As I mentioned in my previous post, I was fortunate enough to finally become the owner my dream jazz kit, a Gretsch USA Custom. After breaking open my piggy bank and selling 63% of my bone marrow, I finally had the sufficient funds to make the trek up to the wonderful Drum Center of Portsmouth and pick her up.
And why are these drums so great? Well, it’s all about the way they SOUND. They have a certain characteristic and tone that only Gretsch drums seem to possess. It’s that warm, round, and focused sound heard on so many of the classic jazz albums featuring Max Roach, Tony Williams, Elvin Jones and Art Blakey (just to name a few).
Today’s loop is a two measure clip from a marathon jazz/funk extravaganza that took place shortly after setting up the new kit in the studio. You’ll notice the nice, open tone of the 18″ bass drum, along with some very melodic sounding toms. For mic placement, I just used the overheads and (a touch of the Beta 52A on the kick) to capture the natural sound of the kit. I also completely ripped off Bill Stewart’s signature fills. Look for more Gretsch based loops to come soon…
Last night I had a horrible nightmare. In this particular dream, I was back in 1998 and in between sets at my weekly Saturday night gig at Ryles. I had just ordered another Long Island Iced Tea to help numb the pain of my musically tortured soul, and somehow, manage to get through another 45 minutes of Big Bad Voodoo Daddy and Brian Setzer Orchestra covers. My cheap, polyester suit itched uncontrollably and I was surrounded by guys with soul patches and fedoras. This was the height of what was one of the worst periods of modern music (aka “the swing revival”) and I was right in the middle of it. Deep in the shit.
Before I awoke from this heinous dream, I ended up sleep walking into my studio and laying down the following groove. A two measure, four on the floor, swing beat with plenty of floor tom and a strong snare back beat. Can you dig, Daddy-O? It was so strong, in fact, that my wife jumped out of bed and woke me up before recording more than just a few seconds. After waking up and realizing that it was all just a horrible nightmare, I kissed her on the cheek, hugged my cats, and peacefully went back to bed. Thankful that it was 2010. Thankful that I wasn’t in a swing band.
With Odd Meter Grooves Volume 1, we’ve produced a loop pack entirely focused on beats that go beyond the traditional framework of 4/4. Whileother loop sites only take these things as far as 7/8 (and charge twice as much!?), we’ve delved much deeper into the possibilities of space, feel and time. From Zappa-esque grooves in 27/16, to Mahavishnu influenced beats in 15/8, to (not so) straight ahead jazz in 5/4, to Muse-approved backbeats in 9/8, we’ve covered a wide spectrum of tempos and time signatures, all within one loop pack.
Due to the popularity and demand for our first edition of funk loops, we’ve been busy crafting a second edition of beats that will satisfy the needs of anyone producing music with a bit of soul. Funk Essentials Volume 2 mixes things up with loops ranging from old skool Motown vinyl, bounce-your-head-until-it-hurts Timbaland grooves, neo soul rimshots and heavy and aggressive Rage Against the Machine style funk.”
The Loop Loft is providing a sneak peak into the upcoming release of Odd Meter Grooves Volume 1. This is the first drum loop pack in the world to tackle some of the most twisted and complicated time signatures in existence, including 27/16, 15/8, 9/8, 7/8 and 142/11 (this one really swings). Look for the loops to be released this weekend. In the meantime, check out the audio preview below:
Check out this live video of The Pointer Sisters from 1974 featuring an excellent solo from drummer, Gaylord Birch (starts at 3:03). The dude is FUNKY…. and how has he been off of my radar for so long??