Dave King

As he blazes the trail of a true artist, he proves that a personal voice on the instrument trumps any sense of stylistic borders. MD associate editor Michael Parillo joins the Bad Plus drummer for a few steps of his winding journey and finds it can be hard to keep up.

With the Bad Plus, opposites attract. Density and airiness alike mark the twelve-year-old trio’s compositions. Blues and free improvisation coexist happily, if not quite peacefully, on stage. Rock covers and twentieth-century classical music sidle up together on record. Lush indie-rock textures float above a swinging foundation. The wacky and the no-nonsense inform the band’s aesthetic and image, in equal measure.

Following on the heels of this idea, the group does nothing halfway. And that goes double for Dave King. In the Bad Plus and his many other projects, King displays an absolutely fierce sense of commitment—to the endless possibilities of a simple drumset, to an idea that crops up in real time, to putting the group before the individual, to the search for a distinctive voice, to creative music in general. It’s really something to behold when you watch it happen in front of you. It’s like seeing a blackboard being scribbled with deep thoughts and being wiped clean in the same instant, over and over and again. If you’ve never fully understood the idea of acquiring a slew of technical tools in the practice room and then discarding them and remaining wide open in performance, go check out Dave King.

The Bad Plus’s brand-new album, Made Possible, displays many of the band’s hallmarks—droll minimalism (“Pound for Pound”), shape-shifting odd-time headscratchers (“Seven Minute Mind,” “Wolf Out”), avant-garde jazz (“Re-Elect That”), slow blues (“For My Eyes Only”), delicate balladry (“Victoria,” written by Paul Motian, a hero of the group’s), and a long simmer that finally boils to a froth (the fourteen-minute “In Stitches”). As always, there are surprises, such as brief drum-machine excursions and postproduction mischief with electronics. And King’s drum sound is drier and less ambient than on the two preceding albums, 2010’s all-originals Never Stop and 2009’s all-covers For All I Care.

If Dave is an empty vessel on stage, ready to receive cargo straight from the interplanetary channel of musical inspiration, he’s meticulous and purposeful when he’s wearing his composer’s hat. With the Bad Plus being a leaderless collective, King, as one-third of the group, writes roughly one-third of the far-ranging material. Sitting at the piano with his old cassette recorder, he’s got a lot to say, also penning tunes for the sax/bass/drums trio Happy Apple, which has been dormant for a while but is planning a return; the indie-rock band Halloween, Alaska; and the Dave King Trucking Company, which finds a batch of swingers improvising in the Americana tradition, with a rollicking debut album, Good Old Light, out last year. And in a Herculean feat of concentration and woodshedding, King combined his writing, drumming, and piano playing on 2010’s Indelicate, first recording his tracks at the keys and then overdubbing at the kit.

Dave tends to use the word polite pejoratively, at least in a musical context. And indeed, he’s anything but polite behind the drums. He crouches, he slouches, he lunges, he jumps out of his seat. (To be fair, he caresses as well.) He plays on cymbal stands, he attacks the kit with his hands, he utilizes every imaginable striking position. Sometimes he grabs a couple of vintage E.T. toy walkie-talkies and presses them into the head of his floor tom as they feed back against one another. He’s a hotblooded guy who has fun playing serious—you might say intellectual—music, and in doing so he naturally welcomes in the listener. All of this stuff is on display in the crisply shot, rich-sounding documentary film King for Two Days, directed by Noah Hutton, which lays out a smorgasbord of Dave’s music, with five bands, as captured at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis on March 12 and 13, 2010.

King lives near Minneapolis with his wife and two kids, while his Midwest-native Bad Plus bandmates—pianist Ethan Iverson and bassist Reid Anderson—have resided in New York City for years. As you’ll see in our interview, part of which was conducted after the Plus played a weeklong run at the Blue Note in Manhattan, the drummer keeps himself mighty busy around his hometown when he’s not on the road. As Made Possible hits, King is also releasing a new solo effort, I’ve Been Ringing You, a standards date with pianist Bill Carrothers and bassist Billy Peterson, recorded in a church in Minneapolis. It’s a quiet, haunting album, with Dave using brushes much of the time. As he reacts to his mates’ gentle prodding, his playing is sparse, sensitive, and muted…but not polite.

