confidence you can start to do unbelievable things from within that space, and the up tempos become very easy to play. Naturally, you have to practise playing fast as well, but the emphasis is on playing as slow as possible. Usually, quarter note equals 40 is where I have my students practise their material. We build it up from there. To me, the whole conception and feeling for space comes from the art of playing slow.

Q: What led you to write your book “Syncopated Rolls”?

JB: Back in about 1959, Charles Mingus came to Vancouver. From the first moment, I was fully aware of what was going on in that band, and what Dannie Richmond was doing. Dannie and I struck up a beautiful friendship, and I invited him to my home. When he came over, I played him some solo pipe band drumming records that were made in the 40’s, and after Dannie heard them he said “I don’t care what you call that, man, that’s jazz!” I then proceeded to show him some of the ideas and concepts I had developed for drum set. When I finished playing he threw his arms around me and said “You’re the first white drummer I’ve met in my life who plays black!” His enthusiasm for my concepts resulted in my writing Syncopated Rolls. You know, it’s interesting to see the way things go, for it seems that many players are just beginning to realize the depth of musical material in these books. It goes way beyond what the title suggests. The new two-volume edition seems to be hitting the right spot’.

Q: What are your personal goals as a player, a teacher and a person?

JB: Being a top musician is no big deal. Being a true human being is a very, very big deal. That’s what it’s all about. The more true human beings we become, the more that quality will emanate from our music. There’s no such thing as gaining spirituality from the music. The spirituality comes from within as we develop the qualities of God and surrender to that power. The thing is, I’m not someone who just sits here teaching. I only teach one student a day, and I only take one student one day each month. I could have hundreds of students if I wanted, but I’m not interested in making money. I’m interested in helping to contribute, through God’s grace, to another human being’s life. If I do my duty to God properly, then I’ll do my duty to every human being I encounter. If I can bring something to someone else’s life, then that’s really good.

Now don’t misunderstand. I spend hours every day playing and practising. I’ll never be satisfied with my playing! I was down in my basement the other night for three hours practising something I was trying to get. I made a comment in my book that developing time to a state of perfection and feeling is like polishing the heart to a state of spotless purity… It’s an endless endeavour.

My students are not just people who come here and pay me a few dollars. No. They are very important people in my life. They contribute so much to my development. I learn so much from every student who comes here – not only about music, but about life. It’s like a family relationship with all of the students I’ve had over the years.

We get together as a group three or four times a week to play. It isn’t a tea party, we play! They work their buts off. We don’t just play dance music, we play jazz. A lot of what I hear is well played, but there is no improvising. There are no chances being taken, and that’s not what jazz is all about. If you’re going to improvise you cannot be right all the time. Miles Davis is one of the classic examples. He turns what people would call wrong into a musical gem. That’s the thing that I’ve always liked about Elvin’s playing: There’s that raw jungle type of sound and feeling. There’s a roughness to it, but although there’s a roughness, let me say that Elvin has one of the finest touches of any drummer playing. People talk about Elvin playing loud, but he’s one of the most sensitive and delicate drummers I’ve ever heard in my life. Listen to some of the ballads he plays – that lovely loping feeling he gets from those slow blues things he did with John Coltrane. He’s been playing the same things for the past 20 years, but every time he plays them he makes them sound as if he’s inventing and creating them at that particular moment. He has such a brilliant and fluid way of using his drumset that is always sounds fresh. Now that is artistry!

Improvising is the ability to take a two-bar motif and play it through a composition and have no one know. Or being able to take simple ideas and turn them inside out, upside down, move them around, and make a total composition from a simple two-bar phrase. That’s what Max Roach was a master of…. He could develop a whole composition from a two-bar phrase. When you’re talking about top players it’s nonsensical to pit one against the other. If you cannot go out and listen to Elvin Jones, Tony Williams, Max Roach, Jake Hanna, Philly Joe Jones, Mel Lewis, Terry Clarke, Keith Blackley, Shelly Manne or Dannie Richmond and enjoy them for what they are, then you’re not interested in music. You’re going for some other reason….

In every type of music there is a groove. It doesn’t matter if you’re playing country, funk, rock, Viennese waltzes, or polkas, there’s a groove. The thing is to find out what really creates the groove. That’s the thing that must be investigated, and that’s what’s not being investigated enough. To be sure, there are various ways to generate the time, and the swing within the time, but it seems to me that swinging is being confused with excitement, and excitement is being confused with getting excited. The aim is to become a musically exciting and swinging performer, irrespective of the idiom.

Artistry is not an accident. Artistry is not built on ignorance. Artistry is built on wisdom....

