This is the first chapter in an ongoing series of conversations, quotes, commentary, history, and updates with Legendary drummer Mike Clark. Mike’s keen observations provide numerous insights into ‘all things music’. I asked Mike to just tell it like it is… Including the good, the bad, and everything else in between.
“Jazz drummers are a different breed ! We don’t care about, the newest lick, how fast you can play, the double pedal, 22” bass drums, we care about phrasing, knowing the language, the tunes, history, swinging, groove, interaction, communication and dialog. We are not afraid to play something old or new.”
“Fusion chops drummers say the 18” bass drum sounds like a mounted tom…Or, why isn't he or she playing as fast as they can. What no 7's or 9's? Ha! Phew!! A different aesthetic & understanding for days !!!”
“I have a new product out on the market. ... Stool Softener for drummers who feel the need to play fast rolls all over the kit.... A quick fix for double pedal jazz !!”
“I was just checking out how some cats don’t swing hard and call that swing, other cats are emotional and dig real deep, swing real hard and to some it seems too much, too loud over the top etc. Some cats play real straight, and others take it out and everything in between. There are cultural differences and misunderstandings etc… But in essence, since we are all going to die some day, who cares… !!!”
“Many jazz musicians start to play whatever the latest thing is…It was rock, funk, hip hop, whatever... I still dig playing standards, I have been playing them since I was five, and it is always brand new to me !!”
“Occasionally people ask me at drum clinics how it feels to at one time have been one of the most sampled drummers in hip hop history… I tell them I dug the Cred, but would have really dug the Bread!... That's right, the Cred and the Bread !!!”