Sunday, August 27, 2023

Transcription: Peter Erskine - Duo

I don't know what younger drummers' current perception of Peter Erskine is, but when I was a student he was one of the top guys, always thought of as being exceedingly musical, with a great sound. And slamming, at times, like here— later on I got the feeling that he regarded overtly exciting playing as a kind of obligation to keep the punters happy. 

...I'm still a little annoyed that I didn't get to study with him when I was at USC. He was teaching a couple of the other drummers there, and later became regular faculty. I did get to drive him around and hang a little bit when he came to the U. of Oregon later. A bassist I knew at SC, Jesse Murphy, got to play with him a little bit, and his comment about his time always stuck with me: Where else could it be?  

This is from Bob Mintzer's 1992 record Hymn, and is titled Duo, with Mintzer and Erskine playing duo. I had a bunch of records with this group: Erskine, John Abercrombie, Marc Johnson. I missed this one— when it came out I was buying all the Joey Baron records I could afford. 

This is the head, the first 30 seconds of the recording. I'm going to try to do the whole thing, in installments. Tempo is 258— getting into the top end of the range where you'd swing the 8ths, and play many triplets.  

It's funny, this is all baseline modern vocabulary, but there's a specific thing happening here. I don't recognize it much in my own playing any more, I hear it a lot in my brother's playing— I need to think about it, I'll give whatever kind of analysis I can manage another time... 

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