While I’m not a big fan of packing up everything you own, moving it into a new place and then unpacking again, it does tend have its little rewards. Like rediscovering items you forgot you even possessed. In this case, that item is Joe Henderson’s incredible 1979 album, “Relaxin’ at Camarillo”. I had purchased this record back in high school while going through my “must own everything Tony Williams ever played on” phase and somehow managed to lose track of it after 10 years of continuous moving from apartment to apartment in NYC.
Not only is Tony’s playing on this album mind blowing as usual, this record was a significant musical discovery for me because it introduced me to the fantastic drumming of Peter Erskine. Occupying the drum seat for half of the album, a 25 year old Erskine definitely holds his own alongside another legendary jazz musician, Chick Corea.
Today’s loop (and bonus pack for subscribers) was inspired by the opening track on Relaxin’ At Camarillo, “Y Todavia La Quiero”. Based around an 8 bar vamp, this song not only showcases Joe Henderson’s huge sound and improvisational genius, but also Peter Erskine’s knack for driving a band with dynamics, groove and his trademark musicality. Blurring the lines of latin, funk and rock, Peter takes the chops he honed while in Weather Report and pushes this quartet into new musical territory.
Get the .wav file here.
Get the .rx2 file here.
Get the .aiff file here.
Subscribers, click on the picture of a scantily clad Erskine (you non-subscribers are really missing out… trust me) below to download the bonus pack containing 10 groove variations and fills (each in WAV, AIFF, REX2 formats) from this session.
In 1970 Miles Davis turned the jazz world upside down with the release of Bitches Brew. Featuring 20+ minute songs and an expanded rhythm section, Miles pushed the envelope of a genre that would be later be known as “fusion”. Blending jazz improvisation with rock instrumentation and grooves, Bitches Brew was a turning point not only for Davis, but for several members of his band.
One of those members was keyboardist, Joe Zawinul. After the release of Bitches Brew, Zawinul went on to start his own band, Weather Report along with sax player and fellow Davis alum, Wayne Shorter. Weather Report carried the fusion torch into the 1980’s, releasing several classic albums along the way including; I Sing the Body Electric, Night Passage and my personal favorite, Heavy Weather.
Today’s loop takes the hypnotic, vamping style of Bitches Brew and mixes it with the quarter note, cross stick grooves found on several tracks from Heavy Weather. I took out all of the muffling in the kick drum and tried to lay down the foundation with more “boom” than “thud”. Unlike many of the albums mentioned above, no drugs were used during the recording process (mom, I swear).
Download the Logic session here. (20MB)