Entheos Dark Future
Embracing a trend that’s become more popular lately, NAVENE KOPERWEIS chose to forgo sample enhancement and heavy quantization on his band’s second full-length release in as many years.
Ravenously awaited by Entheos’s quickly expanding fan base, Dark Future grooves harder than the band’s previous releases without losing any of the signature brutality, and Navene Koperweis’s dense playing style comes through beautifully. Featuring the first consistent lineup in the band’s short history, Dark Future showcases Koperweis’s ferocious hand/foot combos and textured fills along with stellar contributions from bandmates Chaney Crabb (vocals), Travis LeVrier (guitar, formerly of Scale the Summit), and Evan Brewer (bass, formerly of the Faceless). Standout drumming moments among the album’s ten tracks include tight double bass bursts, grinding grooves, clever metric modulation (“Sunshift [II]”), and chugging domination (“White Noise [II]”). (Spinefarm) Ben Meyer
Bobby Deitch Band Grateful
Lettuce/Break Science stickman and producer Adam Deitch has to have gotten his sense of pocket from somewhere. The family-affair vibe present on his father’s new album suggests that groove appreciation began at home.
Grateful is eleven tracks of original soul, R&B, and funk, with Bobby Deitch covering lead vocals, keys, and some drum duties. Son Adam appears on drums and production, and wife Denise contributes background vocals. The decidedly upbeat disc opens with Adam working out a second-line groove on “Start Livin’ Your Life,” with assists from New Orleans vets George Porter Jr. (the Meters, bass) and Jon Cleary (Bonnie Raitt, piano). Nikki Glaspie puts a smooth Purdie-esque shuffle under “Don’t Start Don’t Stop,” not the only track here that brings to mind the blue-eyed soul of Hall and Oates or Boz Scaggs. Bobby’s arranging chops shine on the title track, with Earth, Wind and Fire–style horn breaks over a tight pocket from Adam and Bobby’s regular bassist, Dave Reiss. Album closer “Lovetrain” is not a cover of the O’Jays’ classic, but it does share some Philly-style soul bounce in the spirit of Gamble and Huff. (bobbydeitchband.hearnow.com) Stephen Bidwell
NYSQ Sleight of Hand
A straight-ahead standards quartet with fire. Drummer GENE JACKSON is smoking.
NYSQ (New York Standards Quartet) goes back twelve years, and the inevitable bond that time provides is evident in its ensemble tightness leavened by breathing ease. Saxophonist Tim Armacost, pianist David Berkman, bassist Daiki Yasukagawa, and drummer Gene Jackson favor the classic jazz canon, visiting reharmonizations and rhythmic reimaginings while simultaneously observing tradition. Not too in, not too out. And they definitely cook. Jackson, whose heavyweight history includes a long association with Herbie Hancock, excels in this territory. “Soul Eyes” showcases Jackson spearheading nine and a half minutes of unflagging up-tempo blaze. On “Detour Ahead,” his restrained brushwork lends a sensual aura. And in yet another contrast, he steps out with attitude on “This I Dig of You,” launching a spectacular solo that slyly shifts into and out of half time. It’s astonishing how much muscle Jackson can wield via a sensitive touch. The disc’s title could just as well refer to him. (Whirlwind) Jeff Potter
Mastodon’s BRANN DAILOR unleashes a drum-and-synth side project that takes listeners on a frenetic sojourn five billion years into the future.
Arcadea’s self-titled debut is progressive, psychedelic, and heavy, which shouldn’t surprise Brann Dailor’s fans. But here’s the twist: synths! Arcadea is a new breed of power trio, with Core Atoms (Zruda) and Raheem Amlani (Withered) blazing away on synthesizers, while Dailor provides both vocals and the jet-propulsion drumming chops that rocket this concept album into its futuristic setting. Dailor effortlessly weaves hairtas, coast-to-coast fills, and frantic polyrhythms through manic arpeggiating “synthedelic” compositions. By the fifteen-second mark of the opening track, “Army of Electrons,” Dailor makes his presence known, and he doesn’t let up for the rest of the record. Arcadea has succeeded in creating a full spectrum of explosive science-fiction soundscapes, and the energetic interplay between the synths and the drums is in constant flux. But Dailor’s natural drum tones and solid aesthetic keep these dense synthetic songs rooted in the organic. (Relapse) David Ciauro
Nicolas Meier Infinity
VINNIE COLAIUTA brings his attack game to some odd-time, Middle Eastern–flavored material.
Vinnie Colaiuta and Jimmy Haslip have a history of making a sweet noise together as part of the Jing Chi group with Robben Ford, so their work on Swiss-born acoustic fretless guitarist Nicolas Meier’s new disc of world fusion is focused and inspired. Opening track “The Eye of Horus” alone goes through so many changes of feel, tempo, and meter that it becomes obvious these players have come to throw down the rhythmic gauntlet. Colaiuta solos with dramatic flair over an ascending vamp twice, filling all the space with a flurry of tom rolls and cymbal wash. The rimclick groove in the 15/8 of “Riversides” gives way to a 7/8 section that the drummer devours, stretching the time with outrageous metric modulation. The melody returns with Colaiuta applying a four-on-the-floor kick pattern with totally over-the-top ride bell accents and left-hand tom and snare work set to Octopus Mode. Yes, we know it’s all about supporting the music and lead instruments with taste, but when the master lets loose like he does here, it’s tough to listen to anything else. Bravo. (Favored Nations) Ilya Stemkovsky
TAKING THE REIGNS
Matt Wilson Honey and Salt
Wilson’s jazz/poetry hybrid truly works.
