|Drori Mondlak, International Man of Rhythm!|
Drori Mondlak is one of the outstanding jazz drummers and bandleaders on today's international jazz scene. His touch, subtlety, and interactive approach to music have brought him critical acclaim and performing opportunities with many creative musicians in diverse musical situations.
In his eclectic work in New York City for over twenty years Drori has played with jazz luminaries such as Frank Foster, Joe Williams, Don Friedman, Chris Potter, Lew Tabackin, Ernestine Anderson, Danny Mixon, Lynn Seaton and many more. He has also established himself in Europe performing and recording with artists such as Lee Konitz, Barbara Dennerlein, Karolina Strassmayer, Lynne Ariale, Stefan Bauer, Cary DeNigris, Tony Lakatos, Nicolas Simion, Kalman Olah, John Goldsby, Paul Heller and many more.
Drori co-leads the critically acclaimed quartet KLARO! with saxophonist, Karolina Strassmayer which has recorded 5 CDs together and actively tours in Europe. Their most recent CD is "Joining Forces" recorded for BR-Klassik/Lilypad Music. Earlier releases as a leader are "Point In Time" and "Wake-Up Call". http://klaro.bandcamp.com/album/joining-forces
His love for vintage drums begun in 2002 when he got his first Leedy/Slingerland set from 1963. He still has that set but since has acquired two very beautiful 1971 Ludwig Jazzette kits from 1971. One a White Marine Pearl and the other a Blue Sparkle set. Both have three ply clear maple shells with re-enforcement rings. The sizes are 18X12 BD, 12X8 tom, 14X14 floor tom and he added a 16X16 floor tom to both sets.
"These are some of the warmest sounding drums I have ever played. They resonate beautifully and reflect the sound I hear in my head".
His favorite snare drum is a 1939 Leedy 14X8 Broadway Standard/parallel throw-off, three- ply maple drum with its original snare wires. "I fell in love with this drum the first second I played it. I had to have it! It has that dry, super articulate, woody, dark tone that comes from a combination of the wood shell, the brass hardware and the original snare wires still on the drum. An incredible drum! In my opinion, Leedy made some of the best sounding snare drums to date. I have a number of their snare drums and feel each one has a unique sound and character. Beautiful craftsmanship coupled with great tone and fantastic articulation at all volumes!"
Drori's cymbal sound comes from his collection of Zildjian Istanbul old stamp K's and Zildjian Avedis transitional stamp A's form the 1940's and 1950's. "My love for beautiful sounding cymbals has always been there and it has led me to seek out great old cymbals for years, since the early 80's. I have a modest collection of vintage cymbals, all which I use in different combinations, depending on the gig, the instrumentation and the recording date. For my ears, a really great Zildjian cymbal from the 40's or 50's has no equal. The sound qualities of these great instruments have such a strong personality and identity unique to each individual cymbal. Of course, not everyone of them are great cymbals just because they are old K's or A's.... but when you find a truly great one, it is a living breathing instrument that just grows on you. Their beauty and depth of character is unmatched. I am always amazed at the complexity of sound these cymbals produce".
Drori Mondlak also conducts workshops on jazz drumming and improvisation both in Europe and in the US. He also teaches privately and is a contributor to publications in the US and Europe such as "Drums & Percussion" and "Modern Drummer".
"Mondlak exhibits an eloquent speech-like personality while he executes his multiple functions; he internalizes his drum kit completely. Much remindful of the deeply melodic orientations of drummers Shelly Manne, Joe Morello or Max Roach, Mondlak is natural and imaginative in his high regard and ability to represent melodic lines and contours, and illuminates this flow freely with the listener." Dr. Herb Wong - Jazz Perspectives
"Mondlak is a deeply melodic drummer, but with the deceptive power and finesse of someone like Joe Morello. He is in the driver's seat, pushing the soloists but never being pushy. You get the sense that he's arranging the improvisations from the drum throne." DRUM! Andrew Lenz
"Drori Mondlak is an extremely emotional drummer who enjoys the spaces as much as the notes. Arrangements make the tune and he is always arranging from the drum kit." Modern Drummer Magazine - Robin Tolleson
Drori's Drummerworld page:
Drori's website: http://www.drorimondlak.com
Drori has appeared at the following international jazz festivals: Newport, JVC, New Orleans Jazz & Heritage, Montreux, Bern, Copenhagen, Vienna, Graz, Salzburg, Outreach Festival, Nürnberg International Sacred Music Festival, Blues & Jazz Ralley Luxembourg, International Jazz Festival Enschede, Crested Butte Music Festival and the Mexico City Jazz Festival. He has performed at numerous New York jazz clubs including the Blue Note, Birdland, Sweet Basil, The Jazz Gallery, Jazz Standard, Smoke, The Lenox Lounge, The Knitting Factory, Smalls, Dizzy's club at Lincoln Center and Visiones.
Also performances in Japan at the Blue Notes in Osaka, Fukoaka and Tokyo, the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., Jazzmobile, Shea Center for the Performing Arts, Grove Street Music Festival, Jazz Arts Music Society, Baylor University, Bard College, Hunter College, S.W. Oklahoma Jazz Festival, University of North Texas in Denton, University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, New York University, Frick Museum of the Arts, Museum of Modern Art Jazz Series, Jazz Forum Arts, Princeton Jazz Festival, SS Norway Floating Jazz Festival & The Jazz Cruise, Marianne Mendt Jazz Festival, Jazz Maastricht, Lana Live Festival. In Germany, WDR live radio broadcast from "Art Cologne", Bingen Festival, Hildener Jazztage, Europhonics Festival 2008, WDR Jazz Nacht live radio broadcasts from Köln and Dortmund, Würzburg Jazz Festival, Aachen Jazz Festival, Bayerische Rundfunk Productions, Burg jazz Festival, Jazz an De Ruhr International Festival, Jazzfestival Rheine, Nordenham Festival the Audi Jazz Festival.