Tagged: John Coltrane

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'

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Get the .wav file here.

Get the .rx2 file here.

Get the .aiff file here.

271 BPM

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

Preview Here:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Get the .wav file here.

Get the .rx2 file here.

Get the .aiff file here.

136 BPM

The Art of The Vamp

As you might recall, I previously blogged about Art Taylor and his masterful uptempo timekeeping. Tonight, I’d like to focus on another aspect of his legendary drumming: playing over vamps.

Art Taylor
Art Taylor

For those of you who are new to this term (my wife just asked why I was writing about vampires), here’s a quick definition: A vamp is a repeating musical figure or accompaniment. A vamp may consist of a single chord or a sequence of chords played in a repeated rhythm

This sounds deceptively simple, but locking in with a band making it all swing is the hard part. Check out Art’s playing on John Coltrane’s “Syeeda’s Song Flute” to hear what I’m talking about:

Loop #78

Tonight’s loop is an 8 bar vamp that emphasizes the “1” and the “and” of 2 of each measure. This is one of the more traditional rhythmic phrases in jazz vamps and is usually supported along with the piano and bass… and guitar (couldn’t leave Wes out).

Preview Here:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Get the .wav file here.

Get the .rx2 file here.

Get the .aiff file here.

220 BPM

300 BPM

300 BPM. It’s the tempo that separates the men from the boys. For drummers, it’s the breaking point where playing eighth notes isn’t just a matter of bouncing the stick, but utilizing your arms, wrists and fingers to make it all happen.

I first learned to play at this tempo by listening (and eventually playing) to John Coltrane’s, “Giant Steps“. Released in 1960, this classic album features several uptempo tracks that are performed masterfully by drummer, Art Taylor. Two cuts in particular, “Countdown” and “Giant Steps” showcase Art’s relaxed yet technically adept drumming at tempos of 300 BPM+.

Art Taylor
Art Taylor

Loop #64

Today’s loop is another 8 bar phrase recorded at the “balls to the wall” tempo of 300 BPM. Rather than a straight groove, it’s more of a dotted quarter note type vamp with some slight fills in between.

Preview Here:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Download the Logic session here. (93MB)

Get the .wav file here.

Get the .rx2 file here.

300 BPM