Jaimo on Camco Drums at Home (1980)

SKF NOTE: This is a somewhat blurry shot of Jaimo in his home practice room, Macon, GA, circa 1980. I was visiting for the weekend, I believe. Jaimo and Butch had agreed to a feature cover story interview for Modern Drummer. The back story is here.

Jaimo’s playing a Camco kit. 18″ bass drum, 8×12 and 14×14 toms. It sounded great, just as Jaimo sounded great.

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Tony Williams with VSOP II in Japan 1983

SKF NOTE: It’s a happy day when I find a previously unknown, to me, VSOP Quintet album or YouTube video. Such was the case last night. Scrolling through pages of Amazon MP3 jazz albums I found this promising looking album, VSOP II -Live At The Shibuya Nhk Hall, Tokyo, Japan May 19, 1983.

The outstanding rhythm section of Herbie Hancock (piano), Ron Carter (bass), and drummer Tony Williams is augmented by the Marsalis brothers: Wynton on trumpet, Branford on tenor and soprano saxes.

For $6.99 this album — with a playing time of 69 minutes — is a steal. Here’s the link.

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Charles McPherson – A Musician’s Scope Should be Wide

SKF NOTE: At age 81 Charles McPherson is still creating beautiful music. Jazz first “clicked” for me while I was listening to Charles Mingus‘s band at Newport 1970. Then I listened to everything Mingus — which included a ton of Charles McPherson’s playing.

What McPherson told writer Chris Albertson in 1968 about being a musician rings true. McPherson echoes how he felt then in the modern video above.

Charles McPherson: “If you’re going to be a musician, you must not have any mental blocks. We, as musicians, can’t afford not to hear those who came before us. A layman, on the other hand, can listen to whatever makes him feel good, because he is not as wholly involved as the musician.

A musician should go as far back in his listening as he possibly can, ignoring all the little segregated categories that the writers and critics like to put music into. A musician’s scope should be wide; he does not have the layman’s privilege to be narrow. That is, if he wants to be great, if he really wants to become an artist.

Source: Charles McPherson: Ornithologist, by Chris Albertson, Down Beat, May 16, 1968

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Chick Webb – The Epitome of Swing

SKF NOTE: Dan Morganstern was a dominant voice among jazz journalists when I was growing up. Whether he was writing in Down Beat magazine, in album liner notes, or in books, Mr. Morgenstern was always teaching about music and musicians.

I spotted this Chick Webb record review a few days ago written by Morgenstern 52 years ago. The insightful observations of Webb’s drumming are, I felt, worth passing along.

Reading this review I could hear Charlie Watts talking during my interview with him about Webb. He said, I mean, if Buddy Rich thought Chick Webb was great — how great was he? Great point.

Of course, none of use heard Chick Webb live. His recordings lack the clarity of modern recordings — but so what? When I first heard these records, and other Chick Webb records, I was amazed at how well they do sound.

And as Dan Morgenstern points out, Chick Webb can “be felt throughout” his records.


February 22, 1968
Down Beat Old Wine – New Bottles Record Review
by Dan Morgenstern

Chick Webb: A Legend (Vol.1: 1929-36); (Decca 9223)
Chick Webb: King of the Savoy (Vol. 2: 1937-39); (Decca DL 9223)

The two Chick Webb LP’s are almost worth the price for Stanley Dance’s detailed and fascinating resume of the valiant little drummer’s short and eventful life.

…Volume 2 has the better reproduction of the drum parts and the bulk of the infrequent Webb solo flights.

Webb’s drumming was the epitome of swing, and he was a master at playing with a big band (or more accurately, making a big band play). Harlem Congo (on Vol.2) is perhaps the most stunning representation of his art, both in driving the band, feeding the soloists, and taking solos (his short feature spot is fantastic; only Buddy Rich could get all over the drums like that, and he is not a 4’1″ hunchback).

Other drumming gems are Liza and Clap Hands, Here Comes Charlie…. His brushwork can be fully appreciated in the chamber setting of I Got Rhythm by Chick Webb’s Little Chicks…. But the drummer can be felt throughout.

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Buddy Rich Slingerland Ad 1968

SKF NOTE: A Slingerland ad found on the inside back cover of the August 22, 1968 Down Beat magazine. This is the drumset I will probably forever associate with Buddy Rich. It is what he played most of my formative years.

A drumset for the ages.

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