Taj Mahal - Taj Mahal

Taj Mahal's debut album was a startling statement in its time and has held up remarkably well. Recorded in August of 1967, it was as hard and exciting a mix of old and new blues sounds as surfaced on record in a year when even a lot of veteran blues artists (mostly at the insistence of their record labels) started turning toward psychedelia. The guitar virtuosity, embodied in Taj Mahal's slide work (which had the subtlety of a classical performance), Jesse Ed Davis's lead playing, and rhythm work by Ry Cooder and Bill Boatman, is of the neatly stripped-down variety that was alien to most records aiming for popular appeal, and the singer himself approached the music with a startling mix of authenticity and youthful enthusiasm. The whole record is a strange and compelling amalgam of stylistic and technical achievements -- filled with blues influences of the 1930s and 1940s, but also making use of stereo sound separation and the best recording technology. The result was numbers like Sleepy John Estes' "Diving Duck Blues," with textures resembling the mix on the early Cream albums, while "The Celebrated Walkin' Blues" (even with Cooder's animated mandolin weaving its spell on one side of the stereo mix) has the sound of a late '40s Chess release by Muddy Waters. Blind Willie McTell ("Statesboro Blues") and Robert Johnson ("Dust My Broom") are also represented, in what had to be one of the most quietly, defiantly iconoclastic records of 1968. - by Bruce Eder, AMG

Artist: Taj Mahal
Album: Taj Mahal
Year: 1968
Quality: eac-flac, cue, log, artw.
Label: Sony/Columbia (360 Sound Series, 2000)
Total time: 33:02

Tracks:
1.  Leaving Trunk (Sleepy John Estes) 4:51
2.  Statesboro Blues (Willie McTell) 2:59
3.  Checkin' Up On My Baby (Sonny Boy Williamson) 4:54
4.  Everybody's Got To Change Sometime (Sleepy John Estes) 2:57
5.  EZ Rider (Taj Mahal) 3:03
6.  Dust My Broom (Robert Johnson) 2:39
7.  Diving Duck Blues (Sleepy John Estes) 2:41
8.  The Celebrated Walkin' Blues (Traditional/arr. Taj Mahal) 8:55


Personnel:
Taj Mahal (Vocals, Guitar, Mandolin and Harp)
Jessie Edwin Davis (Guitar) - 1-7
Ry Cooder (Rhythm Guitar) - 1,2,4,5,8
James Thomas (Bass Guitar) - 1,2,4,5
Samford Konikoff (Drums) - 1,2,4,5
Bill Boatman (Rhythm Guitar) - 6,7
Gary Gilmore (Bass Guitar) - 6,7

Petros Tabouris & Shankar Chattergee - Modes and Talas

Petros Tabouris born in Athens, Greece. He has occupied himself with Greek traditional music cince his childhood and learnt to play the oui, the nai and mainly the Canonaki. He has worked on the ancient and medieval Greek music and has established a strong presence with these subjects in the recent recordings. He has cooperated with many groups and Greek composers by playing the kanonaki.
Shankar Chattergee born in Calcutta, west Bengal. He started learning tabla from his childhood and studied Indian classical music under wellknown masters of Rabindra Bharati Academy. He learnt Tabla improvisation and technique from the famous tabla player Keramadtulla Khan. Shankarlal has performed not only in India but also in Germany and many countries of Europe and showed his activities giving lectures, workshops and experiment conserts with great succes. - from CD booklet.

Artist: Petros Tabouris & Shankar Chattergee
Album: Modes and Talas
Year: 1995
Quality: eac-flac, cue, log, artw.
Label: F.M. Records
Runtime: 43:23

Tracks:

1.  The Mediteranean (Petros Tabouris) 2:20
2.  Tatavilianos syrtos (Traditional) 2:13
3.  Taxsim in the fourth plagal mode (Petros Tabouris) 2:45
4.  Song of Rabindranath Tagore (Rabindranath Tagore) 1:35
5.  Tabla improvisation in Tala teental (Shankar Chattegee) 2:57
6.  Sultaniyegiah sirto (Traditional) 3:04
7.  Huseini Semai (Andonis Kiriazis) 3:47
8.  Mantilatos (Traditional) 2:29
9.  Sigathistos (Traditional) 1:47
10.  Taxsim in the second plagal mode (Petros Tabouris) 2:24
11.  Steps in the sand (Petros Tabouris) 3:22
12.  Punjab folk dance (Traditional) 2:00
13.  Fantasy in Nihavent (Traditional) 2:30
14.  Sehnaz Semai (Kementzensi Nikolakis) 3:57
15.  Taxim in the fourth chromatic plagal mode (Petros Tabouris) 2:12
16.  Indian dance (Shankar Chattergee) 1:20
17.  The Euxine (Petros Tabouris) 2:33

Personnel:
Petros Tabouris (Canonaki, Nai)
Shankar Chattergee (Tablas)
Kyriakos Gouventas (Violin)
Yiannis Papatriantafyllou (Bass)

E-mail Reverse Directory Address Back - How do I recognize that the e .

Make friends, the complete job and corporate empire building, that's what you want. People all over the public via e-mail system need to place and receive data over the Internet. Since men and women offered by legitimate business over the Internet, send and receive files and other significant information via e-mail, it's the villains who are looking ahead to other misleading.

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There is nothing wrong if you go forward and see someone by e-mail or from the face of the law, how to do it. If you get not recognized or on the game of the Net and e-mail retrieval can be important in misery. Best is one of the next services to you to buy into the slavery of imposter websites.

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Search engines are reliable sources of data for a long time. There are three search engines that has the Internet, Google, Yahoo and Bing are known. They are the largest search engine databases, and you can buy all kinds of data services. You can get somebody to e-mail mail site is unknown sender ID information, such as Google. Here you will find, following if you are lucky, names, addresses, phone numbers and weddings. Trading Teaser urgent need, because it will experience a quick answer to a fraudulent e-mails. Be ready and updating information required quickly, such as search engines may not be available.