MD: Playing twelve sets in six nights, like you just did at the Blue Note, do you analyze how the shows are going along the way?

Dave: Any time you’re trying to create a vibe in a room for multiple nights, you can definitely compare shows easier than doing one night in a city. But sometimes I feel like I’m not a great judge of what went down. This week there were a few instances where I was trying to pull something new out of it and wasn’t sure if it was landing. At some point, though, you’ve got to let go. You can’t enslave yourself with the idea that you’re capable of the ultimate statement at all times. That’s just ridiculous. And the more okay you are with the fact that you went for it, and your intent was to do your best and to reach people and to reach inside the music further, then that’s what you can do.

MD: What’s your goal when you hit the stage? How would you characterize your state of mind?

Dave KingDave: When I’ve seen shows where I feel people are playing safe things they know they can nail—their riffs, or whatever—to me that’s an obvious thing. It really prohibits growth on your instrument. So no matter what the circumstances were for the day—the travel, the food you ate, the exercise you got—I want there to be a consistency of putting all of what I have at that moment into the performance. When you know there are these well-worn paths you can go down in the improvisational sections, try to push yourself out of those places and search for something. And I try to make sure that I remember how blessed we are to have people come out to hear music that’s not based in some sort of commercial venture. Maybe something more special will happen tonight than ever before. That might be a naively positive position, but I’d rather not be the cool, composed “assassin of drums.” I want to come in and actually get dirty…and find something.

MD: Be vulnerable too.

Dave: That’s one of the unused states of mind for great improvisation or great art in general. You could say that with a tough-guy actor like Steve McQueen there was a vulnerability to the character, like in Bullitt, for instance, that you wouldn’t see in these indestructible cool dudes—Bruce Willis in Die Hard. If you watch Bullitt, there’s fear and a certain amount of vulnerability, and the performance is that much deeper. And if you take that as a map for all artwork, what a beautiful position to be in, where your intent is strong, your character is strong, you’re prepared to do good work, but you’re also like, “I don’t know a hundred percent what the outcome will be, and I want to share that unknowing with you on some level.” That’s a very attractive quality in a human being and a very attractive quality in art.

MD: You seem always ready to give yourself over to the moment, even if you’re not sure how.

Dave: Exactly. It’s just so important to reach beyond what your instrument is. I could spend the whole night doing all these drummerly riffs, or I could try to play some music with this thing and, like you said, just go for it. Of course, you try to temper it. It’s not just full-on lunacy, throwing knives at everything all the time. My aesthetic is hopefully getting more and more refined, but I still want to be that searcher, have that sort of innocent quotient, that vulnerable quotient, and I think it’s important to allow yourself that space as an improvising musician: “Well, we might not get out of this one alive.”

MD: With such a high-wire act, what happens when you fall off? That must happen occasionally.

Dave: Yeah, absolutely. You’re doing something wrong if you’re not messing up every now and again. This isn’t a Broadway play—this is an undulating, living thing. You’re improvising or playing very complex music, but you don’t want to remind everyone every minute of the cerebral level. You just want to have this stuff connect with people on whatever level the can receive it and show that it’s music that can be framed in joy and outreach energy.

What the Bad Plus tries to do is show our entire life experience over the course of the evening. So you might have some tunes that are based in minimalism followed by something that’s incredibly dense. And these aren’t just strange-bedfellows concepts; it isn’t like contradictory art all the time. It’s more like trying to show the avant-garde songbook. You’ve got some blues, you’ve some things in some sort of indie-rock zone, you’ve got modern jazz, you’ve got dense math, you’ve got very simple minimalism, and you’ve got all these other things. Also the willingness to play the 1 and not have to be so hip, over the bar all the time or super-dense polyrhythmic all the time.

