Thursday, July 31, 2014

Transcription: Cabbage Alley breakdown

Polishing my backbeats-playing for kind of a big record date later in August, I've been playing along with this track quite a bit: Cabbage Alley, by The Meters; and noting to myself how much more rewarding and educational it is to play with real music, rather than commercial playalong tracks. Here we have just the breakdown from this song, which is sixteen bars long, starting at 1:42. Drumming is by Zigaboo Modeliste, of course.

The variations in the groove are pretty inconsequential; you can see that he'll drop out some notes on the hihat occasionally, and vary the volume of the filler notes on the snare drum, and drop out the bass drum when the piano comes in. The roll in the last measure sounds smooth enough that it could be a 5-stroke, but that would throw off the moves to the toms, so it must just be a very long and smooth single buzz, tied to the following note.

Get the pdf

Very occasional quote of the day: do what you want

“It's just like when I was twenty and my father and sister got killed in a car accident. I thought, If this can happen to people, you might as well do what you want— which is to be a writer. Don't compromise at all, because there's no point in it.”

—writer Jim Harrison, from What I've Learned, at

Monday, July 28, 2014

Groove o' the day: Elvin Afro 6

All I can say is, we're all going to be masters of the 6/8 Afro groove by the time we're finished here. That's fine. It's a lot of fun to play, to listen to, and (probably) to dance to; and while it's got a long history of usage, it shows no signs of becoming worn out any time soon. It's just a very tight fit with the human body, the human nervous system.  

So here's another way of playing it, from Elvin Jones's album Very R.A.R.E., a Japanese release you'll have a very hard time finding:

Elvin's cymbal pattern is what's often called the “long” bell pattern, in African percussion parlance— our usual bell pattern, more common in Afro-Cuban music, would be the “short” bell pattern. If you listen to the recording, there is a strong pull towards other rhythmic subdivisions— it's a common aspect of Elvin's playing which doesn't get talked about much, and accounts for much of what is often perceived as sloppiness, or general looseness in his playing.

Here's the track:

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Toy cameras

When I started taking pictures, I was following the made-up Lomography “ethic”, in which you're supposed to take your camera with you always, and get pictures of everything and nothing, all the time. The idea was to get a lot of uncontrolled, accidental art, using the crummy Russian Lomo LC-A camera, which tended to take arty, screwy-looking pictures. After messing around with the Lomo a little while, I started exploring some of the other cheap/junk/toy camera options, which each have their own visual quirks. I finally mostly gave up the toys because I started getting an idea of what a good picture is, and how to make them, and I started wanting more control over the outcome. To the point where it was becoming counter-productive; I was only taking pictures when I had a definite project or job, or when I thought I could get some special pictures. So I've been coming back to the toys again to get myself producing a lot of images again. And because I took some really cool pictures with them, and I'd like to be doing more of that.

So, here are some of the standard options for toy film cameras:

A way sexier picture than this
extremely humble camera merits.
This is the original artist's camera— back in the early 70s, photography students were picking these up from Woolworth's for  $1.49 and going crazy with them. They are true pieces of lowest-possible grade plastic junk, sold under dozens of different names including, hilariously, Champion, or, more fittingly, Rosko. They had a level of quality control you usually find in toys you get out of gumball machines— even the lens, which is made out of plastic. They're also really cool, weird distortions and smears of light, and heavy vignetting, and each camera is a little bit unique. It uses medium format roll film, but only exposes a 4.5 x 4.5cm portion of each 6x6 frame of film— approximately; the frame is a little skewed on mine. I usually shoot E-6 slide film, and cross-process— I ask the lab to process the E-6 like regular C-41 negative print film, which generally increases contrast and distorts the colors.

Shot with the Diana, in Paris, in 2009

For a long time they were stupidly expensive, but I was lucky enough to inherit one from my brother Scott— over the years he picked up several of them at the Goodwill, basically for free. Now the Lomography people have reissued them, with some added features, and prices on the original cameras are now much more realistic; this week I was able to get one on eBay for $10 in pretty short order.

If you want to get one of the new ones, this forum user had this to say about them:
The new Diana [...] is vastly different [from the old]... Its lens was carefully designed (yes, designed!) to mimic the old look and, to my mind, is a bit too intentionally bad, but in a good way, with lots of astigmatism on the edges, sometimes a bit too much, but it's not bad.