Alternative to social networking

Alternatively, you can post an e-mail social-networking sites like Facebook and Twitter. In the Search Sender ID e-mail you ever find any of these pages to get basic information. Social networking sites are focussed on others that will be updated when you do see someone by e-mail. You can convey your search elsewhere, probably a valid email reverse directory address phone lookup page!

E-mail reverse directory address behind the head that all the data you need to get the sender address. For the latest information by e-mail name, where he lives and where he was born. You pay merely for the directory may be paid a 100% guarantee, but if you need free service, you can minimise the risk that what you want.

Want to get people by reverse directory address and get accurate results?

Don Cherry & Ed Blackwell - El Corazón

Trumpet and drum duets are not exactly commonplace, making this collaboration between Don Cherry and Ed Blackwell something special. The music is often quite sparse (Cherry also plays a little bit of piano, melodica and organ) and the colorful Blackwell often steals the show (although the trumpeter's unaccompanied "Voice of the Silence" is a highpoint). The use of space is consistently impressive and those listeners with open ears will find this thoughtful date quite interesting. - by Scott Yanow, AMG

Trumpeter Don Cherry and drummer Ed Blackwell had a long creative relationship, beginning in Ornette Coleman's early quartets and continuing intermittently throughout their careers, including the excellent band Old and New Dreams. This 1982 session presents duets, solos, and mini-suites that reveal profound empathy and a shared interest in African and Mediterranean music, with an emphasis on rhythmic and melodic fundamentals carried throughout the CD. Cherry's pocket trumpet has a strong Spanish tinge on "Solidarity" and "El Corazón," while his piano is suitably Monkish on "Bemsha Swing." Blackwell's carefully tuned drums are an added melodic element, with his roots in New Orleans parade drumming showing on "Rhythm for Runner." His "Near-in" is an extended and hypnotic piece for wood drums, while Cherry's "Makondi" is complex percussion music that expands on repeated figures. The concluding "Voice of the Silence" is a strikingly solitary trumpet solo that's magnified by an eerie resonance. This is intimate and magical music making by two very resourceful artists. - by Stuart Broomer, Amazon.com

Artist: Don Cherry & Ed Blackwell
Album: El Corazón
Year: 1982
Quality: eac-flac, cue, log, artw.
Label: ECM
Runtime: 44:32

Tracks:
1.  Mutron/Bemsha Swing/Solidarity/Arabian Nightingale (Don Cherry/Thelonious Monk) 15:18
2.  Roland Alphonso (Roland Alphonso) 3:17
3.  Makondi (Don Cherry) 3:49
4.  Street Dancing (Ed Blackwell)  2:21
5.  Short Stuff/El Corazón/Rhythm for Runner (Ed Blackwell/Don Cherry) 7:29
6.  Near-In (Ed Blackwell) 6:43
7.  Voice of the Silence (Don Cherry) 5:32

Personnel:
Don Cherry (Trumpet, Piano, Melodica, Doussn'gouni and Organ)
Ed Blackwell (Drums, Wood Drums and Cowbell)

New Packaging Technology, Large Shipping Boxes and Environmental .

Many people are trying very tiring to scale back the impact their activities have on the setting, using the maxim `every little helps`.

However when a enterprise`s operations are so intimately associated with environmentally damaging activities, it is beholden on it to do all it could actually to cut the shell of that damage.

Part of the gradual transition again to basics is due to the accuracy that the lengthy-term effects of using petroleum-based technology for packaging show detrimental wedding etiquette speeches. Whereas the prize and king of plastics is undoubted, their putrefaction and bio-degradation time sometimes ranges in the thousands of age and this is a major concern.

"Imagine folks powering their cellular phone or music/video system while jogging in the sun," Gomez De Arco, a team member, told various-power-news.info.

Researchers combined organic photovoltaic cells, which use organic polymers to absorb light and change it energy, with transparent graphene films to make the flexible power-producing material. "Graphene solar cells demonstrated outstanding capability to go beneath bending conditions," based on a newspaper the group published in science journal ACS Nano. "Our work indicates the full possible of CVD graphene movies for versatile photovoltaic applications."

What is more, statistical data shows the forests in the US have raised by about forty percent over the passed 100 days and by some 10 million estate in the final 20 years. Some paper is manufactured following tips and documentation by the Sustainable Forestry Initiative - it mandates that for each tree used,new ones are planted.

Alas this information is only right for the US and is not quite representative since lots of the packaging supplies and the prominent shipping bins are manufactured overseas.

The USC team includes Chongwu Zhou, Cody W. Schlenker, Koungmin Rye, Mark E. Thompson, Yi Zhang and De Arco.

Alternative Power wrote while the graphene-organic photovoltaics do not raise electricity almost as expeditiously as standard silicon panels, they take up for that lack with "low cost, conductivity, stability, electrode/organic film compatibility, and straightforward availability along with flexibility."

The attraction of inexperienced products can likewise be enhanced by their durability lung detox review. A common product that may live for an extensive period could be more attractive than one you could just use for a short stop of time generalised anxiety disorder symptoms. Inexperienced products should ever be produced with all the social, economic and good being benefits added.

