So, rather unintentionally, it’s turned into “jazz week” over here at ryangruss.com. Maybe it’s the large supply of ride cymbals I currently possess, or maybe it’s just the warm spring air inspiring me to play something other than Top 40-friendly backbeats. Whatever the case, I keep recording various jazz grooves every time I step into the studio… and like REO Speedwagon once said, “I can’t fight this feeling anymore“.
Today’s loop is an eight bar phrase that incorporates a few things that were inspired by the great Tony Williams. No, I didn’t paint my kit canary-yellow and put black dot heads on every drum (though I’ve thought about it). I incorporated Tony’s distinct, hi hat on every beat approach (instead of the more traditional 2 & 4) along with some single stroke rolls and aggressive ride playing.
One of my good friends, a fellow drummer and former classmate, offered me the chance to ‘babysit’ his cymbals this week. He was going down to New Orleans for Jazz Fest and, knowing that I was busy recording a series of loop packs, was kind of enough to loan me his vast array of cymbals.
When I set up to record today, I felt like a kid in a candy store. I had two cases FULL of various cymbals to choose from. Everything from Sabian HH crashes to Zildjian A Custom hi hats to Bosphorus rides. I love my own collection of cymbals, but it’s always exciting and inspiring to play with a completely fresh set up. It’s amazing how the inherent tonalities of a new instrument can completely change your approach to performing.
I set up two of the Boshporus ride cymbals and immediately found myself immersed in up-tempo bebop and way-out-there fusion for the next hour. I recorded everything and saved it on the external drive. I then realized I needed to crank out a loop for the blog….
I’ll admit, this loop sounds like I’m banging my right hand on a trash can lid… but it’s actually one of the nicest sounding ride cymbals I’ve ever played. You’ll get to hear its true sound soon. There are several gigabytes of grooves which I’ll be editing, mixing, rex’ing etc over the next week. For now, I give you the low-fi, filtered, dirty, bad babysitter version.