Holga 120N
The Holga, first available (or first popular?) in the 90's, is sort of the successor to the Diana. It's almost as primitive and shoddily-constructed, but with a little better construction— unlike the Diana, it doesn't feel like you could crush it by squeezing it hard— and a better plastic lens. Vignetting, light leaks, and softer focus near the edges of the frame are the notable artistic interest. Since they've become popular with the artist crowd, a bunch of variations have been made available, but I would stick with the straight black 120N. Like the Diana, it takes medium-format roll film. There is a 35mm Holga available, which you might be tempted to get, but it is really worth the small extra hassle to use the MF/120 version— 35mm film with a junk lens just looks crappy, and not in a good way.

Holga: Use the 120 version. 

Both the Holga and the Diana have one shutter speed, and a couple of apertures, and the world's roughest zone focusing. The reason these cameras are usable at all is that a) print film has pretty wide latitude; meaning you can get a usable image even if your exposure is pretty wrong; and b) they tend to have smaller apertures, giving you more depth of field, so you're more likely to have your subject to accidentally be in focus.

Continued after the break:

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

New drum day

OK, my rig just got about 40 pounds heavier.

Mainly, my new late-80's Sonor Phonic jazz set has finally arrived. I've been coveting a set of these since I played one, loaned to me by a great drummer, Teun Verbruggen, in Belgium in 2012. I did a tour with my own jazz quartet, and made a rock record with my girlfriend Casey Scott, and also did a loudish gig with her, unmiked, and they performed exceptionally well in all those settings. I haven't been that excited about a set of drums in a long time. This one has the black wrap, as opposed to the more coveted rosewood finish, but that's fine— no need to get greedy. And these are totally mint.

The Phonic line were Sonor's standard pro drums through the 70s and 80s, with very fat 9-ply beech shells. Their ad campaign at the time featured a large German man squatting on a Phonic shell to illustrate their strength, stoutness, heavy-duty-ness. And they are heavy— clearly they didn't go out of their way to compensate for the very robust shells by slimming down the hardware. At that time way-too-heavy hardware was all the rage, and I suspect they actually wanted to communicate their seriousness on this point in a visceral way, by making their drums way too damn heavy.

But then around the late 80s suddenly everyone decided that thin shells were really what it was all about, and the line fell out of favor... I don't think it helped that many of the Phonics floating around were sized-up; lots of 24" bass drums, 13/14" mounted toms, lots of drums with the absurd super-power-tom depth— with the depth greater than the diameter. And a lot of their hardware was kind of goofy. Suddenly Sonor Phonics were to drums what the 70s Buick Riviera was to cars— big, outlandish, and in rather poor taste:

Happily, they also made a fair number of bop sets— with 12/14/18" drums in standard depths— the drums I played in Belgium. A few of those made it to the US, which brings us back around to where we are today, to me unpacking MY NEW SONOR PHONICS...

...sorry, I've been using a lot of all-caps lately, and I'm excited...

...and testing them out. They're absolutely ridiculous. I have them tuned down, and the sound is just gigantic— the bass drum, and everything... stay tuned...

The other new item is a custom snare drum built by Johnny Craviotto back in the late 80's. It's a 7x14", with a thin birch Eames shell (1/4", 6-ply, “Finetone”), finished with that classic Eames finish you see on a lot of these drums— a light brown stain— with triple-flanged hoop on top (which I like for rim shots), and die cast on the bottom (not sure why that choice, but it's fine with me). The lug casings are from a 1930's Slingerland Radio King bass drum, and it's got a Radio King badge, which is just atmospheric; Slingerland never made a drum like this, and they're obviously not meaning to pass it off as one. I already own one early Craviotto drum, from his company Select (also briefly called Solid, or vice-versa), so I kind of had to have this one.

If you don't know about the Eames company, they've been making high-end custom drum shells for many decades. For some reason they never broke through with the little custom drum builders in the same way as Keller did, but they've hung around, and have maybe preserved their brand mystique a little better. Keller makes great shells, and always have, but maybe with success has come a little bit of overexposure, and their name doesn't inspire people that they are getting a unique, custom product, the way it used to.

Anyway, I needed a drum for a session in Los Angeles next month, and guessed correctly that this would be the right one for it. Right out of the box it sounds great. I don't think I'll even take off the moleskin the previous owner installed on the batter side. Just a perfect, refined, moderate-volume backbeat drum. Also a great concert snare drum, which I'll be using in lessons.