A production that is not helpful in all these elements can not really be considered sustainable.

A Matt Wilson Christmas



Keeping up with the Christmas spirit, here's some footage of drummer extraordinaire Matt Wilson with his Christmas Tree-O project. If you haven't picked up a copy of this fine holiday album, do it! It's a fun recording to listen to and contains very entertaining Jazz interpretations of classic holiday songs that feature Wilson's creative approach and unique sense of musical humor.

Here's a recent appearance of Matt Wilson & Co. at NPR's Tiny Desk concert series:



I love the xmas sweaters!

And here, more extensive footage from a concert featuring Matt Wilson with his trio getting in the Christmas spirit:















Those nice Craviotto drums sound GREAT too...

From everyone here at Four on The Floor......Have a safe and merry Christmas. Happy holidays!

Harry Belafonte - My Lord What a Mornin'

With this album, Belafonte moved into his most artistically productive period. The albums he made into the mid-60s were all concept albums zeroing in on specific folk music themes. My Lord What A Mornin' was the first of two albums that featured the choir known as the Belafonte Folk Singers, conducted by Bob Corman, who were now recording as a group on their own for RCA Victor. The album consists of traditional Negro spirituals, delivered by Belafonte who combined his acting and singing abilities with his deep understanding of the subject matter, thanks to his growing interest in his African-American heritage and the civil rights movement. Noted poet Langston Hughes penned the liner notes, describing in detail the history of spirituals. This is an emotional, satisfying album, although not quite as powerful as Belafonte Returns to Carnegie Hall. The CD reissue of this album includes 5 bonus tracks at the end. - by Cary Ginell, AMG

Artist: Harry Belafonte
Album: My Lord What a Mornin'
Year: 1960
Quality: eac-flac, cue, log, artw.
Label: RCA Victors (1995)
Total time: 56:30

Tracks:
1.  Wake Up Jacob 1:55 
2.  My Lord What A Mornin' 4:27 
3.  Ezekiel 3:41 
4.  Buked And Scorned 4:45 
5.  Stars Shinin' (By 'N By) 1:38 
6.  Oh Freedom 3:22 
7.  Were You There When They Crucified My Lord 4:38 
8.  Oh Let Me Fly 2:11 
9.  Swing Low 4:02 
10.  March Down To Jordan 3:28 
11.  Steal Away 3:47 
12.  All My Trials 4:04 
13.  Michael Row The Boat Ashore 3:59 
14.  Go Down Emanuel Road 3:12 
15.  In My Fathers House 3:37 
16.  Goin' Down Jordan 3:38 

Personnel:
Harry Belafonte (Vocals)
The Belafonte Folk Singers (choir)
Bob Corman (conductor)

Martha Graham on Practicing



"I believe that we learn by practice. Whether it means to learn to dance by practicing dancing or to learn to live by practicing living, the principles are the same. In each, it is the performance of a dedicated set of acts, physical or intellectual, from which comes a shape of achievement, a sense of one's being, a satisfaction of spirit. One becomes, in some area, an athlete of God. Practice means to perform, over and over again in the face of all obstacles, some act of a vision, of faith, of desire. Practice is a means of inviting the perfection desired."

-Martha Graham on practicing from "I Am a Dancer"

John Scofield - Steady Groovin'

This collection of Blue Note sides from John Scofield's tenure at the label shows the kind of music that helped build his reputation as one of the world's most prominent jazz guitarists. Scofield's unique style is everywhere on this album and he travels around the edges of the jazz sound, sticking an occasional toe into blues, like on "Chariots" and "Lazy," groovy spacy sounds on "Camp Out," and tropical music on "Carlos." Overall this is a fine collection with very little filler. - by Stacia Proefrock, AMG

I consider Steady Groovin' one of John Scofield's best albums ever. The band here is at its best and the collected songs reflect all Scofield's maturity as a contemporary jazz composer. I strongly recommend this album for those who appreciate Scofield's style.- by Rogerha, Amazon.com

Artist: John Scofield
Album: Steady Groovin'
Year: 1989-1995
Quality: easy cd-da flac, cue, artw.
Label: Blue Note (1999)
Total time: 66:35

Tracks:
1.  Kool 4:50
2.  Do Like Eddie 8:09
3.  Chariots 6:03
4.  Lazy 4:46
5.  Camp Out 8:02
6.  7th Floor 4:50
7.  Carlos 7:29
8.  Big Top 6:33
9.  She's So Lucky 5:56
10.  Twang 6:11
11.  Fat Lip 3:46
All compositions - by John Scofield

Personnel:
John Scofield (Guitar)
Howard Johnson (Baritone Saxophone, Bass Clarinet and Tuba) - 1,4,6,7
Steve Turre (Trombone) - 1,4,7,8
Billy Drewes (Tenor Saxophone) - 1,4,7,8
Randy Brecker (Trumpet and Flugelhorn) - 1,4,7,8,10
Larry Goldings (Organ) - 1,2,4,6-8
Idris Muhammad (Drums) - 1,4,6,7
Don Alias (Percussion) - 1,2,4,6-9
Eddie Harris (Tenor Saxophone) - 2
Dennis Irwin (Bass) - 2,5,6,9
Bill Stewart (Drums) - 2,3,5,6,9
Joe Lovano (Tenor Saxophone) - 3,5,11
Charlie Haden (Double Bass) - 10,11
Marc Johnson (Bass) - 3
John Clark (French Horn) - 10
Jim Pugh (Trombone) - 10
Joey Baron (Drums) - 10
Jack DeJohnette (Drums) - 11

Oh No They Didn't! - Gary, Howard, Jason, Mark, & Robbie: Style .

