Max Roach Interview

There are a couple of new videos up on Youtube that I discovered last week that lead me to an amazing resource: The Howard University Jazz Oral History Project. Some great stuff there.

The first video I want to share is a one hour interview with Max Roach. It’s full of gold. He not only plays drums and piano, he also shares stories dating back to his days playing in parades as part of his church band.

Enjoy!

When you’re done, don’t miss the Philly Joe Jones interview.

Marvin “Bugalu” Smith

In my post about Smalls Jazz Club, I raved about seeing Marvin “Bugalu” Smith play drums with Teodross Avery. I’m still obsessed with his playing.

They have a new duo album out that is highly recommended. You can get it through Teodross’ online shop.

Here’s a video that was just posted of the two of them in the studio that I couldn’t resist sharing here.

The Drums – Papa Jo Jones

My drum teacher recently told me about the album The Drums by Papa Jo JonesThe album isn’t available anymore, so here’s the copy I found on Youtube.

What surprised me most is that I hadn’t heard it until now. It’s amazing.

Not only is it entertaining to listen to because of Papa Jo’s unique delivery, his stories and insights are wonderful.

Next up is to get the book Rifftide: The Life and Opinions of Papa Jo Jones.

Enjoy!

Full double LP 1973 release from vinyl.

1. Drum Solo N°1
2. Basics- Gadgets – Effects
3. Rudiments – Drum Roll, Flams, Single Stroke
4. Rim Shots – Tom Tom
5. Drummers That I Met – Baby Dodds
6. Josh
7. Unnamed Drummer From St Louis
8. A.G. Godley – Alvin Burroughs – Gene Krupa
9. Sid Catlett
10. Unnamed And Unplaced Drummer Walter Johnson
11. Sonny Greer
12. Billy Gladstone Manzy Campbell
13. Chick Webb
14. Baby Lovett
15. Dancers That I Met
16. Pete Nugent
17. Eddie Rector
18. Baby Laurence
19. Bill – Bojangles – Robinson
20. Colours
21. Drums Solo N°2
22. Sweet Sue By Willie The Lion Smith And Jo Jones

This item sometimes comes up used online and Amazon has a listing that I’ve been keeping my eye on.

Update: It appears that this is available again on CD as an import. Find it on Amazon.

Johnny Vidacovich, New Orleans Drummer

I’ve been lucky to visit New Orleans a few times over the last year and since it’s Mardi Gras tomorrow, I wanted to give some love to Johnny Vidacovich.

Johnny is a legendary New Orleans musician and teacher, with students like Brian Blade and Stanton Moore. I was able to see him at the Maple Leaf over the holiday break and stand just a few feet from him while he grooved until 3am. He has a standing gig there every Thursday. Don’t miss it if you’re in New Orleans!

I was even fortunate enough to find a copy of the New Orleans Drumming DVD sealed and new at the Louisiana Music Factory. I couldn’t believe it!

This is a classic instructional DVD that features Johnny, Herlin Riley, Earl Palmer and Herman Ernest. A streaming version is available to purchase.

If you’re stuck on finding the DVD, it’s worth seeking out, though the New Orleans Jazz and Second Line Drumming book/cd is more affordable and contains a lot of the same info.

I will likely post more about Johnny in the future, but for now you should go check out his interview on Drummer’s Resource and then seek out the recordings he’s played on…and check him out live when you can.

Pete LaRoca

I got a little obsessed with Pete LaRoca the other day after seeing this video of him with Art Farmer. I really dig his playing.

Eventually I made my way to his Wikipedia page and found this fascinating bit:

“In 1968 he stopped taking side-man gigs, and only accepted work as a band leader/drummer. La Roca began earning a living by driving a taxi cab in New York City, and later attended law school at New York University. When his second album as leader, Turkish Women at the Bath, was released under Chick Corea’s name without La Roca’s consent, La Roca filed and argued a lawsuit against Douglas Records, and the erroneously-labeled records were recalled.

He returned to jazz in 1979, and recorded one new album as a leader, Swing Time (Blue Note, 1997).”