By the way, to pay for these suckers, I am selling a number of items, including an excellent Keller-shell(!) Slingerland bop set. Checkum out.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Snare drum workout in 2/4

Easing back into posting stuff, this is a short snare drum workout in 2/4, based on a simple accent pattern, developing a quasi-rudimental, flam drag/flam accent/flamacue-thing I improvised while warming up on a practice pad. If you don't have your flam drags together, it should be fairly challenging.  

Assume an alternating sticking , except where indicated. A complete workout with this thing would be to play each exercise 4-8 times, going on to the next one without stopping until you've finished the page. I would do that at two tempos: one comfortable, one challenging. Then repeat the entire process leading with the left hand.

Get the pdf

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Lots of other business to tend to

New CD, out now! 
My apologies for the lack of blogging. I haven't forgotten about you. We're in the middle of the big publicity push for my new CD, Travelogue, and have been busy the last few days updating my own music site with new airplay, reviews, and such, and finishing a written interview for the Italian All About Jazz site (note to self: book some dates in Italy). And it's the super, duper, really, for sure, not-fooling-around-this-time crunch time for filling out a few open dates on my little October Belgium tour. As well as being hey-buddy-time-to-get-serious-time for my not-so-little April '15 Europe tour.

I'm also selling a lot of stuff to pay for my new set of Sonor Phonics (and an older, Craviotto-built custom snare drum), which takes some time. And the Cathedral Park Jazz Festival is this week, so there's lots of action in Portland related to that...

BUT: Next month I'll be doing a recording session in Los Angeles with my old friend, songwriter and bassist Kirk Ross, and on the session will be the pianist Geoff Keezer; so I'll be practicing my fool head off in the coming weeks, which always means lots of new stuff on the blog. So stick around, more stuff coming soon...

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

You're improvising wrong

Or so says blogger, and composer Aaron Gervais. I thought he was mainly into trolling artists on economic issues, but then I saw this post, “Most Artists Don’t Really Get Creativity”, and I thought, OK, guy, tell me about it. 

The myth of free improvisation 
by Aaron Gervais

OK, I can dig it. If you really want to get philosophical, I think freedom in music is a little bit of a false concept. You are always a servant of the music, and you are never really free to do whatever you want independent of that. You can be, but it's bad practice— it causes bad music. All the word free really means is that you're making the whole thing up on the spot, and not playing a pre-composed piece in the traditional sense. It can also be a matter of degree— taking more or fewer liberties within a style. Philosophical questions like what is musical freedom? and how free are we improvising, like, really? are somewhat academic, and I and the players I know don't dedicate a lot of energy to them.

Certain types of free improvisation also have a tendency toward substituting actual creativity for mysticism. When people say they’re doing free improvisation, most of the time the thing they’re actually doing is not so much free as it is habitual. Unless forced otherwise by some structure, we have a tendency to do what is most comfortable. Non-improvising interpreters put effort into learning music that pushes them in new directions and leads to self-discovery. Similarly, more traditional improvisers work within boundaries that force them to stretch themselves, again leading to self-discovery. Free improvisers, on the other hand, are at much greater risk of falling back on clichés.

To say that free players (if we're going to treat them as a distinct group) are at a much greater risk of relying on clichés than someone who improvises within traditional structures— like, say, a blues saxophonist. Or even a bebop saxophonist. Or a non-improvising musician, who never creates anything— is absurd. You don't want to just barf up pre-packaged licks all day, but clichés, learned material, and favorite ideas are part of the terrain of music with any degree of improvisation; their presence is not a bad thing.

I don't know what he's talking about in re: “self-discovery”; since when is that the major purpose of a musician?

This is why so many free improv performances sound essentially identical. Yes, they’re technically all unique little snowflakes, but the human mind does not have an infinite capacity for appreciating shades of grey. You could say that, in actual practice, there are a handful of “pieces” in the free improv repertoire that are known collectively and interpreted, with minor variation, by the vast majority of practitioners—there’s probably less variety in free improv than in a jazz fakebook.

There's a lot of variety in a jazz fake book, so that's not as minimizing a thing as he's trying to make it. Like, there are hundreds of tunes in there, in many styles, by many dozens of composers— composers like this guy is supposed to be. I find it highly strange that a composer would speak so dismissively about some of the greatest people of the last 100 years, in his own field.