I don’t want to just appropriate things like a tourist: “Well, I worked on my Latin chops for years….” I want to filter the whole thing through me. How do I embody these things in a way that’s honest and true to my life experience?

There were periods in my life where I really had to dismantle the technique and dismantle every idea I had in order to find my own thing. I have recordings from my early twenties where I sound so much like Paul Motian. I listen back and I’m like, “Man, if I would’ve just kept playing like that, all the guys that couldn’t have Paul, maybe they would’ve called me!” [laughs] But I had to wreck that construct—just like everyone has to kind of wreck their idols. I had to destroy my influences, almost violently. I had to go through a period where I was just playing as dense and loud and loony as I could, in my mid to late twenties. And I tried to come out the other side with some sort of new perspective and new tools.

MD: It seems you don’t have to think about that anymore. You can play something that might recall Paul Motian, and so be it.

Dave: Exactly. But hopefully it’s still colored with my own experience, and you can enjoy your referential treatment of things. I believe in the idea that your generation is your generation—it has the weight of any generation. The guys you idolized, in their own generation they were scuffling to get heard and they were judging each other harshly and they were getting two-star reviews in DownBeat. And then the remastered version thirty years later gets five stars! But you gotta remember that in the trenches of your own generation, you have to be a part of it, and you have to drop yourself down on it hard sometimes and be willing to take the shit that you’re gonna get for that.

MD: We were just talking about the range of things you’ll get at a Bad Plus show. Who writes your set lists?

Dave: We write them together. We make up a different one almost every night.

MD: You always want to present a varied experience?

Dave: Absolutely—and not just a cafeteria experience: “Here’s a sampling of jazz….” It’s gotta have that thread of our language. It’s not this self-consciously decided-upon thing: “And after that we shall play a backbeat, and after that we shall make sure that a free-jazz piece occurs….” It’s much more like: What’s the common thread of all this stuff? The common thread is that each is approached with the same frequency level, the same need to push and pull, the same sort of wanting to change the shape from night to night.

MD: The Bad Plus is just one aspect of your career, yet it’s the project that’s earned the most attention.

Dave: Before the Bad Plus hit, I was focused on Happy Apple and was doing a couple rock things and playing jazz with different people, and I had spent time in New York and Los Angeles before I settled back in Minneapolis because my wife and I wanted to try to have children. When the Bad Plus trajectory went so quickly—partly, of course, because the band was always based in New York, and we also had this sort of iconoclastic approach—I felt there was a hand of fate that was a part of it. Because I did feel like the Bad Plus was capable of fulfilling a lot of the aspects of my work. The jazz, the classical, the rock, original music to covering music to doing whatever.

I feel like no matter what I do, the Bad Plus is the most complete statement of my playing. If you’re going to come see me play, I like that you’re gonna see me in that band. I also feel that being in a piano trio helped me refine some of my approaches. A piano trio’s got a peculiar dynamic. You have this repertoire that has to use these wild dynamic swings, and you have to pull a lot of punches—there’s a big wallop in the music, and you have to learn how to make that wallop feel like it’s bigger than it is. That’s why a lot of our records are mixed very loudly and kind of abstractly.

We can play very softly, but we also get up there into the white-noise decibels. It took me a few years to really feel comfortable controlling that repertoire, figuring out how to play with that wallop intent. Over the years I’ve had people say how intense the music feels even when we’re way down low, and that’s something that all three of us have really developed. You’re not just backing up a piano with brushes—you’ve got to be in the mix, throwing down and having dialogues, so you’ve got to figure out a new way of touching your instrument. I’ve seen so many piano trios where the drums are still in this polite zone. The Bad Plus doesn’t work if you’re just doing this rational, drummer-with- a-pianist vibe.

