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I think Sonny Payne is my favorite player from the Big Band era. I love Basie and I love Sonny’s time feel and smart/reserved/strategic playing (see Sinatra’s It Might As Well Be Swing). Today’s drum solo feature of Sonny is a classic example of the drum solo culture in the 50’s and 60’s…


– This dude knows his rudiments. Can YOU make 5 minutes on just the snare drum this interesting?

– Holding off on the cymbals almost entirely for a while and then bringing them in as their own motif later in the solo seems like a hallmark of the old school approach to soloing. 

– The stick twirling showman thing starting at 7:20 really reminds me of Zoltan.

There’s probably gonna be a lot of youtube videos in the blog post content this summer.  I’ve got a bunch of traveling and other busy-ness happening, but that doesn’t make Jack DeJohnette any less inspiring…

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