I'm also wondering how he figures that these improvised pieces all sound “identical”. Do they all feature the same instrumentation, the same players, with the same textures? Are they all played in the same key (or no key), the same meter (or no meter), the same defined or implied tempo? With the same overall structure? Same emergent melodies and accompaniment? That shit is supposed to matter. The specifics. And even if the music did all sound kind of the same, is that not also the case with, say, any random selection of late 18th century Viennese string quartets, or British Invasion songs, or Delta Blues 78s, or American Songbook tunes? What am I supposed to make of a composer who talks about music in such stereotypical terms?

Continued after the break:

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Some cymbals FS, too...

UPDATE: Pictures added! It looks like the Bosphorus and the Zildjian 16" may be sold— just waiting to complete that sale.

While we're at it I'm going to need to sell some cymbals. Here's what I'm willing to part with, barely:

SOLD — 22" Bosphorus Turk Original Ride — 2670 grams
Light, jazz-weight cymbal. Records great, good for very low-volume live settings. All normal-light Bosphoruses sound great. $250 +shipping.

It's the main ride on this track— on that entire album, in fact. And Little Played Little Bird, and Travelogue. Why am I selling this thing, again?

19" Meinl Byzance Jazz Ride
Unsure of the weight in grams, but I'd call it a light medium. Gives a beautiful, lush, full crash. $190/shipping

20" Paiste Sound Formula Full Ride

I'd call it a medium heavy. Dense layer of overtones, high pitched, but darkish, and fairly complex. I've written about this cymbal before— it's sort of a poor man's Sound Creation Dark Ride. Also makes a good Billy Higgins cymbal. Used this on my 2012 Europe tour, playing jazz. Drilled by Gregg Keplinger for six rivets. $150/shipping

SOLD — 16" A. Zildjian Medium Ride 

Late 70's? It's tiny, but handles exactly like every other Zildjian Medium Ride you've ever played. Nobody's playing rides this small any more, but if you're playing a lot of Bossa Nova, this would be a really cool cymbal. Or trad jazz/dixieland, whatever. $90/shipping.

Oh, and a snare, too:
6x15" Slingerland TDR Concert King snare drum
Slingerland's top of the line wood shells at the time, which were 5-ply maple and mahogany; nice modern (and original) TDR strainer. This model has single lug casings. With new Evans heads, and Puresound snares. $250/shipping

Drums for sale!

At a recording session in 2011.
SECOND UPDATE: Pictures added! 

UPDATE: I went ahead and got those drums, a Sonor Phonic bop kit, so I will be needing to sell the Slingerlands. You can hear them on my Bandcamp page— they're on both Travelogue and Little Played Little Bird. Let's say $1300, plus shipping, if anyone is interested. Email me if you have questions, want to see more pictures, whatever...

Considering selling my early-90's Keller-shell Slingerland jazz set to finance the purchase of another set of drums I reeelly want. Because of the sizes, quality, and the fact they were selling relatively cheaply at the time, there were a lot of New York jazz guys buying these during the few years they were available, I'm told.

The set includes an 18" bass drum, 10 and 12" mounted toms (with RIMS mounts), and a 14" floor tom, all in standard depths. Includes a bass drum mounted cymbal holder, which I really like. Finish is a white marine pearl wrap; they look great, but pearl finishes aren't really my thing, and I was intending to get them re-wrapped, or de-wrapped and refinished at some point.

These are really good drums. Because of the better hardware and Keller shells, I actually prefer these over any other Slingerlands I've played. I believe DW is making their own shells now, but for a long time, like when they were considered to be the absolute shit, they were getting their shells from Keller. Since I got this set, I sidelined my late 80's “progressive jazz” configuration Gretsch set, and have used these on my last two records, and everything else. I could've played these quite happily for the rest of my career, but these other drums are something of a Holy Grail for me, and I can't bring myself to sell the Gretsch...

More pictures after the break:

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Charlie Haden 1937-2014

UPDATE: Haden remembered by some musicians who played with him.

Very disappointed to find out that Charlie Haden, the bassist, died yesterday— he's been one of my musical heroes for a long time, since I heard him on Ornette Coleman's records, and saw him play with Joe Henderson at the John Coltrane Celebration in LA in 1988. He had the most driving groove I ever heard, as well as an unusual rhythmic sense, and very open way of phrasing. And, of course, a distinctive country/folky melodic sense which the marketing people latched onto in his later years.

But for at least the first 30 years of his career he was generally categorized as a free guy. I figured out partly from listening to him that avant-garde music needs a strong, grounded bassist at its center— he was one of the great examples of that.

I'm also sorry he's gone because he's one of the last examples of a musician who everyone agrees is great, who is also coming from a somewhat technically limited place— an irrefutable example of how you can be great without being technically mind-blowing.

