Tag Archives: Mel Lewis

John Von Ohlen: I Couldn’t Get Mel Lewis’s Burning Ride Cymbal Out of My Mind

SKF NOTE: An excerpt from the full transcription of my interview with John Von Ohlen on October 12, 1984. You can listen to this exchange on the YouTube video posted here. John Von Ohlen: When I first started playing drums … Continue reading

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Mel Lewis: Pearl Drums, Al Duffy, Tours & Clinics 1982

SKF NOTE: This is an updater from Mel Lewis in 1982, probably for Modern Drummer magazine. It’s great hearing Mel’s voice again. Historically, there are some interesting moments here. Mel has just endorsed Pearl Drums. He gives the company high … Continue reading

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Mel Lewis – Best Beat of a Lifetime

SKF NOTE: This 1968 Gretsch drum ad with Mel Lewis — and other great drummers in the series — need to be kept in the public eye, IMO. As I’ve said before, pre-internet, these ads gave young drummers one our … Continue reading

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Mel Lewis Plays Herbie Hancock ($4.95)

SKF NOTE: This album, Mel Lewis & the Jazz Orchestra Play the Compositions of Herbie Hancock Live in Montreux, looks promising. Mel Lewis’s Orchestra in concert playing Herbie Hancock tunes arranged by Bob Mintzer. At $4.95 (as of Feb. 26, … Continue reading

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Frankie Dunlop: Max Roach Took Me Under His Wing

SKF NOTE: Prior to interviewing Frankie Dunlop, Mel Lewis told me he thought Frankie, when he first came to New York City, had studied with Max Roach. This interview excerpt is Frankie’s response to what Mel Lewis said.

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John Von Ohlen: I Started on Drums at Age 17 (1984)

SKF NOTE: From the transcript of my interview with John Von Ohlen, published in the March 1985 Modern Drummer. John’s relatively late start on drums were preceded by more than a decade of studying accordion, piano, and trombone. And also, … Continue reading

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Mel Lewis: ‘I Own Four Sets of Drums’

SKF NOTE: Arnold Jay Smith interviewed Mel Lewis for the June 1, 1978 Down Beat. Revisiting that interview last night, I don’t recall Mel owning four drumsets, each different in configuration, that he used for different situations. Mr. Smith asks … Continue reading

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