I have been listening to Manu Chao for a few years. His music, played with his band Radio Bemba Sound System, is a mixture of many styles including punk, reggae, ska and latin with a splash of gypsy music. The lyrics are equally eclectic being sung in several languages even in the same song. Manu Chao started his musical career as a street performer and the live show reflects this with a relentless energy and a set that doesn’t stop… Read More »Manu Chao – As Eclectic As It Gets
Check out this brilliant show on Reprezent 107.3 FM, The Voice Of Young London. I’m slightly biased because one of the presenters is a student of mine but these guys are playing a brilliant selection of music from rock classics to funk masterpieces. It’s a perfect playlist for a fuddyduddy like me and inspires some hope that all is not lost for the youth, some of whom seem aware of the pre-Autotune generation of proper music. No untz-untz stuff here.… Read More »Collision! Youth Know Something About Music
What with getting into Afrobeat and, obviously, the fantastic drumming that comes with it, I have had some Fela Kuti in my earplugs this week. Tony Allen is playing some very busy stuff, variating in every bar and at the same time driving the groove without any bumps. Once I’ve soaked this stuff up some more, I am going to write down my thoughts on learning to play in this style. There doesn’t seem to be too much material in… Read More »What I’m Listening To This Week
The last few days I can’t get this song out of my head for some reason… I guess it’s a bit of a cliche to say that playing drums slowly is a lot more challenging than most people think but it really is. Not to suggest that filling every available nanosecond with a flurry of 32s isn’t a challenge in itself but it’s not the be all and end all of our instrument. Drums aren’t an Olympic sport after all.… Read More »Cold Cold Cold – Me and Lowell Too
Having worked on the groove on Clutch’s Burning Beard, I got the album, Robot Hive /Exodus. John Paul Gaster is a great funky drummer. Check out 10001110101 for some fabulous groove playing. In a slightly mellower vein, I have been learning Grant Green’s Ease Back with the wonderful Idris Muhammad laying down some very tasty, loose and fluid grooves. The main groove is in Todd Bishop’s 100 Grooves. Or you can get it off his blog here. And in a… Read More »What I’m Listening To This Week – Clutch
All this talk of jazz has me thinking about how much I love Frank Zappa. Here is an entirely inappropriate introduction to the great FZ’s work. If you are not already familiar with Zappa’s work, don’t watch the following clip. On drums we have the robust and very focused Chad Wackerman playing something that is almost a reggae. Chad Wackerman taught me the Murray Spivack grip via this video on DrumChannel.com – http://www.drumchannel.com/categories/Master-Class-Chad-Wackerman-Murray-Spivack. To access it requires a paid subscription.… Read More »An Inappropriate Introduction To Frank Zappa
I have been getting back into jazz lately. I went through a period of only listening to Jazz, mostly bebop. Once I heard Dizzy Gillespie, the rock ‘n’ roll I loved seemed flat and simple. From my late teens until my mid twenties I listened only to jazz. Actually, jazz and some classical music of the Romantic era. I studied Chapin’s legendary book and spent my twenties at Ronnie’s soaking up some of the greatest music on the planet. Then… Read More »What I’m Listening To This Week – Elvin
Here is a very insightful post from Inspired Practice about working on coordinaton. Sometimes I think that a teacher is just a person who isn’t afraid to say “slow it down” a lot.