Dave Liebman, on his Facebook page, gives a nice remembrance:

“PASSING - CHARLIE: From Blanton to Pettiford to (Ray) Brown, Charlie Haden was the next step along with Scott LeFaro in re-defining the role of the bass. "Time, no changes" was his world, but he could deal with harmony very easily. It was his linear, highly melodic and counterpoint phrasing that was uniquely Charlie that found its home with Ornette. We recorded "My Goals Beyond" with John McLaughlin in the early '70s and Charlie is also on my recording "Sweet Hands" a bit later. Charlie's solos were invariably plainly stated, apparently "simple," obviously melodic, but most of all played with a passionate feeling and deep tone. We talked a few times in the past years about post polio syndrome (which several well-known people have encountered), trying to find someone, somewhere, who could treat it, apparently to no avail. He went down as a warrior, just the way he played.”

Also read memorials at Variety, and Salon, and NPR.

A very soulful piece of playing from Don Cherry's Brown Rice:

More music, and listening suggestions after the break:

Friday, July 11, 2014

Very occasional quote(s) of the day: over and over again

This is the one I had...
“When we were young, we had our seven jazz albums next to our bed and played them over and over again.”
— John Scofield

“When I was young, I'd listen to one record over and over again, like The Best of Sonny Rollins. It's not like now, when I have every Sonny Rollins record ever made. But back the I could only afford one record I found in a cut-out bin. The first Wes Montgomery record I had was his first on Riverside that I got for 89 cents. I listened to it so many times that I took it in in a different way. I was getting an emotional connection that you can't get if you listen to something once and go on to the next one. Now when I hear anything from that record, it still hits me in my gut. I think young people's brains, with the whole computer thing, can take in more than I ever could. There's a real advantage to that, but there's also an advantage to listening to one thing over and over.”
— Bill Frisell

Quotes from Six String Theories by Geoffrey Himes, Jazz Times, August 2015

Groove o' the day: Al Foster — Billy Preston

Must play more music where I can just leave the hihats open all day. This is Al Foster's groove on the tune Billy Preston, on the Miles Davis album Get Up With It; kind of a sleeper album. I think a lot of people bought it for the cover photo, and never listened to it a second time. But it's great. Do check out Rated X, our other GOTD from this record.

Foster plays no fills, and the variations, mostly with the bass drum, should be easy to hear.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Page o' coordination: Elvin waltz, with 16th notes

An big part of the Elvin Jones “thing” (if we must think of it that way), which doesn't get talked about much, is 16th notes. People instantly think Elvin >>> triplets!, but he played a lot of 16th notes, too. So,  introduce them into our familiar POC-thing, we'll use the vamp from our original Elvin's Afro-waltz page, plus a variation, with an extra bass drum note at the end.

In jazz, 16th notes are played legato, and not swung; play them evenly, but don't articulate them crisply, as you would in funk. You can generally play the left hand very softly here. You can swing the 8th notes triplet-style, the way we usually do them, or put them on a 16th note grid— again, keep it relaxed if you're going to do that. But don't feel that because you're embellishing or comping with 16th notes here and there, you need to shift your entire grid to a 16th note subdivision— you don't. Depending on the tempo, you can experiment with accenting the left hand in different places— with these exercises on the &, or on the 'a'. It sounds better if you don't accent in the same place all the time.

This isn't a great set of exercises for this, but at very slow tempos, you could actually experiment with swinging the 16th notes, making a double time feel by putting them roughly on a 16th note triplet grid. To be clear, usually when you do this you would be considered to be “playing double time”, rather than “swinging 16th notes”, even though they are actually the same thing. Just be aware that jazz musicians don't arrive at double time by saying “Hey, I'm going to swing some 16th notes here.”

Get the pdf

Sunday, July 06, 2014

Scott K. Fish blogs

Something new for you to read while I'm out of town for a few days catching the opening of Family Album, the new rock musical featuring my girlfriend: former Modern Drummer contributer and managing editor Scott K. Fish is now blogging about drumming, with a lot of anecdotes from the golden age of that magazine, when there were a lot more of the old drumming legends around, and being covered by MD. Definitely pay him a visit and check back in frequently.  

Thursday, July 03, 2014

Page o' coordination: Elvin's waltz — inverted feet

Once you start doing an Elvin-like thing, the pull of that dotted-quarter rhythm can be very hard to resist; it's effective, it builds tension, and it feels good to play it, but you need to be able to get away from it. So here's a page o' coordination for doing that same basic feel without the heavy bass drum on every downbeat.

