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Showing posts from December, 2011

A Paradox of Sorts…

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I like repetition. I like patterns. I like things to stay the same. Perhaps it's because there is security in sameness, or maybe it's that I just really like some things and want them to always be the same, so I can always enjoy them. Either way, repetition is a big part of my life.
And this repetition plays into my music is very strange and unexpected ways. I like to work with rhythm patterns and have them subtly change over time. I like the repetition, but find it interesting to displace say, 1 note, changing the pattern in a small, subtle way. I also like to take the repetition and stretch it out over time, creating a hypnotic, trance-like aura, then dropping that 1 note to create a pattern disrupt, shaking things out of its slumber. That's why being a percussionist is such a great thing for me, because everything I deal with is a pattern in some way.
But there is also a great paradox to my thinking. As much as I love and work with patterns, I also love to work with impro…

Artistry in Rhythm

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The drumming community took a big hit recently with the deaths of both icon jazz drummer, Paul Motian, and icon cymbal maker, Roberto Spizzichino.

Paul Motian will always be best remembered for his time with the legendary Bill Evans trio, along with the late bassist, Scott Lafario. It was in this trio that he developed (or was it revealed) his sparse, abstract drumming style. Where other drummers played time, Motian implied time, avoiding the traditional ding-ding-ga-ding cymbal pattern. If Paul had been a painter, he would have been a minimalist like Mark Rothko. He was perhaps the first Percussion Deconstructionist.

Even though he made his initial mark in the Evans trio, he went on to a very storied career: he played at Woodstock (!) with pianist/singer/composer Mose Allison, worked with pianist Keith Jarrett's early groups, and led a succession of his own bands, like the trio with guitarist Bill Frisell and saxophonist Joe Lovano; his Electric Be-Bop band, and the Trio 2000; as…