So I look at the Bad Plus as the most challenging and the most rewarding. It’s the thing that introduced me to a larger audience, and it’s very group oriented; the trust level is very high. I’ve always looked at it as making sense that it took off the way it did, because I felt like it was the most freeing.

COMPOSITION
MD: When you sit down at the piano to write, do you just start looking for things?

Dave: Yeah. I’ve always written music, and it ends up being something where you try not to analyze it when it comes. Some pieces come right away, and some are chipped away at for months at a time. It’s always great to have those personal relationships with the musicians that you’re writing for—it can really direct your writing and focus it.

I’ve played piano for years, and that was the basis for the Indelicate record—to have this series of through composed pieces that encompass different schools of thought, from simple to complex, and be able to play them with my touch. I was encouraged by Ethan, because with the music I compose for the Plus, I play it and teach him. He usually wants to learn things by rote, by ear, in order to know it.

MD: Was working on Indelicate maddening at some point?

Dave: Yeah, just shedding that music for a year. I didn’t want to embarrass myself in the face of all these amazing pianists. I’m not claiming to be some heavy pianist, but I do feel there’s a unique way that I play my own music, and I was kind of fueled by my piano playing friends, like Craig Taborn and Ethan and Bill Carrothers. It goes far beyond some sort of vanity project. It was that experiment of having someone play the way they play on both instruments together. The piano tracks were difficult, and then the drum tracks went like that. [snaps] It was the classic thing where I’m like, “Well, I know what my day job is.”

MD: Almost every drummer who writes says drums are the last thing they think of.

Dave: It’s true. “Wolf Out,” a new Bad Plus tune of mine, has all these skipped beats and all this crazy stuff. I was working on it, playing it on piano for so long, and I sat down at the drumset and went, “Wait…that’s harder than I thought it was gonna be!”

MD: “Maybe I won’t show it to the fellas….”

Dave: Exactly. [laughs] I’m still not a hundred percent comfortable playing it on the drums. I’m still not as comfortable playing it on the drums as I am playing it on piano.

MD: So what’s that title all about, “Wolf Out”? You have a knack for coming up with great titles.

Dave: All the tunes have some sort of cinematic quality to them, and there was something that reminded me in an abstract way of a wolf pack descending on something—the way it builds, and these descending tone rows that are very abstract, and there’s this sort of feverish pitch to the whole thing. At the same time, Ethan and I were laughing about the film Teen Wolf. There’s a great scene with the drama coach, where he’s telling him to get in his wolf costume. He goes, “Wolf out; do whatever you need to.” I always thought that was great. And in a way, when you’re performing improvised music and you’ve got to get in there and just deal, you almost have some sort of werewolf transformation. You can’t just walk on stage and be everybody’s normal guy. You’ve gotta kick it.

MAINTENANCE
MD: When you’ve been playing a lot and then suddenly you have a week off, what do you do to stay in shape?

Dave: When I get off the road I work a lot in Minneapolis in terms of rehearsing my music with people, and I do play some shows in the Twin Cities with my groups, like the Trucking group or my rock band Halloween, Alaska. I also have a project with the bassist of Hüsker Dü, Greg Norton, called the Gang Font. I came home from Europe Saturday night, and Sunday I had a show. So I don’t come back and not get on the drums for two weeks at a time. And I do try to get on my drums down in the basement every now and again.

You’re talking about drumming shape, but I also work out to stay in shape myself. I put on twenty pounds between the birth of my first child and about four or five years ago—my “baby weight.” So I started to get back into shape and have been taking it very seriously in terms of keeping my energy together. Touring is so physical, just humping the cymbals through airports and all these things, and I felt like I really had to prepare to play this music till I’m an old man. Your value as a jazz musician almost goes up the older you get—it’s the exact opposite of rock. So I go to the gym every other day, and I do yoga and things like that.

I don’t have a real regimented practice routine like I used to. I spent so many years working on technique. I would play freeform but also have a routine of working on independence and the same things a lot of people do. At this point I just want to play the music. I feel it’s much more important to keep my channels open for improvising.

