Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Groove o' the day: Ronald Shannon Jackson — Yugo Boy

Today we'll do Ronald Shannon Jackson's groove from the other day, Yugo Boy, from his 1984 album Barbeque Dog. Jackson was always coming up with distinctive grooves, and I don't know why I haven't shared his things before, except that I only have his records on vinyl, not digital, and they rarely come up on YouTube. I'm hearing a lot of Stewart Copeland in his playing here— definitely in his snare sound— which I never thought of before; he was paying attention to Copeland then, so it's not too surprising. Playing the snare on beat 4 only strikes me as a very 80's thing, too.

You can hear that there's a lot of variety in how he handles the end of the measure, though he doesn't do anything too fancy. The hihat is partly open on the 16th notes, obviously.

I've spent a lot of time listening to him, reading his words, and thinking about his playing, and I'm still sorry he's gone. There aren't many drummers who manage to create such a unique voice on the instrument as he did, and it's a tragedy one one of them dies.

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