November has both Thanksgiving and Veterans Day. So that this issue is dedicated to drummers is hardly a coincidence: the military has a long tradition of drum corps, Native Americans used turkey skin for drumheads; and the best part of the turkey is...the drumstick!
Albert "Tootie" Heath (On The Cover), youngster of one the first families of jazz, will play with older brother Jimmy at Village Vanguard and later this month at Flushing Town Hall as part of the annual NEA Jazz Masters concert. Winard Harper (Interview), Dr. Billy Taylor's last drummer, celebrates the legacy of his former boss at a fundraiser for Jazzmobile, co-founded by Taylor 51 years ago. Tim Daisy (Artist Feature), a Chicago drum stalwart, will be performing two solo concerts in Brooklyn this month. Steve Little (Encore), drummer on legendary Duke Ellington album ...And His Mother Called Him Bill, will appear at Symphony Space as part of a centennial tribute to Billy Strayhorn. Longtime Ahmad Jamal drummer Vernel Fournier (Lest We Forget) died 15 years ago this month. Paal Nilssen-Love, who plays at The Stone, has used his PNL (Label Spotlight) as home to many of his varied projects. And, finally, our CD Reviews are front-loaded (pgs. 14-20) by those behind the kit.
Give the drummer some...more stuffing and cranberry sauce!
On the Cover: ALBERT "TOOTIE" HEATH
By Russ Musto; photos by John Rogers and Michael Perez
"I don't think I'll ever retire," Albert "Tootie" Heath says from his home in Santa Fe, New Mexico. "I'm busy as much as I want to be. So there's no retirement in the future." At 80, the youngest of the three brothers in one of jazz' most royal families, Heath continues to exude the youthful spirit that has long characterized his outsized personality. Heath is at Village Vanguard through Nov. 1st with The Heath Brothers and Flushing Town Hall Nov. 6th as part of the annual NEA Jazz Masters concert.
Interview: WINARD HARPER
By Donald Elfman; photo courtesy of Winard Harper
Winard Harper became a force in the jazz world when he was in his 20s and this versatile drummer—now a father of 10—has been part of the 'jazz family' for over 30 years and worked with some of the giants of the music. The truth and knowledge that come from a family are perfect words to describe the educational mission of Jazzmobile, which recently celebrated its 50th anniversary. Harper's mentor, the late Dr. Billy Taylor, and now Harper himself have been enthusiastic supporters of that organization. Harper is at First Corinthian Baptist Church Nov. 13th as part of a Jazzmobile benefit.
Artist Feature: TIM DAISY
By Clifford Allen; photo by Peter Gannushkin
With a given artist's oeuvre, no matter how large or small, we all have a point where we sit up and take notice. For this writer, regarding the playing of Chicago-based drummer and mallet percussionist Tim Daisy, it was the opening cut on Journal (Atavistic, 2005), the sole disc by Bridge 61, a quartet of reed player Ken Vandermark, bass clarinetist Jason Stein, bassist Nate McBride and Daisy on drumset. Titled "Various Fires" in homage to minimal post-punk band This Heat and artist Ed Ruscha, it brought fuzzed-out energy to slinky, liberated modern jazz. The piece is excellent but Daisy's unaccompanied solo is something else. Daisy is solo at Soup & Sound Nov. 14th and solo and with a trio at Ibeam Brooklyn Nov. 15th.
Encore: STEVE LITTLE
By John Pietaro
"So how exactly did you dig me up?" Steve Little asks right up front. "I'm not usually the guy the press goes after." Though he has performed and recorded with many artists of note, from the bands of Duke Ellington, Charlie Barnet and Lionel Hampton to legendary vocalist Josephine Baker and fusion pioneers Weather Report, drummer Steve Little has rarely, if ever, sought the spotlight. A consummate professional, Little's career, still going strong as he nears his 81st birthday, has been an adventure through genre and era, much of it spent in studios, well out of the public view. Little is at Symphony Space Leonard Nimoy Thalia Nov. 29th as part of Take the A Train—Billy Strayhorn's 100th Birthday.
Lest We Forget: VERNEL FOURNIER
By Anders Griffen
Vernel Fournier was a drummer best known for his work with pianist Ahmad Jamal, especially But Not For Me: at the Pershing (Argo, 1958).
Record Label Spotlight: PNL
By Ken Waxman
Clichés frequently contain a kernel of truth. For instance, apply the adage "if you want something done right, do it yourself" to drummer Paal Nilssen-Love's Oslo-based PNL record label and the bromide makes perfect sense. Nilssen-Love is at The Stone Nov. 29th with Frode Gjerstad.