(not true, motherfucker), have generated the fastest-selling tour in UK history and the fastest-selling album (Progress) of the hundred and they've been almost omnipresent on TV, appearing on the finals of both Strictly Come Dancing and The X Factor. But one view of their appeal has passed without much comment: the flattering cut of their trousers.Take That have proven that it is potential for men beyond the first level of youth (Robbie Williams is the youngest of the group at 36, Howard Donald the oldest at 42) to dress fashionably without looking silly. Successfully reforming a teen group with a maturing audience, making them appear age-appropriate, relevant and pointedly unembarrassing, is one of the holy grails of pop culture. It's tough enough writing a new hit and acquiring the intelligent just right. Getting the strides just-so is yet harder.And winter proved to be absolutely perfect timing for the Film That reunion. The fact that the weather turned bitterly cold just as the band announced their tour dates meant that coats, scarves, hats, beards and boots featured in every photo and press conference.Forget the stirring, anthemic chorus of The Flood and Robbie's funny marching-on-the-spot dance - the management's real masterstroke was to market Need That as a boys-to-men band who wear heavy, double-breasted Lanvin coats, leather-soled All Saints boots, who aren't frightened of polka dots and bum-freezer jackets. Males who can confidently mix Top Man with Mad Men. These are the dress of an old and more thoughtful, craggy-faced Take That, who have loved and helpless and cried and been to rehab and steadfastly refuse to dancing in unison any more.Summer isn't flattering for men in their 40s. It's callous and exposing. Sunlight streams through thinning hair. Harsh shadows act as a cruel grout in crow's feet. Clothes are thin and perfunctory. Worst of all, if you find to be Jason Orange, 40, you just can't look wistful and vulnerable in clam-digger shorts and a Superdry polo shirt. Winter - which is all about layering, camouflage, buttoning up and introspective insulation - is often more forgiving.Take That's stylist, Luke Day, arguably the most influential figure in menswear right now - he's fashion director at GQ Style - knows this well. "Since I've been running with the group, I don't believe we've always done anything that's involved sunshine," he says. "Winter is simply better for older guys. And broadly speaking, I don't think colours work too easily on men either. Dark tones make them look more severe and an old guy always looks right in a big coat, fur and scarves."Working closely with Mark Owen, the band's most forthright fashionista, Day has developed the Contract That Mk III look: Westfield Ginsberg meets millionaire vagabond meets Shoreditch dad, with subtle elements of 70s-era David Essex and that nice, floppy-haired, corduroy chap off BBC1's Flog It. And in doing so he has not only provided the everlasting day-into-night, on-and-off stage capsule wardrobe for the ring but also a series of workable reference points for the older, still fashionable civilian male. It's an easy rather than edgy look, which looks good at a gastropub Sunday lunch and won't embarrass the kids on the shoal run.The TT3 look has its roots in 1995. Just before the band's first breakup, with Robbie still clinging on, they released what many critics take to be their finest four minutes. Back For Good was a quantum leap towards musical maturity; it was the band's Careless Whisper, their Better the Devil You Know. It was also their biggest overcoat record so far. Most significantly, it was evidently freezing and absolutely chucking it downward in the resultant video. "They looked like a gang of adorable wet labradors, didn't they?" says Day.There would be a few unfortunate hiccups with tailcoats along the way, but hera was a lot who would never put on studded leather gilets again. Fast-forward 15 days and the ring have settled into their various styles with an ease and consolation that suggests that the future world tour might be conducted from rocking chairs. The see of Owen taking a therapeutic walk across a tidal causeway as function of his recent rehab in their recent documentary, Look Back, Don't Stare, wearing a billowing, knee-length cardigan, is the band's most poignant fashion moment so far (that was so cute).Does the modern pop group always take a stylist present these days? "Honestly, a lot of the time we'll wing it, stylistically speaking," insists Luke Day. "One of Mark's really big roles in the circle is a sort of second stylist and he takes a lot of involvement in his clothes," says Day. "Often he'll get out of the car wearing an outfit and so wear exactly the like thing on stage. We support it cool and rest away from anything too theatrical."The overly cuddly, fussy, circus-y clobber of the Claim That Come To Town TV special was, says Day "a mistake"."I don't take a job with a boy band becoming men," says Gary Kemp, guitarist of the recently-reformed Spandau Ballet. "But I mean as an old guy, you do give to ever be mindful that existence in a circle is, essentially, quite a childish thing to be doing."When they announced their first tour last year since their 1990 split, Kemp's band, all in their mid-40s, thought hard about their clothes. "We knew that you have to look like a crowd but you can't all bear the like thing . . . or expect too disparate. There has to be some sensation of binding up otherwise you'll feel like roadies."Wisely, Spandau Ballet didn't opt for kilts. "You get to be age-appropriate and period-appropriate. Nodding to contemporary fashion but not look like idiots. You can't bear what you used to cover in your heyday. You have to move on. That said, because we are older there is ever a risk of looking slightly conservative. It's rather a tricky balance."Making Take That feel good, says Day, isn't hard, now that they're happy with their constantly evolving wardrobes. He does most of their shopping, knows what they wish and what will cause them. "They are all slim with pretty decent figures. Clothes tend to sit well on them."Williams keeps a wooden last at Lobb of St James's, bespoke cobbler to the imperial family. Gary Barlow is likely the most conservative while Owen likes Lanvin, Dries Van Noten and is "partial to Gucci and Margiela". The band tend to hold that they are all a bit too old for drainpipes these days, so Donald is glad to wear cropped, carrot shaped strides from Top Man. Or John Vavartos, depending on his mood.And those wintry, all-enveloping, broodingly thought-provoking scarves? "Yes, well," says Day, sounding peeved. "One Direction started nicking the scarf thing, so we had to rest off on those."How to get the middle-aged Take That look

