Marvin Bugalu Smith

I’ve posted about my love for drummer Marvin Bugalu Smith before and was excited to see this new video on YouTube from an outdoor show in September of 2019 at  First Street Green Art Park on the Lower East Side of New York.


Whole Foods Jazz?

Here’s another video I stumbled upon that’s probably the coolest thing to ever happen at a Whole Foods.

Dan Weiss Instagram Transcription

I get a lot of inspiration from Instagram posts and want to start sharing some of my transcriptions. I’ll start with Dan Weiss.

I’ve been fortunate to take a couple of lessons from Dan Weiss and am a huge fan of his Patreon page. Every week I’m working on something new that’s fun and challenging because of an idea he sparked or a direct exercise he’s given.

I can’t remember how I first became aware of Dan, but this is one of the first Instagram videos I saw from him and I was obsessed with it. It took a couple of hours to wrap my head around it and transcribe. Once I had it I emailed Dan to see if I got it right.

I asked him if he thought about it as 16th notes or triplets. He said that it could go either way. As 16th notes it works out to a 3 beat pattern. As triplets it’s a full measure of 4/4 time.

It’s a great exercise to work on and it hits multiple things, which is common for his exercises. It really helped my left arm mobility, stick accuracy, concentration, and coordination.

Transcription

Work on as triplets and 16th notes separately until it’s comfortable. After that, try playing the pattern at the same rate, but change your thinking and counting to get used to feeling it both ways.

Be patient if it’s difficult. Eventually, you’ll want to add in the right hand on the rim of the floor tom or cymbal. Try reading from Syncopation or New Breed and then improvise.

Bonus

Check out this duo performance of Solar with Dan Weiss and Ben Wendel on tenor sax that was put out last week.

Alexey Marti

When I was in New Orleans last winter, I was fortunate to see the wonderful Cuban percussionist Alexey Marti a couple of times: once at Snug Harbor with his own band and another time with Herlin Riley as part of a fundraiser for CubaNOLA at the New Orleans Jazz Market.

His music, playing and personality are wonderful to experience and he deserves all of the success and respect he’s getting.

Check out his band in the WWOZ studios last week. You may recognize Oscar Rossignoli from Extended Trio (see my post on Brad Webb) on piano. He’s a busy guy in New Orleans and plays with many groups.

If you don’t have Alexey’s new album Mundo, do yourself a favor and get it. We have it on quite often in the house while cooking or having friends over.

Brad Webb – New Orleans Drummer

I first became aware of Brad Webb as part of Extended Trio and got to see them play in St. Paul, MN a couple of years ago.

I didn’t know anything about the group, other than that they were from New Orleans, which was enough for me. Later I’d find out how lucky I was to see them this far north. They’re all incredible musicians and rarely travel up this way as a group.

I was immediately taken with the whole band and watching Brad play is infectious. He’s got such a contained energy and his ideas flow freely.

I got to talk to him after the show and learned that he has a deep classical music background and studied at New England Conservatory.

He also showed me his beat up ride cymbal (I think I remember him telling me that he found it near a shed in a rural area) and introduced me to LA Backbeat drumsticks, which are made in Louisiana.

Brad Webb Making Faces

Aside from playing in Extended Trio and other groups, Brad Webb is a composer and has his own group that’s active in New Orleans.

Brad’s new album was just released. Get it on Bandcamp.

Ed Blackwell Transcription – Sounds of Joy

For as long as I can remember, Ed Blackwell has been on my short list of favorite drummers. I was first introduced to him by a teacher and mentor of mine, Phil Hey, who studied with Ed and later played with Dewey Redman.

When I was studying with Phil he had me to get two albums that Ed Blackwell plays on:

  

I think both albums are essential and they hold a special place in my collection.

The Transcription

I’ve always liked the first drum break on Sounds of Joy and have had it written out in my notebook for a few years. I love the simplicity of Blackwell’s phrasing.

As an exercise to learn how to use MuseScore, the free music notation software, I decided to get it into the computer. Let me know what you think.

Transcription of Ed Blackwell solo on Sounds of Joy by Joe Lovano

Thanks for visiting.