Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Mel Lewis rub-a-dub

Well, we ignore the blog Four On The Floor at our peril. I hadn't visited in awhile, and then yesterday,  BLAM, there's a great post with a video from Chris Smith— he's the author of The View From The Back Of The Band, an invaluable book about Mel Lewis's career. If you've listened to the recordings of Lewis's jazz drumming history, you heard him mention something he calls “rub-a-dub.” He doesn't talk about it in detail, except to say it's a way of playing figures while filling in around the drums.

I was wondering about it, because the recorded example in reference is pretty bad ass. In this video Smith explains it:

It's very much the kind of thing we're into here at CRUISE SHIP DRUMMER!: a simple idea that sounds great and is easy to improvise with. It's actually very similar to something I've been doing for many years, that I picked up from Jack Dejohnette's book. The explanation and context is different, but it's the same idea. I always felt it was covered pretty poorly in Jack's book, so I'm working up a way of practicing it using Syncopation, of course. Stay tuned for that...

Be sure to follow/subscribe to FOTF, and Chris Smith's Drum Hang channel on YouTube. Hell, follow me while you're at it. Scroll down to where it says “followers” on the right.

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