Over the years I've been writing these pages I've been lucky enough to have had a healthy amount of correspondence with many regular readers (have you said hello yet, via the contact page? Why not? Go and do it now!) Quite a few of the emails I regularly get are from keen drummers. Some are … Continue reading Library #6: Tips For Aspiring Heroes
The 1920s drumming Heroes we’ve met so far, whilst all Americans, represent a quite diverse demographic. Some, such as Zutty Singleton and Baby Dodds, grew up in working-class neighbourhoods in the South, their grandparents likely to have been born enlaved. Others, like Vic Berton, were raised in the North in comfortable, even opulent, surroundings - … Continue reading Library #5: Where Are All The Heroines?
Notated on the page in black and white, it looks innocuous enough. It consists of a very small unit of musical time - just one chorus of a thirty-two-bar tune (not a blues, despite the title) - and of those, it's the content of just nine bars which are important to us. But vitally important … Continue reading Library #4: The First Recorded Drum Solo in Jazz History*
Transcription. When anyone asks me how to learn more about 'twenties jazz drumming, I always say it comes down to three things: transcription, transcription, transcription. It doesn't have to be on posh music-notation software, it could be with pencil on manuscript paper, or even (with the right discipline), in your head. What matters is listening … Continue reading Library #3: On Transcription & Zutty Singleton: ‘My Little Dixie Home’ (1929)
The great New Orleans bass player George 'Pops' Foster (1892-1969) played with almost every great black jazz artist in the 'twenties at some point or other, including King Oliver, Louis Armstrong, Jelly Roll Morton, Kid Ory, 'Red' Allen, Sidney Bechet, Luis Russell and many others.He also left an autobiography rich in detail and humour, a … Continue reading Library #2: ‘The Bassist’s Perspective’: Pops Foster on Drums in the ‘Twenties
‘Drums In The ‘Twenties’ Transcript of Warren 'Baby' Dodds interviewed by Frederic Ramsey Jr. for Folkways Records in 1946 BABY DODDS: “…I should say, I’ve been through - actually from drum pad… to solos. Now that’s all the way, that takes every bit of it. From drum pad is where you start; no drum, no … Continue reading Library #1: ‘Drums In The ‘Twenties’ : The Dodds Interview