Former long-time Prince Drummer, John Blackwell Jr. passed away of cancer on July 4, 2017 – He was 43 years old.
His wife Yaritza conveyed the following message soon after his passing. "My husband incredible drummer John Blackwell Jr. passed the way peacefully in my company today. Thanks God for his life and thanks everyone for their support."John Blackwell’s death has prompted a large number of accolades from fellow drummers, and many others in the music industry world-wide.
Not So Modern Drummer now offers art for drummers on posters, framed or unframed prints on several choices of papers and canvases, t shirts, coffee mugs, and other items. We are selling photos and graphic art from the magazine and website; back issue magazine covers, photos of famous drummers, and photos of vintage and custom drums. We are also selling paintings and other renderings of drummers and drums by artists.
We use FineArtAmerica to sell, print, frame, and ship our art for drummers. The link to our gallery at that site is https://fineartamerica.com/profiles/4-george-lawrence . Our first collection is that of Michael DeGruchy Haslam, a Canadian artist who has painted some very cool caricature portraits of famous jazz drummers. He is painting all the time so check back often to see what's new. Other images will be available very soon. In the slide show below are his current paintings available to buy: Philly Joe Jones, Baby Dodds, Elvin Jones, Tony Williams, Kenny Klook Clarke, Gene Krupa, Buddy Rich, Big Sid Catlett, Papa Jo Jones, Miles Davis/Sonny Rollins.
What makes Tom a great musician? I think the fact that Tom can play other instruments and can sing and write songs, and produce a song in the studio, gives him the "big picture" of what a song needs. Once you approach a song from a producer's point of view, you begin to see that the drummer is only one piece of the puzzle. You begin to appreciate the other instrument's roles in the song, and how the drums must fit into that puzzle and has a specific role if the song is going to be great. That's the difference between a good and a great drummer. Tom is definitely one of the great ones”.
A 69-year-old professional jazz drummer had pain, accompanied by numbness and tingling, in both hands and could not bend his fingers. He experienced moderate aching pain and difficulty holding his sticks both while practicing (two to three hours a day) and during two or three gigs a week. The pain was relieved by rest and breaks from drumming, though he sometimes woke up at night with a burning pain in both hands......
Well, Phil Collins is back in the news lately. Remember when he was the guy every rock drummer wanted to be? Then he became a front-man, a break-out star, then a pop icon, then the stalwart of the housewives’ hit parade. Even though Phil are I nearly the same age, he was my idol. We all followed his progress from promising young prog-rock drummer with the shy manner and even shyer voice, to the most respected, most wanted, rock/pop drummer ever. I've just finished Phil's autobiography and I heartily recommend it.
Not So Modern Drummer continues to celebrate the legendary Buddy Rich in 2017, recognizing the 100th anniversary of his birth. Providing their personal commentary on Buddy are: Harry Cangany, Marko Djordjevic, Billy Drummond, Jeff Indyke, and Steve Maxwell. ".....but, the videos don't even come remotely close to seeing Buddy in person. Johnny Carson (the king of late night) said it best. Johnny was an amateur drummer and loved Buddy. In remembering Buddy, Johnny related a story of how Buddy always cranked it up even higher on nights when other famous drummers were in the audience. He talked about Buddy appearing in a club in LA, and on this particular night there were maybe ten guys in the audience who were well known drummers, and Buddy knew they were there. Johnny said that by the end of Buddy's big solo, it was so completely amazing that these guys were openly crying." - Steve Maxwell.
Philadelphia native, Mickey Roker lost his battle with cancer and diabetes at the age of 84. Granville William Roker, Jr. was born in Miami, Florida on September 3, 1932. The hard driving drummer with a heart of gold is now in Jazz Heaven. His over forty-year reign on the music scene is legendary.
Mickey worked with some of the finest musicians in the business…Including Benny Carter, Dizzy Gillespie, Herbie Hancock, Milt Jackson, Sonny Rollins, Stanley Turrentine, The Modern Jazz Quartet, Nancy Wilson, Lee Morgan and numerous others.
"Somebody just reminded me of when I used to work with Oscar Brown Jr. He wanted fair treatment for all people knowing full well who was getting shafted the most, and of course this was his biggest concern. However he was inclusive when it came to brotherly love I can tell you that! He also knew how to play the stock market… On a side note he gave me a few good tips, and I made a little extra taste!"
Buddy. One word says it all. Icon, household name, a celebrity with a comics wit, a virtuoso unequaled. He was a force of nature to behold. He commanded the best out of his musicians because every time he sat down behind the kit he was the best in the world. Quite simply, no one drove a big band like he did. Beyond his soul shattering technique, it was just the time feel—the drive that he had that was like nobody else. His time felt like a cigarette boat with the front end hiked up in the air cruising on the water at a ferocious speed. At the same time utmost musically always prevailed and he could be just as sensitive too. His astonishing brush playing clearly demonstrated this.
