Papa Jo – Shadow Wilson was the Greatest Natural Drummer

SKF NOTEI’m reading, and enjoying, Rifftide: The Life and Opinions of Papa Jo Jones, edited by Paul Devlin from taped interviews by Albert Murray. About halfway through the book I have come across a number of gems from Papa Jo Jones – sometimes as brief as a single sentence.

For example, here’s Papa Jo on drummer Shadow Wilson — a great player Jones recruited to take his place in the Count Basie Orchestra when Jones went into the US Army.

“Oh, man. Shadow [Wilson] was the greatest natural drummer that ever lived. Natural. He could play on pots, pans, and skillets and make it come out like ice cream and cake.”

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When This Moment Passes

Now is a time of uncertainty for many of us. A time when our plans and our usual routines have been upended and some of us have extra hours on our hands.

When this moment passes, we will look back at how we adapted. We’ll remember how we became more creative, resourceful and resilient. We’ll remind ourselves, and each other about what we did, how we pushed through and how we helped.

This time next year, how will you answer the question: What did you do?

Source: Bernadette Jiwa

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Jim Gordon – Full Interview – Tape A Side B

SKF NOTE: If you’re coming to this Tape A Side B before my posting of Jim Gordon – Full Interview – Tape A Side A, the rest of the info in this post is the same as the info in my Tape A Side A post. There is a third and final segment of this interview, which I will post soon.

I posted the back story, the genesis, of this interview, on my blog, so I won’t repeat the story.

This interview with musician Jim Gordon took place January 11, 1982. That makes it 38 years old. Yes, I’ve posted on my blog audio and written excerpts from this interview. An edited version of the interview transcription appeared in Modern Drummer magazine.

But this is the first time I’m making available my full, unedited interview with Jim Gordon. I think it’s time. Jim Gordon is an important piece of pop and rock music history. He is a key part of drumming history. And as far as I know, 38 years later, this is the only full-length Jim Gordon interview in existence.

Looking back, I wish I had more time to prepare for this interview. Those of you who read the back story will learn I didn’t have more time. On the bitter cold night of January 11, 1982, in my room in a Nutley, NJ rooming house, my phone rang unexpectedly. Jim Gordon was calling.

So began this interview.

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Stems – Living As if Everything is Your Swan Song

Stems from ainslie henderson on Vimeo.

SKF NOTE – This is video short is a brief look at a sentimental percussion ensemble. “What I love about stop motion puppets is that they have this inherent sadness,” says filmmaker and musician Ainslee Henderson. “They’re like little actors that only get one role. Everything they do is their swan song.”

I discovered this film, “Stems,” on the Vimeo Blog. Blogger Sam Morrill writes:

“The film is a collaboration between [Ainslee] Henderson and the musical artist Poppy Ackroyd who composed the score. However, unlike the traditional process wherein a film is picture-locked and then delivered to the composer for scoring, Henderson and Ackroyd worked backwards. ‘[Poppy] would send separate “stems” — that’s where the film got its name — of each track of music. I would make characters and instruments that looked like they might make each of the sounds she’d given me and we’d go from there.’

“Henderson who is himself a former chart-topping musician likens animation to music. Like music, ‘[animation] comes down to a matter of trying to move people, with what, and for what purpose? There are technical [similarities] too, about rhythm, tone and sentiment. Films have a kind of melody.’”

What if I was able to live as if everything I do is my swan song?

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Jim Gordon – Full Interview – Tape A Side A

SKF NOTE: I posted the back story, the genesis, of this interview, on my blog, right here, so I won’t repeat the story.

This interview with musician Jim Gordon took place January 11, 1982. That makes it 38 years old. Yes, I’ve posted on my blog audio and written excerpts from this interview. An edited version of the interview transcription appeared in Modern Drummer magazine.

But this is the first time I’m making available my full, unedited interview with Jim Gordon. I think it’s time. Jim Gordon is an important piece of pop and rock music history. He is a key part of drumming history. And as far as I know, 38 years later, this is the only full-length Jim Gordon interview in existence.

Looking back, I wish I had more time to prepare for this interview. Those of you who read the back story will learn I didn’t have more time. On the bitter cold night of January 11, 1982, in my room in a Nutley, NJ rooming house, my phone rang unexpectedly. Jim Gordon was calling.

So began this interview.

I will add Tape A Side B and Tape B Side A to the blog as soon as possible.

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Unreleased 1959 Art Blakey and Jazz Messengers Album Arrives April 24

SKF NOTE: On April 24, Blue Note Records will release Just Coolin’, a never-before-released studio album by Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers that was recorded on March 8, 1959 in Rudy Van Gelder’s living room studio in Hackensack, New Jersey. The session featured a short-lived line-up of The Jazz Messengers with drummer Art Blakey, trumpeter Lee Morgan, tenor saxophonist Hank Mobley, pianist Bobby Timmons, and bassist Jymie Merritt. The album features two previously unissued compositions including Timmons’ tune “Quick Trick….”

Nothing more to say. Thank you, Blue Note.

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Ed Soph – You Can’t Just Think Rhythmically

Ed Soph

SKF NOTE: At 4:30 this morning I was reading a typed copy of my 1978 Ed Soph interview. Soph was always interesting to interview. Smart, curious, a strong grasp of drum history; a player who seemed always willing to re-examine his thinking about drumming and music.

Reading this morning what Ed Soph had to say over 40 years ago — his thinking still holds value for drummers and drum teachers.

I asked Ed to describe his concept for his drum soloing. Here’s his 1978 answer:

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Ed Soph: I’m thinking of the melody and the tune when I’m soloing. It may be an extended solo rather than a chorus or two.

I always try to approach it as making a statement.

Take a tune like Straight, No Chaser which has a strong rhythmic identity. I’ll play through the head of the tune and then take some rhythmic or melodic motif — ideally a combination of the two — and build another solo off that. Maybe I’ll go out of time or free up the time and develop a theme and variations, then come back in and play the head again. Just like a good narrative framework in a story.

Nothing sounds worse than when a group’s playing an Elvin-ish swing and the drummer goes into his solo and it comes out like Drums on Parade.

It’s all so easy. It’s all right there if you just open your ears.

Like a horn player, you can’t just think rhythmically. It’s impossible. You have to think in terms of dynamics, articulations, phrases, color, mood, melodies, and tempo.

Which brings me to another point. All drummers should learn some melodic instrument. It’s good for your chops and it’s the best thing in the world for your ears.

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