SKF NOTE: Among my favorite interviews, I am sorry to say none of my interview with Will Calhoun ever saw the light of day. By July 1989 I had been gone from my spot as Modern Drummer‘s managing editor almost six years. From what I’ve gathered reading through my notes, this interview was meant to be published in one of MD‘s offshoot quarterly magazines — Modern Percussionist. But before Will’s interview was published, Modern Percussionist had ceased publication.
This first excerpt is Will Calhoun describing his drum equipment used on Living Colour’s 1989 tour with The Rolling Stones. Here is the Cult of Personality video mentioned in this excerpt.
SKF NOTE: Barry Keane and I catching up briefly onstage at Merrill Auditorium, Portland, Maine after Gordon Lightfoot’s May 17, 2017 performance. I love Barry’s expression. He seems to be thinking, “If I’m patient, I’m sure Fish will make his point.”
SKF NOTE: Because of his several musical cultural influences, Ravish Momin calls his music “folk music from nowhere” or “music that exists from a country that doesn’t exist.” This morning, browsing through drumming news, I found this performance announcement and was intrigued with Momin’s description of his drumming.
“I just got really tired of hearing regular drum sounds and electronic sounds, and they’d never mix,” he explains. “I wanted to find a way to kind of blend them. So I started to create triggers and run them through this drum synth, which is a brand new piece of hardware. I’m digitizing the acoustic drums and I’m very improvisational in how I do it. It’s not like I hit the snare and it gives me this preset electronic sound. It’s a blend that I’ve created with triggers and some electronic mesh drum heads, which go beyond a regular electronic drum pad.”
Digging a bit deeper I came first across the solo video of Momin included here. The rhythm is tricky, but it swings and I was smiliing while listening. Plus there is an element here of being privvy to how a magician does his tricks.
Ravish Momin’s band, Tanara, is a duo with Rick Parker a trombone player who uses guitar electronic effects to augment his acoustic brass instrument. With just 30-minutes of reading and listening to Momin’s music — I’m looking forward to exploring/listening further. At first blush, based solely on the videos I’ve seen, Tanara works better listening with my eyes closed.
SKF NOTE: I can’t remember if my aural introduction to Daniel Humair was on record with Phil Woods‘s European Rhythm Machine or as a member of Jim Hall’s trio on his It’s Nice To Be With You album. I bought the Jim Hall album in 1969 when it was first released. Finally, not too many years ago, It’s Nice To Be With You was available on MP3.
Humair’s drumsets, and the way he plays them, are somewhere between a right-handed drummer on a left-handed setup, and a left-handed drummer on a right-handed setup. Fun to watch. Even more fun to hear.
SKF NOTE: At age 28 I realized my life was out-of-balance. Devoting so much time to drumming, music, and writing — I had neglected the practical matters of earning a living, of understanding how business works. I’m still learning!
This piece is one of the rare columns I wrote for Modern Drummer. It’s based on my experience as a working drummer — and I guess my advice here still holds true.
SKF NOTE: I love this concept, this approach to playing the drumset. Talking drums, indeed. Even more, I would love hearing David Dockery — or another drummer comfortable with this approach — using it within a band. Comping behind other soloists. Dockery’s seems to take theater drumming to a new level. Well done.
Willy Wonka Meets Whiplash With This Jazz Drum Solo Scene
POSTED BY MICHAEL WALSH ON MAY 28, 2017
Musician David Dockery is behind this mesmerizing jazz drum piece set to the rhythm, cadence, and dialogue of the scene when Willy Wonka screams at Grandpa Joe and Charlie about stealing Fizzy Lifting Drinks. It’s a totally original way to experience this famous cinematic moment, and makes both characters sound as though they are really engaging in a dual beat-poetry performance. It’s also like if Damien Chazelle’s other paean to jazz, Whiplash, had been set in a chocolate factory instead of a music school.
My Uncle Bob on the far left. Scott K Fish on far right.
SKF NOTE: I write a weekly newspaper column for Maine’s Piscataquis Observer. Most of my topics are not germane to this blog, but this week the topic fits.
Spread the word about suicide prevention
Scott K. Fish, Special to the Piscataquis Observer • May 28, 2017
Suicide. It’s a topic very much in social media these days. The posts I see mostly focus on preventing suicide among U.S. military veterans. Individuals and organizations spread the word through social media that, “We’re here. There’s help. Call us.” Often social media users like me are asked to share these outreach messages, to help spread the word among our social media contacts.
My life is influenced greatly by my father’s youngest brother, Robert “Bob” Fish. Uncle Bob introduced me to drums when I was six years old, planting the seed of love for that instrument that’s still with me. I was a professional drummer, became managing editor of Modern Drummer magazine, and still have a blog about drumming called Life Beyond the Cymbals. Uncle Bob’s suicide when I was just 14 years old was a shock, but not as strong, I find, as the aftershock.