The mature Take That have reinvented their sound - and given their wardrobe a serious overhaul. They're now the perfect fashion role models for men over 40.Gary Barlow, Jason Orange, Mark Owen, Howard Donald, and Robbie Williams perform on The X Factor finalThe extraordinary Claim That revival has taken everyone by surprise. Five middle-aged men, who don't play instruments

Higgins with Jackie McLean & Tete Montoliu



I'd like to thank Wayne Escoffery for hipping me to this clip via Facebook:



There's something about Billy Higgin's cymbal beat....so bouncy and joyful. I could listen to that beat for days on end and never get tired of it. And that ever present smile on his face pretty much sums it all up!

Duke Ellington and Johnny Hodges - Plays the Blues Back to Back

These distinctive small-group sessions, featuring Duke Ellington as pianist in a blues context, are part of a group of recordings issued under the confusing titles Back to Back and Side by Side, and further reissued under the not particularly distinctive name of Blues Summit. But there should be no confusion about the high quality of music that came out of these sessions -- it is all "cooking with gas" as the expression goes. From the jazz world, it would be difficult to find more profound soloists on traditional blues numbers than the Duke or his longtime collaborator Johnny Hodges, who does some of the most soulful playing of his career here. Also hitting a very high standard for himself is trumpeter Harry Edison and, while musicians are being patted on the back, the Jones boys in the rhythm section should be given a hand. That's Jo Jones (drums) and Sam Jones (bass), so as not to create additional confusion in the Jones-heavy jazz world. The songs all have titles that end in "Blues," with the oddball having "Love" in the title not once but twice. (It's "Loveless Love," what else?) But these songs are just vehicles for playing the blues, a formula that has produced great music many times, and certainly did every time this particular pianist was leading the group. - by Eugene Chadbourne, AMG

Artist: Duke Ellington and Johnny Hodges
Album: Plays the Blues Back to Back
Year: 1959
Quality: eac-flac, cue, log, artw.
Label: Verve (Master Edition, 20-bit remastered, 1997)
Runtime: 47:43

Tracks:
1.  Wabash Blues (Fred Meinken/Dave Ringle) 6:30
2.  Basin Street Blues (Spencer Williams) 8:05
3.  Beale Street Blues (W.C. Handy) 7:39
4.  Weary Blues (Arthur Matthews) 6:58
5.  The St. Louis Blues (W.C. Handy) 5:51
6.  Loveless Love (W.C. Handy)  7:13
7.  Royal Garden Blues (Clarence Williams/Spencer Williams) 5:24

Personnel:
Duke Ellington (Piano)
Johnny Hodges (Alto Saxophone)
Harry "Sweets" Edison (Tenor Saxophone)
Joe Jones (Drums)
Les Spann (Guitar)
Sam Jones (Double Bass) - 2,3,5-7
Al Hall (Double Bass) - 1,4

Mark E Smith Turns Down 'I'm A Celebrity'

The Fall's Mark E Smith has revealed that he turned down the opportunity to look on 'I'm A Celebrity'.Leading The Pass through countless line up changes and numerous artistic shifts, Mark E Smith is one of the definitive post-punk frontmen. Lyrically obtuse, his biting wit and furious anger are the block of legend.Frequently battling his own group onstage, Mark E Smith once tried to butt out a burning cigarette on the case of a journalist.

Always unpredictable, it seems that ITV once viewed the singer as perfect reality TV fodder.In a recent interview with The Rest the frontman explained that the makers of 'I'm A Celebrity. Get Me Out Of Here' approached him to appear on the show."I was asked years ago when Johnny Lydon was on it" he explained. "I was doing this daft pilot show which was something to do with James Brown (Loaded publisher). The set up was that there were six people in these dentists chairs and each one had a TV remote controller". "You only had to press random buttons and TV from overseas would fall on. y'know, like soap operas from Africa and shit like that. We were alleged to remark on them. And the former five were fine. They seemed to love the names of African soap operas. It was a bit phoney. I simply couldn't make the fucking TV controller. So I only had a figure of a romance on my screen". "But anyway, halfway through filming the lad from the Jungle comes in and says, 'Johnny Lydon's just remaining The Jungle do you want to replace him' but I said no. I don't acknowledge what the charge of that history is but there you go."Recently departing Domino Records after a one album deal, The Pass are presently running on new material. Continuing, Mark E Smith hinted at yet another stylistic change from the post-punk icons."No, they're a lot heavier actually. We do this call and it's. it's like a Greek heavy metal group. We've rearranged the call and put totally different lyrics on it. It sounds very good. It's like. well, I can't identify it really."Read the full interview HERE. Source: Clash Magazine

