I’ve been aware of Billy Drummond for years but really started digging into his playing in 2018 after Frank Kimbrough released Monk’s Dreams: The Complete Compositions of Thelonious Sphere Monk. There’s a lot of music there (70 tracks!) and I had the time to check out the whole thing on a road trip from Minneapolis to New Orleans at the end of that year.
His sound, touch, and creativity on that recording lit something up inside of me and I’ve been obsessively listening to him since. There’s a richness and depth to his playing that I just can’t get enough of.
In addition to his extensive work as a side player, Drummond’s solo work stands on its own. His album “Dubai” is a masterpiece and the title track is hypnotic. Despite being released almost 30 years ago, it still sounds fresh.
More recently, Billy Drummond has been playing with his new group Freedom of Ideas. I had the pleasure of seeing them live the weekend before they recorded the new album, which they announced at the gig.
To say that I’m excited about the new album is an understatement. I hope to see the band live again soon. Get Valse Sinistre by Freedom of Ideas on Bandcamp.
Here are a couple of Spotify playlists that I put together. Let me know if I’m missing anything.