(this month's performance venues in parentheses):
Spanish Donkey -- Raoul RareNoise
Mike Pride -- Listening Party Akord/Subkulturni azil (Muchmore's; Rye)
Yoni Kretzmer/Andrew Drury -- Oranges OutNow (The Firehouse Space; Soup & Sound; Trans-Pecos; Muchmore's; Ibeam Brooklyn; The Firehouse Space)
Kenneth Salters Destiny -- Enter To Exit Destiny (Bar Next Door)
Tom Rainey -- Hotel Grief Intakt (Threes Brewing; SEEDS; Downtown Music Gallery; Korzo)
Barry Altschul's 3Dom Factor -- Tales of the Unforeseen TUM
Yoron Israel and High Standards -- This Moment (Live in Boston) Ronja
Buddy Rich -- Birdland Lightyear/Lobitos Creek Ranch
Eli Fountain's Percussion Discussion -- Masterpiece s/r
Mike Reed's People Places & Things -- A New Kind of Dance 482 Music
Stefan Pasborg -- The Firebirds Ilk Music
Stefan Pasborg/Carsten Dahl -- Live at SMK Ilk Music
AMM -- Place sub. v. Matchless
Dre Hocevar -- Coding of Evidentiality Clean Feed
Jeremy Carlstedt -- Stars Are Far s/r (Three Brewing)
Jerry Granelli -- What I Hear Now Addo
The Turbine! -- Entropy/Enthalpy Rogue Art (Zürcher Gallery)
Chico Hamilton -- The Complete Remastered Recordings on Black Saint & Soul Note CAM Jazz
Michael Dease -- Decisions Posi-Tone (Minton's)
Jimmy Heath -- Pictures of Heath Xanadu-Elemental (Village Vanguard; Flushing Town Hall; Jazzmobile)
Lea Delaria -- House of David Ghostlight (Smoke)
Ben Monder -- Amorphae ECM (Greenwich House Music School)
Jon Irabagon -- Inaction Is An Action Irrabagast (ShapeShifter Lab; Bargemusic; Cornelia Street Café; Jazz Standard; Bar Next Door)
Sensaround -- Isotropes hellosQuare
Glasgow Improvisers Orchestra -- GIOSevens Tob
Free Nelson Mandoomjazz -- Awakening of a Capital RareNoise
Barry Harris -- Plays Tadd Dameron Xanadu-Elemental (Flushing Town Hall)
John Zorn -- The True Discoveries Of Witches And Demons Tzadik
John Zorn -- Inferno Tzadik
Stanley Clarke/Biréli Lagrène/Jean-Luc Ponty -- D-Stringz Impulse (Blue Note)
Danilo Pérez/John Patitucci/Brian Blade -- Children of the Light Mack Avenue (Jazz Standard)
Satoko Fujii Tobira -- Yamiyo Ni Karasu Libra (Ibeam Brooklyn)
KAZE -- Uminari Libra
Satoko Fujii Orchestra Berlin -- Ichigo Ichie Libra (Ibeam Brooklyn)
Sullivan Fortner -- Aria Impulse (Jazz Standard)
Aidan Carroll -- Original Vision Truth Revolution (Jazz Standard)
Richard Nelson/Aardvark Jazz Orchestra -- Deep River Heliotrope (ShapeShifter Lab)
Frank Carlberg -- Big Enigmas Red Piano (Cornelia Street Café)
Frank Carlberg/Leo Genovese -- Shadows and Reflections Red Piano (Cornelia Street Café)
Luciana Souza -- Speaking in Tongues Sunnyside (92nd Street Y)
Steve Colson -- Tones For Silver Sphinx (Steinway Hall)
Petros Klampanis -- Minor Dispute Inner Circle (Cornelia Street Café)
Molly Ryan -- Let's Fly Away (featuring Dick Hyman) Loup-garous Productions (Metropolitan Room)
Joe McPhee -- As Serious As Your Life hatOLOGY (The Stone)
Konstrukt & Joe McPhee -- Babylon Roaratorio (The Stone)
Jean-Marc Foussat/Sylvain Guérineau/Joe McPhee -- Quod Fou (The Stone)
Steve Swell -- Hommage à Bartók Silkheart (The Stone)
Steve Swell -- Kanreki: Reflection and Renewal Not Two (The Stone)
Rich Perry -- Organique SteepleChase (Jazz Standard; Cornelia Street Café; Village Vanguard)
Beegie Adair/Don Aliquo -- Too Marvelous For Words Adair Music Group (Saint Peter's)
Wayne Horvitz -- 55: Music and Dance In Concrete Other Room Music (Roulette)
Wayne Horvitz and The Royal Room Collective Music Ensemble -- At The Reception Songlines (Roulette)