Ed Soph – Helping a Student Figure Out Swing (1978)

SKF NOTE: This excerpt is from my interview with Ed Soph on May 19, 1978 at his home, a rental cabin, in the woods of Garrison, NY near West Point. It was my first time meeting Ed. A few years later we were both living in Connecticut and got to know each other better. Soph was a delight to interview. Always thought provoking and thoughtful.

Our conversation opens here with me mentioning how Mel Lewis notes the dropoff in drummers who can swing. A phenomenon Mel attributed to up-and-coming drummers listening mostly, or solely, to straight eighth-note feel music — such as rock music.

Soph agrees and we define the issue, then offer some alternative ways in which young drummers can be taught how to swing. As usual, good thoughts and advice from Ed Soph.

CAVEAT: The language here is graphic in a few spots. Anyone thinking of playing this for minors may want to listen first, then decide.

Chris Conrade was the common denominator here. Chris and I shared an apartment at the time, and Chris had studied drums with Ed Soph. Ed’s voice and my voice are heard most here, but Chris is the third voice you hear.

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