Doing the tom moves is not just about learning to go crazy playing a whole lot of tom toms; it's more about tricking you into playing the patterns for longer, by making you think you're learning to go crazy playing a whole lot of tom toms.

Get the pdf

VOQOTD: Marc Ribot on the state of things

From the August 2014 Jazz Times interview with Guitarist Marc Ribot:

It's not an exaggeration to say that the recording industry has collapsed. There's been something like a 60% collapse. And that last 40% could be gone within a year when YouTube premieres its listening service. 

An endless amount of BS gets spilled over this. [Tech companies that facilitate free or pirated music] have big publicity budgets. And no matter how many musicians come forward to speak a critical truth, they can always pay someone to say, “Oh, no, things are wonderful.” But the truth is that for the overwhelming majority of artists now, they can't make back their production costs. For trust fund kids who have tones of money, that doesn't matter. But for normal people who actually need to pay their bills, it's been hard. 

And these tech corporate people have an answer for everything. They say, “Oh, don't worry, you can just go out on the road. You don't need to make money from records.” I love people who have no experience with this telling us what we can do. I'm no stranger to the road; I've spent a significant portion of my life on it. But as the recording industry is crashing, it has not gotten easier on the road, because all kinds of dinosaurs who were in retirement because they figured record royalties would always take care of them, now that that revenue stream is gone, they're back on the road. There is a glut of artists and studio musicians who once stayed put and played on other people's records back on the road. So there's a wide range of bands touring, and it's depressing wages on the road. 

Tuesday, July 01, 2014

Site work

ANOTHER UPDATE: The search engine is mostly working correctly now. If you're looking for something specific and not finding it, open a new window and do a Google search with  at the beginning of the search.

UPDATE: Sweet lord, I hate the Internet. Almost everything should be back to normal now— you may have even noticed that the address of the site is now Before, if you typed that into the address bar, it would take you to the old blogger address, Now it's the other way around; typing shipdrummer...etc takes you to the new domain. There is one small problem, however, which is that the search engine is behaving very strangely. So for now, to peruse the archives, you should try to do it with the labels, or do a regular Google search, putting at the beginning of your search. Hopefully I can get this figured out soon.

Doing a little hosting changeover over the next few days, so it's possible some of the downloads may not work for a moment. If you run into that, leave a comment on the post of the file you're attempting to download, and I can make sure to get it working for you.

Transcription: Ed Blackwell — Guinea

OK, this one is definitely a labor of love— that took way too long to finish and proof. But I've been living with this piece for a good twenty years, and performing it for much of that time, so... whatever. This is Guinea, by the group Old And New Dreams, if you don't know them, a band of former Ornette Coleman sidemen: Don Cherry, Dewey Redman, and Charlie Haden, with Ed Blackwell on drums. The tune is Guinea, an African-flavored tune in 6/4, by Don Cherry.

The 8th notes are swung for much of the piece, except for a passage where straight 8ths are indicated, where he's making a double time feel. He's using three high tom toms, indicated by black noteheads on the top space, the top line, and the space above the staff. You can also safely ignore most of the hihat part. Rather than trying to play it exactly, I would just use it to get an idea of how he's approaching the feel for the tune overall. Sometimes he suggests a waltz, with the hihat on 2-3/5-6; other times he plays a "4" feel, with the hihat on 2/4/6. Often, though, the hihat is just moving sympathetically with what he's playing with his hands. Rarely is the hihat worked out as part of the coordination— his major ideas are flowing out of the hands, and bass drum.

The lick with the 5s, in measure 63, is simpler than it looks; the second lick starts on the & of 2, and ends on the & of 3. I might use a RLLRRL sticking.

In playing this, I would try not to get bogged down in the few little peculiar things, which, if I've transcibed them correctly, are obviously the product of Blackwell's very special, very practiced thing; like the 16th notes at the beginning of measure 14. Things like that are just the tip of a very large iceberg of stuff that he had been practicing and playing for decades before this. Rather than taking it as a lick to be copied, look at is as a clue about the sorts of things that are in his technical background— what he's been practicing.

Get the pdf

ECM has blocked most of their music from YouTube, and I've been spending way too much time on the computer doing technical BS to have the patience to make my own bootleg video of it, so you'll just have to buy the album, if you don't already have it. It's really essential listening, as important as any other record in my collection.