I will say this: if Buddy could have read music he may have enjoyed staying in one place and making big money while staying in town (NY or LA) and being the house drummer for one of those late night tv shows. But (lucky for us) he had to move his band around a lot to keep it working all the time. This gave everybody, everywhere a chance to hear and enjoy Buddy Rich. (...and then again he probably wouldn’t have had it any other way)
So you think that state-of-the-art rack system you emptied your bank account for firmly puts you among the pinnacle of 22nd Century Drummers, right? After all, it is equipped with a remote cable Hi Hat, so it's the “Latest and Greatest.” Would you believe your great grandfather, the guy you got those drummin' genes from, beat you to the punch by nearly a hundred years?
Barry “Frosty” Smith died unexpectedly last night at home, but he’ll live on forever when locals discuss Austin’s greatest drummers. In truth, there’s little debate of Smith’s placement on that list. Smith experienced a fatal episode in his backyard on Wednesday evening, according to friends. He’d suffered a stroke and a heart attack in 2015, which limited his ability to perform.
It was not until the mid-2000s that while surfing online I saw a pic of Vince Treanor (Former Doors road manager) pictured with the 14” floor tom that I knew was John’s. It was sometime in early 2016 when I learned that the drum had changed hands and was now in the hands of a new owner. I was able to contact that owner and was happy to find that he was very friendly and even happier when I realized that the drum was not terribly far from me and that I could go see it. Along with the owner, we were able to look at close up pics of John using the drum in the 60s and match up the color striations to authenticate it as the original drum.
Not So Modern Drummer continues to celebrate the legendary Buddy Rich in 2017. Recognizing the 100th anniversary of his birth… Providing their personal commentary on Buddy are Bob Girouard, Rob Gottfried, Jack Scarangella, and Gary Stevens.
The kickoff for a full year of celebratory dates and festivities takes place on April 7 and 8 at Lincoln Center for special performances titled, "Buddy Rich Centennial: Celebrating the Jazz Drum." The Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, led by Wynton Marsalis, will perform a musical tribute to the legendary drummer featuring Ali Jackson on the drums in a virtuosic display of big band drums and rhythm, with arrangements he has created to honor the music of Buddy Rich.
I know a guy who said for $75.00 dollars, I won't trade fours, or solo. But for a $100.00 dollars- I will. The gig paid $75.00 - So when they gave him fours there was silence. The leader forgot and gave him a chorus.... Silence for 32 bars then he came back in at the top.
There are twenty six very famous drummers profiled in this book who span the twentieth century and the entire history of modern drum set drumming: Chico Hamilton, Phil Seamen, Kenny Clark, Davey Tough, Big Sid Catlett, Papa Jo Jones, Max Roach, Roy Haynes, Art Blakey, shelly Manne, Jake Hanna, Mickey Roker, Billy Higgins, Art Taylor, Elvin Jones, Joe Morello, Paul Motion, Dannie Richmond, Philly Joe Jones, Tony Williams, Billy Cobham, Ginger Baker, Jerry Allison, Earl Phillips, Al Jackson JR. and Jim Keltner. Thanks for writing such a comprehensive, educational and very entertaining book, Chet.
In the time before YouTube and VHS/DVD concert and instructional videos, it was very difficult to find any music to watch. If you couldn’t go see concerts, there were only a handful of TV shows that had bands, especially during the daytime when kids could watch. The Muppet Show with Buddy was the first real chance I had to watch a drummer and to understand how it is possible to make the sounds you hear on a record. This was monumental at that age—Buddy on The Muppet Show basically connected the dots for me about how to potentially achieve these sounds from hitting drums and what it LOOKED like to play drums.
Clyde Stubblefield, James Brown's one-time drummer and the creator of one of hip-hop's most popular samples, has died at the age of 73. Stubblefield's wife, Jody Hannon, confirmed the drummer's death to Rolling Stone. The cause of death was kidney failure.
The first Methods and Mechanics for useful and musical drumming was meant to be a galvanizing voice of reason to hopefully direct the next generation to the notion of employability. There was a lot of sensationalism with chops so it was important for me to direct useful musical ideas. Conceptual ideas about playing for the song – listening to the music – trying to get the song across - knowing what the lyrics are. You have to get into the song and become part of the storytelling process and I think those that do will have an easier time finding employment than others who look at it like mathematics or playing things just to impress other musicians.
Not So Modern Drummer continues to celebrate the legendary Buddy Rich in 2017. Recognizing the 100th anniversary of his birth. Providing their personal commentary on Buddy are Pete Cater, Greg Estabrooks, Gordy Knudtson, and Ted Mackenzie
Message: Hey, Long time....if you have any insight into locating my original snare form my 1940 Ludwig Duco set would be great. I would also love to find toms but I believe they didn't exist until the early 60's. Email me and I'll sen you the pics I have. Best, JR
I was asked the other day who I liked out of the new modern type drummers. For me, Lenny White and Billy Hart are totally "modern" as they are master improvisers that don't sound like anyone but themselves. I never know what they are going to play.