Tagged: Elvin Jones

A Loop Supreme

Loop #131

Another taste of the new Gretsch kit. If this loop was on the menu at Taco Bell, it would be topped off with a generous amount of sour cream.

Coltrane and the infamous 'taco session'

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271 BPM

Gruss Loops Vol 9 Is Here!

That’s right, the wait is finally over. A crisp February 1st in Boston brings yet another new pack of loops to the loyal subscribers of ryangruss.com I pride myself on producing a highly eclectic range of styles with each new release and Vol 9 is definitely no exception. Let’s dive right in and take a look at what’s inside.

Gruss Loops - Vol 9
Gruss Loops - Vol 9

90_Thunk – Sometimes snares sound better when you tune them down. Way down. For this series of beats, I took one of my deep maple drums, loosened the batter head to the edge of complete floppiness, and laid a few sheets of notebook paper on top. To thicken things up even more, I tapped into some virtual tape saturation via Ozone 4 and cranked the compression knob.

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135_TheShore – I never really thought I’d produce a set of loops inspired by an MTV series. No, this isn’t a tribute to “The Grind”, but come to think about it, it’s not that far off. These loops are a direct result from watching far too many episodes of the wonderful freak show that is The Jersey Shore. I have a feeling that my subscribers in Eastern Europe and Seaside Heights will enjoy these grooves.

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179_Took5 – You can’t record a jazz groove in 5/4 and not pay respect to Dave Brubeck for making it the only household odd-time signature. Throw in a bit of Elvin’s left handed triplets on the snare and some ostinatos on the hi hat and bass drum and you’ve got my latest straight ahead loop set.

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68_BrushBallad – What’s that woooooshing sound? Awh, the wonderful warmth of brush-based ballad loops. From the “less is more” school of cool jazz icons like Bill Evans and Miles Davis, these loops explore every single inch of a 14″ Remo Coated Ambassador.

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103_BrushFunk – And while we’re on the topic on brushes, let’s see how they hold up in the world of funk. With an extra ringy snare drum and an army of 16th note ghost notes, my Regal Tip brushes prove they can hang in a genre outside of ballads.

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To become a subscriber and gain instant access to all of the 100+ loops (each as AIFF, WAV and REX2) in Volume IX, just click the button below.





Backwords Bembe

Loop #82

Well, not totally backwards… but I did displace the traditional bembe bell pattern by two eighth note triplets. Does this really matter? Nope. I think the Afro-Cuban police will let it slide.

It’s one of those grooves that can be felt in 3, 4 or 6/8. Throw this under your next arrangement of “Afro Blue” or “My Favorite Things” and let the 20 minute modal improvisation begin. If this groove has you foaming at the mouthpiece for more, you can get the complete set of fills and groove variations in the upcoming release of Gruss Loops Vol III.

John Coltrane - Bembe Fan
John Coltrane - Bembe Fan

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136 BPM

Mambo!

Apparently I drank something over the 4th of July weekend that inspired me to play nothing but jazz grooves from the late 50’s. Every time I sit down at the kit, all I want to do is put on my trashy, old ride cymbal and pretend I’m Elvin Jones or Art Blakey. Who knew Colt 45 would have that effect?

Speaking of Art Blakey, today I wanted to talk about one of the grooves he’s best known for: The mambo. I first learned how to play this groove after hearing Art lay it down on his 1957 classic, A Night In Tunisia.

Stop whatever it is you’re doing (besides reading this blog, of course) and focus on this track for the next 11 minutes and 17 seconds:

If that didn’t inspire you, then you should probably check your pulse. You may have been prescribed something by one of Michael Jackson’s doctors.

Art Blakey - Mambo Master
Art Blakey - Mambo Master

Loop #79

Today’s loop takes Art’s patented mambo pattern and chills things out just a bit… all the way down to 240bpm. You’ll have to add your own percussion section and 3:2 clave (sorry, I was out of limbs), but you should be able to get that hard bop sound you’ve been looking for.

The rest of the grooves and fills from this session will be available in the highly anticipated release of Gruss Loops – Volume III.

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240 BPM

Elvin

One of my biggest regrets is that I never saw Elvin Jones perform before he passed away. Whenever he was in New York, performing at The Blue Note or The Village Vanguard, it seemed like I always had a gig or a rehearsal and couldn’t make it to the show. I kept hearing from friends that he was still playing with the same fire and energy that he did in the 1960’s with Coltrane, to the point where it seemed like he getting better in his later years. I had a false assumption that age would never slow him down and I would have plenty of opportunities to witness one of the great masters in person.

Elvin Jones
Elvin Jones

Loop #61

I’ve noticed there seems to be a shortage of decent jazz drum loops out there and I’ve decided to do something about it. Over the next few weeks, I’ll be recording a wide range of jazz grooves. Everything from Art Blakey Mambos to Vernel Fournier bush patterns. Today’s loop is the first of many more to come. It’s a groove in 3/4 inspired by Elvin with a bit of Bill Stewart thrown in.

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173 BPM