Podcasts for Jazz Musicians

UPDATED February 11, 2020

I’ve been listening to podcasts for over a decade and am a bit obsessed. I find it so informative and inspiring to hear other musicians talk about their lives.

This is by no means a comprehensive resource and I’ll update this post as I discover new podcasts and episodes that are worth checking out.

Leave a comment if I missed something that should be included. What are your favorite music podcasts?

Here’s a sampling of the jazz related shows and podcasts for drummers that I listen to (in no particular order):

Bernie’s Bootlegs

This one is really nice. In his own words, the host describes the podcast as “to explore the stories of successful musicians and share their perspectives on important aspects of being a professional artist in a digital age.”

Notable interviews so far: Colin Stranahan, Nicole Glover, Charles Goold, Justin Barber, Noah Preminger, David Binney, Glenn Zaleski, Kelly Green.

https://berniesbootlegs.com


Pablo Held Investigates

Another good one! Long form interviews with an incredibly impressive list of musicians: Bill Stewart, Joey Baron, Wayne Shorter, Jeff Ballard, Dave Holland and the list goes on.

Available as a podcast, but I suggest watching the videos if you can.

https://pabloheldinvestigates.com


Working Artist Project

This podcast is a more recent discovery for me and I’ve heard that there are new episodes in the works. Darrian Douglas is a great interviewer. Notable guests have been Jason Marsalis, Charles Goold, E.J. Strickland and Kelly Green.

spreaker.com/show/the-working-artist-project


You’ll Hear It

A podcast from Open Studio with daily jazz advice for the modern player featuring Peter Martin & Adam Maness.

youllhearit.com/podcast


NYU Jazz Interview Series

Produced by the NYU Steinhardt Jazz Studies program features interviews with jazz greats, hosted by Dr. David Schroeder, Director of Jazz Studies.

steinhardt.nyu.edu/nyu-steinhardt-jazz-interview-series


The Third Story

This is a thoughtful interview show by Leo Sidran, son of Ben Sidran and I always get something out of each episode. There have been some really great guests. Check out the episode index.

third-story.com


A Noise From the Deep

Trumpeter Dave Douglas leads monthly conversations with significant jazz artists on music, composition, improvisation, and concerts. Guests include Henry Threadgill, John Zorn, Carla Bley, and Andrew Cyrille, among many others.

greenleafmusic.com/podcasts


Straight No Chaser

Three time winner of the JazzTimes Readers’ Poll for Best Podcast and is a recent discovery that I’ve just started digging into.

straightnochaserjazz.libsyn.com


Jazz Bastard Podcast

This is essentially a deep dive album review show and there have been some great episodes. They rarely release interview episodes, but there’s one standout: The interview with Charles McPherson is gold. If you listen to nothing else, seek this one out. He talks about meeting Charlie Parker and playing with Mingus. So good!

jazzbastard.com


IYOUWE Universe by Lenny White

This is a podcast by the great drummer Lenny White. Past guests include Ron Carter, Mike Clark, Jeff “Tain” Watts and Billy Hart.

stitcher.com/podcast/iyouwe-universe


I’d Hit That

A great podcast for drummers by mystery man Dave, who is clearly friends with most of the guests, which makes it really fun to listen to. This show seems to be on hiatus.

idhitthatpodcast.podomatic.com


Working Drummer

With over 200 episodes and counting, Working Drummer Podcast is the source for those interested in what it’s like to be a professional drummer.

workingdrummer.net


Drummer’s Resource

Favorite episodes of mine include Kenny Washington, Ralph Peterson, Michael Carvin, Ed Soph, Terri Lyne Carrington and John Riley.

drummersresource.com/podcasts


Riff Raff

A podcast by guitarist Shane Theriot. Memorable episodes are with John Scofield, Johnny Vidacovich, Leni Stern and Mike Stern.

shanetheriot.com/the-riff-raff-podcast


Trap Set with Joe Wong

The Trap Set is a podcast about the lives of drummers. The show is produced in Los Angeles, CA.  A new episode is released each Wednesday.

thetrapset.net/past-episodes


Drumeo Gab

This is a pretty loose podcast format that I go in and out of listening to. Drummers should check out the Johnny Vidacovich interview and explore from there.

drumgab.libsyn.com/johnny-vidacovich


Contraption

This is a new discovery for me and it’s really great. I was excited when I heard Ulysses Owens Jr. talking about the brush book he’s putting out, especially since he studied brushes with Kenny Washington.