The phrase poetry set to jazz can be a cringe-inducing red flag for indulgence. But Matt Wilson transcends that big time. As always, the drummer/composer is serious about his art yet humorous and earthy. Honoring poet Carl Sandburg, Wilson’s music complements—and cleverly contrasts with—the writer’s brief, sage verse. Guest jazz stars read several poems, while other tracks are sung by vocalist/guitarist Dawn Thomson. The inventive quintet paints from a palette of jazz, rock, country, folk, and gospel. Wilson is frequently content to offer simple support, but there are plenty of breakout moments, including some rave-up New Orleans grooving (“We Must Be Polite”), driving swing (“Paper 2”), and a “melodic” solo on a demented march (“Choose”). A surprising highlight is Wilson’s “duet” with a tape of Sandburg himself reading “Fog.” Circling around the toms with mallets, Wilson phrases with the poem as if it were a head, and then responds and expands. (Palmetto) Jeff Potter
Stanton Moore With You in Mind
The drummer’s seventh album as a leader is an all-star tribute to songwriter, producer, and arranger Allen Toussaint.
With You in Mind is steeped in NOLA grooves and vibe, with hometown heroes Cyril Neville, Maceo Parker, Nicholas Payton, and Trombone Shorty, among others, making appearances alongside Stanton Moore’s regular trio. Moore brings the funk with a tinge of Mardi Gras Indian on opener “Here Come the Girls” and in a gritty four-on-the-floor groove between detuned toms and a fat, dry snare on “Night People.” The title track gets a lush piano trio treatment, with the drummer filling in the space on brushes, and “Southern Nights” begins with Moore playing brush accompaniment under a spoken-word reading by actor Wendell Pierce, which segues into a slow 12/8 soul-ballad interpretation. Fans of Moore’s use of street beats will not be disappointed by the trad-jazz reading of “Java,” a 7/4 arrangement of “Life” (with tabla—listen for it), and a 5/4 take on “Everything I Do Gone Be Funky” that owes as much to James Black as it does to the second-line groove on Lee Dorsey’s version. (Cool Green/Mascot Group) Stephen Bidwell
Brad Dutz 10tet Ten Technicians Titled Ted
The kind of band name/album title only a drummer would come up with—and the kind of music that only this unique rhythmatist would devise.
You’ve definitely heard L.A.-based percussionist Brad Dutz, whether on albums by artists like Kiss, Willie Nelson, and Alanis Morissette, on major film and television soundtracks, at one of his clinics, or on one of the more than thirty recordings released under his own name. Typically his solo projects are with trios and quartets, but his latest self-produced album features his own 10tet, and is fittingly titled. The numeric and alliterative theme continues through Ten Technicians Titled Ted: All the music is in five-, ten-, or fifteen-beat phrases, all the compositions have (at least) four T’s in the title, and Dutz even tracked them in Tujunga, California. This is fun, bubbling, and funky chamber music with a good balance of improvisation and through-composed sections. The leader’s regular cohort CHRIS WABICH covers drums, percussion, and steel drum, as on “Twilight of the Triangle Trios,” which also showcases Dutz’s pandeiro and hybrid percussion setup. The rest of the ensemble features five woodwind players (including Dutz’s son Jasper), two brass, cello, and bass. Dutz and Wabich employ numerous textures and treatments, like the avant-lounge groove on gongs, chimes, and various hand drums on “Trouble Tonight Tackling Tanks” or the ethereal vibraphone and mysterious metal percussion on the cinematic “Trusting Tire Taping Takes Its Toll.” (braddutzmusic.squarespace.com) Stephen Bidwell
Other Drummer-Leds to Check Out
Jonas Johansen Charmcatcher /// Tony Martucci Quintet Ancestral Voices /// Richard X. Heyman Incognito /// Denny Zeitlin and George Marsh Expedition /// Chris Parker Moving Forward Now /// Giampaolo Scatozza Travels /// Julian Gerstin Sextet The One Who Makes You Happy /// Elijah Gilmore Return to Zen
143 Binary Algorhythms Applied to Paradiddles
by Steve Forster
A heap of fresh rhythmic variations, interpretations, and applications inspired in part by Joe Morello.
Reinterpreting single-voice rhythmic literature and stickings with creative concepts has long been a trend in drum education material. (Think The Drummer’s Complete Vocabulary as Taught by Alan Dawson.) With his new book, 143 Binary Algorhythms Applied to Paradiddles, author Steve Forster continues this trend while drawing on concepts he gleaned during studies with the late jazz pioneer and educator Joe Morello.
Algorhythms deals with reinterpreting straight 8th-note rhythms, such as the patterns found in the opening pages of George Lawrence Stone’s Stick Control. The book mostly employs a paradiddle example rhythm for its many interpretations (“algorhythms”), but the concepts can be applied to other figures. Forster suggests using Stick Control to work through each idea.
Endurance studies precede a section on triplet interpretations and variations. A substitutions section replaces right- and left-hand stickings with an alternate figure specific to each hand (i.e., when you see an “R,” play one rudimental sticking, and when you see an “L,” play a different rudimental sticking). Consistency is covered using several subdivisions, and rudimental variations abound.
Exercises based on the main rhythmic theme of French composer Maurice Ravel’s Boléro are included and demonstrate Forster’s concepts in a different rhythmic context, and a Morello-inspired accent study is featured as well.
Algorhythms could easily get plenty of wear in drummers’ sheds. ($14.95, FiveFour Press) Willie Rose