MD: So you never suddenly find your hands feeling stiff and in need of loosening up?

Dave: No. In fact, I don’t warm up before shows, ever. I try to keep my mind off the idea that there’s some sort of physicality. I try to prepare myself more by having good energy or eating right than I do thinking about stiffness or my muscles or carpal tunnel or all these things that can come get you. I try not to allow myself to think about the physical aspects and what could misfire. I want it to come from me; I don’t want to think about how it’s coming from me. I don’t want the temperature to be right and I have to have the right shoes on; I don’t want to hold the drumsticks before the show, nothing. I just want to go up there and pick up the sticks and let the grids appear.

MD: That makes perfect sense, once you say it. You sound that way. You seem to just reach back for what you need at any given time.

Dave: I try to leave room for some drama and to not be nailing it sometimes, to try to find some shit that I don’t know if I can pull off. And sometimes I can’t pull it off. So to hear that makes me feel great, because I’m trying to connect to an experience that I’m unsure of sometimes.

COVERS
MD: The Bad Plus got attention for your genre-crossing covers, like “Iron Man” by Black Sabbath. Your last two albums are practically all original; have you been playing covers live?

Dave: Not really—sometimes for an encore. We’ve always been almost an alloriginal band. We chose some repertoire that wasn’t original based solely on wanting to do something else. Reid and I had talked for years about taking rock music we loved and deconstructing it in a way that wasn’t necessarily like the Ahmad Jamal Trio would’ve: “We’ve got to put jazz harmony on this….” Instead we wanted it to be its own universe. And then, when we got so much attention for it, I think it was because we tried to take it someplace that other jazz guys hadn’t quite taken it. Even though it wasn’t a new idea, what we were doing had some other juice. The rock people and the jazz people noticed.

But audiences were always calling out for our tunes too. The perspective in the press made it look like when you see us you’re gonna hear twelve covers of rock songs, when all you ever really heard was two or three a night.

MD: And you premiered the Bad Plus version of Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring at Duke University last year. Was learning that a real ordeal?

Dave: It was a very consuming experience for me. It’s obviously a thorny rhythm piece, and appropriating it on drumset was a challenge. We do play it down; we don’t jam on it. But it’s definitely Bad Plus–ified in its dynamic scope. You’ve just got to sacrifice certain things for other things when you’ve got only three instruments that weren’t made to do it.

MD: Did you take an organic approach to applying it to the drumset?

Dave: There were a couple moments in the score that just had to be appropriated, like a timpani moment and some other things that we felt we had to represent. But a lot of the time I was just inventing my own score along with the score. I worked with the two-piano score. When you examine music that’s been so influential to twentieth-century music, you really do draw parallels from what you know how to do and what you’ve gleaned from it unknowingly.

And you’ve got to deal. You’ve got twenty-some movements, and there are several movements that to me sound like a Bad Plus tune. I was able to make it kind of self-referential a lot of the time—draw this parallel here, and make this come out there—at first being really intimidated and then letting go and trying to make something happen.

MD: Do you use the score when you perform it?

Dave: I don’t. The other guys use the score, but I absolutely needed to memorize it. We rehearsed it at every soundcheck for nine months, and then we booked several New York rehearsals where I flew in and did three or four ten-hour days. It was a drag a lot of the time, I have to say. It made a real dent in us. That’s essentially what made us have to get all that Made Possible music together later than we would have—The Rite dominated us from the late summer of 2010 to the debut in March 2011. We didn’t get the chance to work on any of our own music, and then we started to put together ideas, and we recorded Made Possible in November.

SONGS
MD: Does your ideal music include composition in an improvisational setting?

