Wicked Beats Gil Sharone Modern Drummer


Wicked Beats lives up to its name. Gil Sharone’s enthusiasm for Jamaican ska, rocksteady, and reggae is contagious, and he offers ample practical and technical knowledge here. Sharone keeps it all within reach, demonstrating, for instance, how varying the hi-hat parts alone changes the beats. He also wisely invites the contributions of several important experts in the field, giving greater depth to the discussion. Historian Roger Steffens brings cultural perspective to the music, beginning from the heartbeat rhythm, Nyabingi. Sharone blazes on a cool reverse cross-stick technique, then introduces the beat’s inventor, Lloyd Knibb (Skatalites). And Carlton “Santa” Davis (Peter Tosh, Ziggy Marley) shows off his patented hi-hat groove, “the flying cymbal.” The performances shine, and even the bonus scenes—covering dancehall patterns, hip-hop/reggae fusion, the use of dynamics, and getting tones—are awesome. (Hudson) Robin Tolleson