Saturday, June 22, 2019

Groove o' the day: Like Sonny - alternate version

An Afro 6 feel recorded in 1959 by Lex Humphries on an alternate version of Like Sonny, from the John Coltrane Alternate Takes compilation. The master version of the tune was released on the album Coltrane Jazz with Jimmy Cobb on drums, playing a straight-8th Latin feel.

On the early (late 50s-early 60s) recordings of this type of triplet-feel Latin groove, the drummers generally seem to be making up their own way of playing it. I don't know how it found its way into the jazz idiom, if there was a particular recording, or what. I imagine it was just through general exposure to Latin musicians in New York. There's more of Lex Humphries playing an Afro 6 feel here.

The first measure by itself is the actual repeating groove; the second measure is a fill he plays in bar 8. You can play it as a two measure groove, the way I've written it, or play just the first measure, and use the second measure as a fill/variation as on the record. The bass drum is played very lightly.

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