Dave: Yes. Sometimes, when you hear really great improvising, the composition isn’t as engaging. I like the idea of songs. And I think that’s one of the things that distinguishes the Bad Plus from a lot of modern jazz—we’re coming from that tradition of structure, like Duke Ellington or Monk or something, where you’ve got this really strong song aesthetic that you improvise with. You don’t just put together some neat harmony and some really personal intervallic stuff that creates a situation for a long saxophone solo or piano solo.

For me, a record like John Coltrane and Johnny Hartman, that’s just the best jazz record! There are great songs and great iconoclastic playing through the songs. Elvin Jones isn’t playing polite shit; he’s still so clearly Elvin Jones, and it’s still the Coltrane quartet.

Songcraft in modern improvised music is so important. Ultimately that’s where I feel the most at home, even if it’s free jazz. We use all those tools, from exact harmonic and rhythmic forms to free music to no improvising to pure improvising, and all the while the focus is to make some compelling song out of it.

MD: What’s an example from a Bad Plus album of no improvising?

Dave KingDave: “Anthem for the Earnest,” on Suspicious Activity? And there’s very little improvising on “Wolf Out.” The only section is the “cavalcade” piano solo, and Ethan’s just playing over the ostinato. That’s essentially just an homage to Cecil Taylor that goes on for about thirty seconds. The rest of the tune is totally through-composed.

MD: I wanted to mention “Anthem for the Earnest,” which you wrote. That tune feels cyclical in the sense that after the progression is established, you can get lost in it, no longer feeling where it starts and ends. The band has a few pieces like that.

Dave: Almost like the music becomes some surreal ecosystem of its own. That’s a great point. If I had to say one thing, it’s that I naturally want to avoid getting into the heavy nuts and bolts of these things, because I do like mystery. But I don’t want to be known as just the esoteric sound cloud out there when all of these techniques are being used. It’s a heavy technical load, and it is a major part of the music.

It’s really fun to have it just surround you and try to create an experience for you—it’s like a David Lynch film, or a dream. If I could wave my pretentious stick, that’s one of the goals for me as a composer. It’s almost like Paul Klee’s little paintings that are so deeply complex, they’re their own universe—but they’re these little things. I love the idea of having this little circus going on around you, where you’re not quite sure what’s happening but you’re totally smiling and you’re in there with it.

MD: And that tune is nice and simple. It’s not as if you’re being flogged by complexity; you’re just swimming in it.

Dave: Yeah, and then a tune like [Never Stop’s] “My Friend Metatron” is a super-dense, abstract rhythm. These are modern texts to improvise with, and for me it’s always like: Can it feel good too? There’s nothing worse than when you’ve got these sort of hypergrids in front of you and everyone’s gripping them so hard, and you’re sort of like, “Check out what we can do; check out what we understand.” For me it’s still gotta be able to sing, and it’s gotta be loving on some level. It’s like, is this coming from an aggressive intellectual standpoint, or is this coming from a place of possibilities and loving, tender gifts? [laughs] I know it sounds really lame, but you can get metaphysical with it. The Bad Plus is a band that likes to toy with that and at the same time also lay in something so simple and challenge you to go the other direction completely and be okay with them both.

MD: You’re almost like a rock band that’s been together forever, in terms of group mind and breathing together.

Dave: I appreciate that, and that’s the goal. That’s what we’ve always felt was missing from the jazz of today—the real working-band relationship. People can say, “I have a band, and we play seventeen nights a year….” No, we’re talking 170 nights a year, for twelve years. You start to develop a thing. Hopefully it’s like that experience of seeing Led Zeppelin in their heyday, or whatever—no one can do this but us. Whether or not it’s good. I’m not saying, “No one can do this amazing stuff but us.” [laughs] You might not dig it, but you can’t sub it out.

