Hippies Love Miles Davis

Here’s a great video (with pristine audio) of Miles and crew at the 1970 Isle of Wright Festival which took place, oddly enough, at The Isle of Wright.

NoteDave Holland was rockin’ the “thin headband look” 39 years before Lindsay Lohan. A true innovator, both in jazz bass and fashion.

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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.

The Art of the Cross Stick

The cross stick is a drumming technique which spans all musical genres. From Philly Joe Jones laying down the “4” with Miles Davis, to Brad Wilk breaking things down with Rage Against the Machine, the cross stick is the universal alternative to the snare drum back beat.

One of my favorite “cross stick-heavy” recordings is Erykah Badu’s 1997 “Live” album. With a deep pocket and a huge sound, drummer, Poogie Bell’s performance is a tour de force of R&B timekeeping.

Here he is playing some cross stick on Erykah’s track, “On & On”.

Poogie Bell
Poogie Bell

Loop #51

Today’s loop is my hat tip to Poogie. Sixteenth notes on the hi hat, some ‘sugarfoot’ on the bass drum and plenty of cross stick.

Preview Here:


Download the Logic session here. (47MB)

Get the .wav file here. (with guitar)

Get the .wav file here. (drums only)

82 BPM

Saturday Night Fusion

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.

Bitches Brew

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.

Weather Report
Weather Report

Loop #7

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).

Preview Here:


Download the Logic session here. (20MB)

130 BPM