“We went to SST to rehearse for our tour last year. We worked there for five days. We recorded all the songs we did on the multi-track at SST, as well. It was great to work there. We had food every day. The room was great. The sound system was great. The sound of the room was great. We were there every day from like, ten to six. It was a very pleasurable experience.”
Another new chapter in our ongoing series of quotes, conversations, commentary, and updates with jazz drumming legend Mike Clark. Mike’s keen observations provide numerous insights into “all things music”. Mike tells it like it is…The good, the bad, and everything else in between:
As a young man, Jack Scarangella became a lifelong New York Yankees fan - Soon becoming a permanent fixture at Yankee Stadium. Most of the players and management already knew Jack by name. Ironically, much earlier at the age of nine, a kind police officer let him sneak in to see Buddy Rich in concert. It wasn’t very long before Yankees owner George Steinbrenner gave Jack permission to attend all of their home games for free. On numerous occasions, he found himself in the owner’s box, dugout, or seated next to the legendary Yankee broadcasters Phil Rizzuto, and Bill White. Jack has said that it was Mr. Steinbrenner who changed his life by allowing him full access to Yankee Stadium as his personal guest.
When given the opportunity to spend a few hours with Joe Corsello in his Stamford, Connecticut studio, I immediately jumped at the chance. Being in close proximity to one of the world’s most renowned jazz drummers was definitely a rare ‘WOW!!’ moment.
It is fun just to hear Fred talk with his thick Kentucky accent. He is a fantastic storyteller with a lot of knowledge about music, musicians, and gear. Fred took us inside the venue to see his iconic drum set. As you know, it is an eclectic set of vintage drums from the 1940s to the present. The drums are dusty, crusty, and beautiful. Scott told me no one is allowed to clean them or monkey with them in any way. Fred didn't want the "Mojo" disturbed. I was able to sit behind them. Fred sits very low on his stool. I did not so much as tap on the heads, but it was tempting to thump the big double bass drums.
One element that characterized Blaine’s drum sound was the lower tuning he used, which became the standard drum sound on rock recordings. “I came along at a time when drummers tuned their drums real high in pitch—real tight,” Blaine said in an April 1981 Modern Drummer cover story. “A lot of that was for technique so they could get a lot of ‘bounce to the ounce,’ so to speak. I tuned drums down to a normal, mid-range. I worked for many singers who liked the sound of my drums. When I started in the studios, some engineers would say, ‘You better tighten those drums up,” but the producers would say, ‘Don’t tell him what to do. We’re going for a different sound here.’”
Blaine also expanded his kit beyond the standard four- or five-piece drumsets that everyone was using at the time. “My set had 12 drums, which no one had ever heard of,” Blaine told Modern Drummer. “It really was a major change, which makes me very proud. I wanted a full, bigger spectrum of sound to be able to do more with drums.” He worked with Howard Oliver to build a larger set, which was soon marketed by Ludwig as the Octaplus. One of many songs on which that kit was featured was “Cherokee People” by Paul Revere & the Raiders.
Drummer Nigel Olsson has been playing and recording with Elton John since 1970. He has performed in concert with Elton over 2,500 times. Nigel, the consummate showman, is always smiling. On stage, he is impeccably dressed with a shirt, tie and, trademark white gloves. Joining with Ray Cooper and John Mahon, they were a complete rhythmic force unlike any other. With a long and impressive resume… Nigel has played with The Spencer Davis Group, Uriah Heep, and as a first-call studio drummer. His credentials also include time with Rod Stewart, Linda Ronstadt, and Kiki Dee.
Chapter 20 in our ongoing series of conversations, quotes, commentary, and updates with jazz drumming legend Mike Clark. Mike’s keen observations provide numerous insights into “all things music”. Mike tells it like it is… The good, the bad, and everything else in between:
I had already recognized Terry Bozzio as a ground - breaking musician, having seen him previously on three different occasions…In the 1970’s with Frank Zappa, the early 1980’s with Missing Persons, and at one of his drum clinics a few years later. Having no idea what to expect that night…It was a shock to the system to say the least. This one-man performance by Terry Bozzio was completely different than anything I had ever seen or heard before…Terry with his huge kit - and nothing else… Demonstrating a complete and total mastery of the instrument throughout the show. The audience loved it all, applauding loudly after every one of Terry’s original compositions.
Viola Smith (born November 29, 1912) is an American drummer best known for her work in orchestras, swing bands, and popular music from the 1920s until 1975. She was one of the first professional female drummers.
Yup, that's what Mel Lewis said, as stated by John Riley in "Beyond Bop Drumming." At the time, John thought it seemed like a bit of hubris, but Mel had a very good explanation. You see, Mel strove to be such a proficient player that even on an off night he was still plenty good at his job.