 

Dave King Made Possible Excerpts
Transcribed by Eric Novod

Dave King“POUND FOR POUND”
There’s a lot of nuanced, melodic drumming going on in this opening cut. An excerpt from the outro features several variations of the main 8th-note-to-sextuplet groove. (5:22)

Pound For Pound

“SEVEN MINUTE MIND”
As with many tunes on Made Possible, there’s more than one time-signature grouping that could work here. The following transcription is the clearest version that indicates King’s beginning/ending points throughout the tricky opening section. Note how the hi-hat melts away from the downbeats after the first two measures and then reappears in measures 7 and 8. (0:17)

Seven Minute Mind

“WOLF OUT”
Once you wrap your head around what’s going on in this track, King’s complex pattern becomes much more playable. Try not to let the first bar of 7/16 throw you off. (0:00)

Wolf Out

Here’s a section from later in “Wolf Out.” Note how the snare backbeats shift over the barlines in measures 2 and 3. This creates a clever sleight-of-hand groove. (5:43)

Wolf Out

“SING FOR A SILVER DOLLAR”
These two open-hi-hat rock sections feature interesting choices made on beat 3. In the first example, the bass drum and snare team up to execute a septuplet leading to a resolving crash on beat 4. In the second example, King chooses a thunderous flammed sextuplet that starts with the bass drum. (1:19, 2:13)

Sing For A Silver Dollar

“IN STITCHES”
In this fourteen-minute piece, King reveals his Paul Motian influence with a free-flowing, melodic, and cyclical interpretation of the time. This four-bar snare phrase interacts with the piano in a delicate way to suggest many possible layers of time. (4:37)

In Stitches

As the mood intensifies, King doubles the pace with 32nd notes and superimposes an odd-meter pattern on top of the steadily rolling piano groove. (5:49)

In Stitiches

Dave King

Drums: Ellis acrylic (also plays an Ellis maple kit)
A. 51/2 x14 wood snare
B. 9×12 tom
C. 16×16 floor tom
D. 14×18 bass drum
King uses larger bass drums (22″, 24″, 26″) for rock gigs and sessions, and his other snares include a 51/2×14 wood WFL from the late ’50s and models by TP Drums and Head Drums.

Heads: Remo Coated Ambassador snare batter, Coated Ambassador rack tom batter and bottom, Coated Emperor floor tom batter and Coated Ambassador bottom, and Coated Ambassador bass drum batter
Hardware: Yamaha canvas-strap bass drum pedal from the ’80s, various lightweight stands
Cymbals: Zildjian
1. 14″ K Custom Special Dry hi-hats
2. 22″ K ride with three rivets
3. 22″ K Constantinople Medium Thin Low ride
4. 20″ Flat ride (prototype)Dave King Sticks: Vic Firth SD4 Combo wood-tip sticks and retractable wire brushes
Miscellaneous: Assorted Fisher-Price vintage toys, E.T. walkie-talkies, and kids’ voice changers

 

RECORDINGS
The Bad Plus Suspicious Activity?, For All I Care, Made Possible /// Happy Apple Youth Oriented, Happy Apple Back on Top /// Dave King Indelicate, I’ve Been Ringing You /// Dave King Trucking Company Good Old Light /// Craig Taborn Junk Magic /// Buffalo Collision Duck /// Halloween, Alaska Champagne Downtown /// The Gang Font Feat. Interloper /// Bill Carrothers The Electric Bill

INSPIRATIONS
John Coltrane Live at Birdland (Elvin Jones) /// Paul Motian With Bill Frisell and Joe Lovano Motian in Tokyo (Paul Motian) /// Keith Jarrett Fort Yawuh (Paul Motian), Standards Live (Jack DeJohnette) /// Led Zeppelin Houses of the Holy (John Bonham) /// The Power Station The Power Station (Tony Thompson) /// The Police Ghost in the Machine (Stewart Copeland) /// Bill Frisell Lookout for Hope (Joey Baron) /// Rush Signals (Neil Peart) /// Django Bates Summer Fruits and Unrest (Martin France) /// Dio Holy Diver (Vinny Appice) /// Ornette Coleman Science Fiction (Ed Blackwell, Billy Higgins) /// plus ’80s Tony Williams and anything with Jim Keltner or Steve Jordan