There’s also a great interview with Johnny Vidacovich.

contraptionpodcast.com/blog/


Bonus Episode – Fei’s World

I stumbled across this on while searching for Ralph Peterson. She does a nice two part interview with him.

feisworld.com/blog/ralph-peterson-jr

Elvin Jones and Comping

Elvin Jones playing drums

Nicholas Payton recently posted his thoughts about comping on the drums over on his Instagram account. There’s some deep insight that I wanted to share. Drummer George Coleman Jr. also chimed in with some great info.

Nicholas Payton on Elvin and Comping:

“Here’s the thing: The “Elvin thing” most drummers get into, it often ceases to be conversational and becomes filler. You gotta make sure there’s substance and reason for everything you play. Don’t just play noodlely sh*t on the drums because you can.

All fills and accents have to be about creating an energy, moving the song forward, and a dialog. If not with the soloist, a conversation between the kick and snare or the toms. Whatever part of the kit you’re engaging with, make it purposed.

Continue reading “Elvin Jones and Comping”

Charli Persip Medical Fund

Jazz drummer Charli Persip

I just saw this news on the Four on the Floor blog about Charli Persip and want to help spread the word.

Please consider helping out if you are able. You can donate on Go Fund Me or the family will also accept a check if you message them privately. Details below.

Continue reading “Charli Persip Medical Fund”

Philly Joe Jones Solo Book

Updated July 2019 – This post was originally posted in 2017. Two years later there’s a new version of The Philly Joe Jones Solo Book available with an additional 32 transcribed drum solos! I’ll list them at the bottom of this post.

The Philly Joe Jones Solo Book is well worth the $50 – $60 price tag. It was transcribed over the course of 10 years by Joerg Eckel, a student of John Riley’s.

There are over 320 380 pages of Philly Joe Jones drum solo transcriptions in the book. Each one includes stickings and lists the album that each solo is on.

You can get a copy at Memphis Drum Shop or Columbus Percussion. I’ve heard that Maxwell’s Drum Shop will be getting some copies as well.


Read on for details, photos and the list of solos included in the book.

Continue reading “Philly Joe Jones Solo Book”

Art Taylor Interview

As part of the Louis Armstrong Jazz Oral History Project, Warren Smith interviewed Art Taylor for 1 hour and 50 minutes! He sits at the drums briefly during the interview and tells a funny story. Be sure to catch that.

The entire interview is full of wonderful insights and he talks at length about the process of writing his book, Notes and Tones.

Notes and Tones

Notes and Tones book cover

Notes and Tones is one of the most controversial, honest, and insightful books ever written about jazz.

It consists of 29 conversations which drummer Arthur Taylor held with the most influential jazz musicians of the ’60s and ’70s

Interviews include Art Blakey, Betty Carter, Don Cherry, Kenny Clarke, Ornette Coleman, Miles Davis, Kenny Dorham, Dizzy Gillespie, Hampton Hawes, Freddie Hubbard, Elvin Jones, Carmen McRae, Max Roach, Sonny Rollins, Nina Simone and Randy Weston.

I highly recommend buying a copy if you don’t have it.

When I was attending Berklee in Boston I was fortunate see Art Taylor play at the Regatta Bar and asked him to autograph my copy.

The expanded edition of Notes and Tones is supplemented with previously unpublished interviews with Dexter Gordon and Thelonious Monk, a new introduction by the author, and new photographs.

Here’s a bonus radio interview with Art Taylor on Eric in the Evening (WGBH Boston) from 1994.