Dixon was one of the great organ jazz specialists. He was born in Gaffney, South Carolina and grew up in Washington D.C. and Buffalo, NY. Early in his career, Dixon played with Buck Hill, Shirley Horn and Webster Young. During Dixon’s three-year stint with the popular r&b singer Lloyd Price, Dixon met John Patton, whom he persuaded to take up the Hammond. Introduced by Lou Donaldson to Blue Note’s Alfred Lion, Dixon and Patton (plus guitarist Grant Green) went on to form a prolific tandem on many of the label’s now-classic soul jazz albums of the early and mid-sixties. He
Legendary jazz drummer John Von Ohlen, “The Baron,” died on Oct. 3 following a long illness. He was 77.
He was a drummer, bandleader and recording artist. You could only marvel at his effortless technique, his musicality and his seamless communication with his fellow musicians. Small wonder he was the drummer of choice for Rosemary Clooney, Stan Kenton, Woody Herman, Tony Bennett, Benny Goodman, Mel Torme and Perry Como. He toured and recorded with Kenton for two years.. Von Ohlen was one of the last big band drummers of his era.
“By now it was 1956, and my drums were getting pretty worn and shabby from all the traveling. So I talked to the officer in charge of the tour, whose name was Lieutenant Whiting. I told him that I’d pretty much used my drums up playing so many dates. He told me to go to the music store in downtown Atlanta and order whatever I thought I was going to need, and send the bill to him.
“I went to the store and ordered the best set of drums that I could find in the Gretsch catalog: a Broadkaster ‘Bop’ outfit, including two 22″ K Zildjian cymbals.
On August 25th 2018, The Dropkick Murphys rocked out the brand new MGM Grand Casino in downtown Springfield, Massachusetts. The outdoor weekend performance was a benefit concert for the Thomas J. Sullivan Foundation. Gunnery Sergeant Sullivan was killed on July 16, 2015 in a domestic terror attack while stationed at the Naval Reserve Center in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Springfield native Sullivan was attempting to save his fellow Marines when he was fatally shot during the assault.
NEW ORLEANS (October 11, 2018) — The New Orleans Jazz Museum will debut a new exhibition, Drumsville!: Evolution of the New Orleans Beat. Launching on November 8, 2018, the exhibit will celebrate both the New Orleans Tricentennial and International Drum Month, along with the development of the drum kit in New Orleans and the ongoing evolution of rich local drumming traditions.
Over the 14 years I’ve known Keiko, she has shared countless Elvin stories. One reoccurring story was about a collection of Elvin’s promotional posters they’d collected in their 30 plus years of touring the world. They came up in conversation many times, but we never discussed them in much detail. Earlier this year, the posters came up again. I eventually purchased the posters along with a forgotten cache of Elvin’s gear that had been stored in a friends garage in New Jersey (more about that soon). The posters arrived in a couple of Elvin’s old Jazz Machine trap cases. There were about 100 unique posters, photos and paintings, many of them with multiples, that Elvin and Keiko personally collected from gigs spanning 4 decades. They were collected from all over Europe, Asia, South America and the US.
In 1976 he moved to Los Angeles, California to play with bassist Glen Cornick of Jethro Tull…Later replaced by Foreigner’s Bruce Trien. He played with legendary session piano player Nicky Hopkins who had worked with the Rolling’s Stones, The Who, The Beatles and Jeff Beck. Ken also performed with ‘Badfinger’ - 1977 -1978, and Off-Broadway from 1978 to 1984. The original members of Off Broadway have since re-grouped, and are still playing to this day. Ken also enjoys sharing stories from his LA studio days, and his brushes with fame – Including: Tom Petty, Cher, Gregg Allman, and Keith Richards.
A little later Buddy comes over puts his arm around me and says; Jack would you play for me? Picture this: A fifteen-year old kid sitting behind Buddy Rich’s drums. I still don’t have the words to describe how incredible that felt.
In the summer of 1974, a friend of mine was hosting an ‘all-night’ Rockabilly variety show at Myron’s Ballroom in Los Angeles and he asked me to sit in with Ray Campi. Colin Winski was singing vocals and playing rhythm guitar. We ended up playing several shows together throughout the summer as the Rollin’ Rock Rockabilly Band.
FAT has some major gigs this weekend including the new MGM Grand Casino in Springfield, Mass. There is no doubt their huge fan club will be out in force. David Barsalou shares the history of their great drummers in this article.
Walking along with my friend John we saw drum cases emblazoned with “The Buddy Rich Orchestra” on their sides. Excited as always when anything ‘Buddy’ came into view. John, his voice filled with excitement said: You know Buddy…Lets go in. I said yeah, but this is a recording studio, we can’t just walk in there. John, ever persistent finally convinced me to enter the famed RCA building.
“Man, I had beyond a blast playing with the Great Eddie Henderson…There were some fantastic drummers in who I really dig, Billy Drummond, Sylvia Cuenca, Steve Johns, and the all time master - my hero Billy Hart. You know all those folks can hear the entire picture and then some. How great is that? Such great artists all in one place and one town. Billy Harper was there as well…Damn, I Love New York !”
A special story about drummer Rick Garvin. This is a heart felt tribute to a fellow drummer from one of his peers, and with glowing praise from many he played with. Every drummer would like to have an accomplished career like this and be remembered in this way.