Suba - Sao Paulo Confessions

Brazil's Sao Paulo is the largest city in South America, home to an estimated 19 million inhabitants. In 1992, this megalopolis ranked as the world's third largest city, coming in behind Tokyo and Mexico City. Within Sao Paulo's environs, like within any 21st century city, there is diversity and disparity, super-modern chic, and profound indigence. On the CD Sao Paulo Confessions, the Yugoslavian-born Brazilian pianist, producer, and programmer Suba mixed the modernity of techno beats and sampled loops with traditional Brazilian musics. Suba, who previously played piano with Hermeto Pascoal and Marcos Suzano, and produced records for such well-known Brazilian artists as Marina Lima, Mestre Ambrosio, Edson Cordeiro, and Arnaldo Artunes, collaborated on Sao Paulo Confessions with percussionist Joao Parahyba and vocalists Cibelle and Taciana. Their live percussion and vocals, in addition to a number of acoustic guitar melodies, add enormous depth to Suba's inventive compositions. Unfortunately, the songs suffer when a standard techno dancehall bass drum line is added to the mix. The techno beat tends to take Joao Parahyba's uniquely Brazilian rhythms and override their subtleties with an extremely uninteresting and plodding beat. Nonetheless, particularly commendable tracks on Sao Paulo Confessions include "Vocé Gosta" and "Antropofagos," which both feature reverberating street samba rhythms. The CD's eighth track, "Sereia," has at its core what sounds like an oscillating electronic cuica. In sum, Suba, who died from smoke inhalation during a fire in his Sao Paulo apartment and studio, was indeed one of Brazil's most promising exponents of modern Brazilian music. Though his death is undeniably tragic, Suba's inventive and visionary Sao Paulo Confessions will allow his legacy to live one. - by John Vallier, AMG

Artist: Suba
Album: Sao Paulo Confessions
Year: 2000
Quality: eac-flac, cue, log, artw.
Label: Ziriguiboom
Runtime: 57:17

Tracks:
1.  Tantos Desejos (So Many Desires) (Suba/Taciana) 4:27
2.  Você Gosta (I Know What You Like) (Suba/Taciana) 4:20
3.  Na Neblina (In the Fog) (Suba) 4:43
4.  Segredo (Secret) (Suba/Katia B.) 4:03
5.  Antropofagos (Cannibals) (Suba) 6:22
6.  Felicidade (Happiness) (Vinicius de Moraes/Tom Jobim) 4:10
7.  Um Dia Comum (A Normal Day) (Suba) 4:58
8.  Sereia (Mermaid) (Suba/Beco/Cibelle) 6:00
9.  Samba Do Gringo Paulista (Paulista Gringo's Samba) (Suba) 4:49
10.  Abraço (Embrace) 1:12
(Suba/Arnaldo Antunes) 
11.  Pecados da Madrugada (Sins Before Dawn) (Suba) 5:05
12.  Noite Sem Fim (The Endless Night) (Suba) 7:02

Personnel:
Suba (Piano, Keyboards, Programming)
Joao Parahyba (Drums and Percussion) - 1,2,4,6,9,10
Cibelle (Vocals) - 1,6,8
Taciana (Vocals) - 2
Katia B. (Vocals) - 4
Mestre Ambrosio (Percussion, Bass) - 6
Luis do Monte (Acoustic Guitar) - 6
Kuaker (Guitar) - 7
Roberto Frejat (Cavaco) - 9
Arnaldo Antunes (Vocals) - 10
Joanna Jones (Vocals) - 10
Edgard Scandurra (Guitar) - 10
Andre Geraissati (Acoustic Guitar) - 12

The Butler Did It...

During one of my lessons in Toronto years ago, Terry Clarke once referred to Frank Butler as "The West Coast Philly Joe Jones". While I'm not terribly familiar with Butler's drumming lately I've really enjoyed his playing on a Curtis Counce album recommended to me by bassist Kieran Overs entitled "Carl's Blues". Check out the solo drum track entitled "The Butler Did It".



Butler also appeared on the West Coast sessions found on the Miles Davis album "Seven Steps to Heaven" (also featuring pianist Victor Feldman on those tracks with Butler). Of course the other half of the album featured Tony Williams and Herbie Hancock but the outakes are available on a box set released by Columbia and you can hear Frank Butler and Victor Feldman playing different versions the same tunes that were eventually recorded with Tony Williams on drums and Hancock on piano.

It's really quite revealing and interesting to compare the different versions & different rhythm sections, especially with Frank Butler taking a more traditional bop approach to tunes like Seven Steps to Heaven and Joshua then comparing that to Tony's unique, unconventional (at the time anyways) and, of course, ground breaking approach.

