Monday, July 08, 2019

Transcription: Mel Lewis fours

Here is Mel Lewis trading fours on Stoppin' at the Savoy, from Bob Brookmeyer's album The Blues Hot and Cold. These are pretty interesting. Lewis isn't anybody's idea of a chops guy, but he's not dumb. The fours begin at 3:49 in the track.

There are a couple of funny items— at one point he's throwing a stick down on the floor tom, hitting the rims. The part on the sixth line with the ruff right before the stick shot will take a little practice. Play this by itself, a lot, and work it up to speed:

It's a natural motion; you have to get the left stick onto the head to make the stick shot, so you just press it into the head on that note. We're not going for a quality buzz stroke there. I have a feeling Mel didn't practice it, but just played it on the job a few tens of thousands times.

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