Every Tuesday in August!
The drum is one of the most integral parts of the jazz ensemble, and is a primary identifier of each era of jazz music. Yet, the drums are not always fully appreciated or understood in the larger scope of the discussion. Being a non-melodic instrument, the drums and the drummer are sometimes pushed into a corner of reliable and necessary contribution. This is not to say that the collective of legendary drum heroes have not been justly celebrated, but drummers generally do not receive the same fanfare, or even public interest as their melodic counterparts. But the drum is as important as any other instrument in the jazz ensemble, and this is a great time to highlight that, especially in the context of composing. Over the last several years, there has been a wave of jazz drummers who are coming to the forefront as bandleaders, recording their own albums, and most interestingly for me, composing their own music. This year alone brings albums from drummers Jeff “Tain” Watts, Adam Cruz, Johnathan Blake, and Otis Brown III to name a few. In addition, drummers like Kendrick Scott, Eric Harland, Brian Blade, Antonio Sanchez, E.J. Strickland and others have released wonderful work as band leaders and are all uniquely strong composers. Alternate Takes is giving you a look inside, and giving a window into understanding their writing process, outlook, influences and signatures. The series also attempts to edify the audience with discussion of drummers throughout earlier generations who have been influential writers.
Starting August 2nd, and continuing each Tuesday in August, the Alternate Takes Composers Series kicks off with drummer E.J. Strickland. Look for more interviews from Adam Cruz, Johnathan Blake, Kendrick Scott, and Eric Harland and explore the other side of the rhythm — the writer.