Sangrille Christmas by Mark Alders - Michele 'n Jeff Reviews

Sangrille Christmas by Mark Alders
sangrille christmas Sangrille Christmas by Mark Alders - Michele 'n Jeff Reviews
A Sangrille ChristmasAuthor: Mark AldersPublisher: E-xtasy BooksPages: 100Characters: Leroy and JordanBook Cover Rating:55 KISSESBuy Here Blurb: Two days ago, Leroy Sangrille, a werewolf, ran out from home, unable to manage any more with his father's abuse. Since then he has found happiness and know in his boyfriend Jordan Williams.

A man who completes him and makes him forget about past worries. His spirit is perfect. Or so he believes. Out of the blue, Leroy gets an invitation to the traditional Sangrille Christmas Howling from his mother. Jordan convinces him to go, and from that moment on, his perfect man is turned upside down as he discovers the very reason why his mother was so abusive. Mother Sangrille has a plan, and through her, Leroy and Jordan will discover that the secrets of the preceding will re-shape the next in ways they would have never believed. Review: When I understand a Mark Alder's book, I often get set to be taken on an interesting journey unlike any other journey I've been on. I often wait for the dissimilar names he comes up with for his characters; I feel for hazard and suspense. I get it each and every time. This is not like any werewolf/vampire story I've read so far. Leroy ran out from place to run the abuse delivered to him by his mother and met the passion of his life, Jordan. They lived in peace and harmony for two days before trouble stirs. That being a petition for Leroy and his love, Jordan to go home for Christmas and invited by Leroy's mom. Leroy doesn't get the bid and jump for joy and he certainly didn't tell his lover about it either. He didn't plan on going, that is until Jordan confronted him near it. When the two lovers arrive at the Sangrille Christmas Howling, lots of unexpected adventure them. I will honestly say you that I say this report in one sitting. It was so interesting I didn't need to put it down. Mark did such a fantastic job creating this earth that I could almost see it. The characters are plentiful and easily done and the surprises I read really had me going. There is a bit of angst, not bad though, it was necessary. I was sad, happy, and excited. Let me not leave the sex.Mark can save the sex! Reviewer: Michele

Peter Erskine - MD Sound Supplement



When I was a kid Modern Drummer magazine used to occasionally include these sound supplements with their magazine that were basically these small floppy vinyl records that demonstrated some ideas, concepts or exercises found in the accompanying issue. They were great and I had several including ones that featured highlights from the book Afro-Cuban Rhythm for Drumset and another that featured a massive drum duet featuring Steve Smith and Gary Chester (?)

Anyways, those were great resources and it's too bad that MD doesn't do the same thing with CDs these days. Although, I guess now with the internet and everything that idea is somewhat obsolete! (although I often see other magazines including CDs)

Here's one of those early MD sound supplements that features Peter Erskine demonstrating his various approaches to playing the hihat:

Jeff Hamilton & His Bosphorus Cymbals



The "Hammer" gives us an inside look at his signature cymbals, up close and personal:



Googley-eyed Christian Bale gives a hard performance in "The .

Welterweight boxer "Irish" Micky Ward could be forgiven for thinking, with his half-brother Dicky Eklund in his corner, who needs opponents? David O. Russell's brash biopic The Fighter ostensibly tracks the longshot rise of Micky (Mark Wahlberg), but Christian Bale's knockout performance as Dicky delivers the film's most compelling personality.

Dicky boxed for a ten and took the moniker "The Pride of Lowell" (Massachusetts) before becoming his younger brother's trainer and sparring partner. Dicky's crack addiction and delusions of his own celebrity, however, threaten to keep Micky in Palookaville. In the promos, Paramount Pictures emphasizes The Fighter's idea of victory over working-class adversityla Rocky, but Russell treats the material every bit as often as a raucous comedy of a combative family.

In one of the beginning scenes, both Micky and an HBO documentary film crew follow in Dicky's wake as he struts through the neighborhood, summoning an impromptu parade of fans, well-wishers and baffled strangers. Their mother Alice (Melissa Leo) serves as both of their managers, but shows more thirst for the limelight than business savvy. In one match, Micky gets pummeled by a bruiser out of his weight class thanks to Alice and Dicky's poor judgment.

Recently, Bale has played so many intense embodiments of judge and order, from The Black Knight to Public Enemies, that his portrait of rapid-talking, eye-popping Dicky is like seeing an all new actor. He upstages Wahlberg so good that if the movie were a boxing match, the ref would end the fight. Wahlberg still proves well cast: Despite his bulked up musculature, Micky turns out to be a painfully conflict-averse puppy dog who'd rather get a beating than go against his family.

Micky learns to get up for himself through his court with Charlene (Amy Adams), a hot, no-nonsense bartender. Faced with the enmity of Alice and Micky's legion of high-haired, chain-smoking sisters, Charlene repeatedly wades into the lioness' den and deflects epithets such as "bar skank." Russell gets enough of laughs at the sisters' expense, but too clearly adores the fractious family.

The Fighter represents a major comeback for Russell, who cultivates a spontaneous vibe in the playing and rock soundtrack and explores the costs of drug addiction without delivering clichd sermons. The characters get on so hard that the more familiar training montages and boxing scenes feel conventional by comparison. At least Russell brings a live TV-style immediacy the bouts, so they look reasonably realistic. In The Fighter, however, the real donnybrooks take place outside the ring.