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Combustible

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1 Combustible on Fri Dec 04, 2009 9:40 am

"Combustible" will be a new cd in piano-drums duo configuration featuring pianist, Mark Doyle and yours truly. I call it "The Uncle Project" because my nephew provided audio engineering and my Uncle provided cover art. Here's a track we recorded August 2009 I just heard today for the first time called The Red Blouse by Jobim: http://www.fileden.com/files/2009/4/18/2409195/06%20Track%2006%206.mp3
You've heard me struggle through this tune a few times already this year, but it's getting closer . . . feel free to take your gloves off, guys. I'm here to learn.

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2 Re: Combustible on Fri Dec 04, 2009 1:28 pm

As my own first critic, I think that song is still kind a mess on my part and loses groove because of it, but has some nice improvisational moments. I've come a long way in capturing pulse with a ways to go . . .

Here's another song from the same hour-long session, a new original by Mark Doyle called The Things We Choose. I really like this song, but still trying to work it out . . . it was quite new at time of recording a few months ago and I just heard it for the first time yesterday:
http://www.fileden.com/files/2009/4/18/2409195/Track%2001%201.mp3

Your suggestions appreciated, as always. There are lots of choices to be made!

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3 Re: Combustible on Fri Dec 04, 2009 7:51 pm

OK, I've figured out how to play the second tune using 16ths in one section and oompahs in the next section, pretty much the opposite of how I approached it three months ago. I look forward to trying it next gig on 12/10. The first song still eludes me. I really need to spend some serious time finding the optimal rhythm, maybe spend a few months at sea alone.

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4 Re: Combustible on Sat Dec 05, 2009 9:20 am

Back from sea. Finally now I know what must be done. I've known for a while. I've been avoiding it, the slow burn of the fast samba. My body needs to learn it through muscle memory. That's actually harder to do than the racket I've been creating on the first tune, sounding like I'm building a house back there. Once I learn this it will be transformational. It has to be all heel-down which I've only just begun to teach myself . . . it's a whole new way of being, completely different body balance.

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5 Re: Combustible on Sat Dec 05, 2009 5:04 pm

Full sound with a few flubs on Mark's Come Inside:
http://www.fileden.com/files/2009/4/18/2409195/Track%2002.mp3

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6 Re: Combustible on Thu Dec 10, 2009 9:17 am

Slapped this player together of the entire session including lots of covers within two long medleys:
http://blogs.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.view&friendId=188224696&blogId=521519524

Recording is "the great equalizer" in that we can learn so much from listening back . . . it was sometimes hard to hear the piano over the drums while recording such that when you can't hear the left hand of the pianist, you're lost. We didn't have headphones or monitors. And many times on my part, I just didn't have the right rhythm . . . but some moments make it all worthwhile.

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7 Re: Combustible on Wed Dec 23, 2009 1:24 pm

I think my favorite on the player is track 4, a 14 minute Beatles medley including Here Comes The Sun and Within You Without You (both George) along with some Dizzy and originals . . . on the fly with more than a few glitches I'm now ready to ameliorate. Good stuff for cranking in my convertible hovercraft in 30 years. Merriest!

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8 Re: Combustible on Sat Jan 02, 2010 1:22 pm

woofus wrote:As my own first critic, I think that song is still kind a mess on my part and loses groove because of it, but has some nice improvisational moments. I've come a long way in capturing pulse with a ways to go . . .

Your suggestions appreciated, as always. There are lots of choices to be made!

Hi Woofus! Happy New Year!

I've finally been able to find the time to listen to your treatment of "The Red Blouse" by Jobim.

http://www.fileden.com/files/2009/4/18/2409195/06%20Track%2006%206.mp3

Overall (and because you are open to positive criticism), I sense that you are trying to "fill in" too much when things/groove should be settled within a pattern. You often solo on top of the piano when a metered approach would work better. This calls for making cymbaled syncopations INDEPENDENT of what you do on the drum surfaces - thereby supporting the expressions AND giving you an opportunity to get out of the corner you paint yourself in by overplaying. In essence, you often leave yourself no where to go, and detract from the music in general with busy-ness.

This "salsa" should LILT rather than be forced. It would be a lot smoother when having a "lilting" approach. Try to make the kit cheerful and lively (as in the manner of speaking where the pitch of the voice varies pleasantly). That way the overall tune would be happy and resilient (as in moving or walking), instead of cluttered and stumbling.

You have the heart for this Keith... now translate that emotion into your hands and feet. This takes discipline beginning with baby steps.

Oh, BTW: I like the artwork! As I see it, this can either be an abstract of internal strife, or an outward reconciliation after the battle! Whose wearing that worn blouse anyway? Very Happy Like a Star @ heaven Like a Star @ heaven Like a Star @ heaven

Happy New Year Woofus!

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9 Re: Combustible on Sun Jan 03, 2010 6:50 pm

Was able to do as you suggest a few weeks ago, Suss. Had a lot of success, but still not comfortable with the heel down, fast heartbeat samba approach. It's a very basic thing and I see the light at the end of the tunnel, but have been running from it for years. I will get there soon and be transformed . . . or I will never get there and be compromised!

And I also want to thank you for such a beautiful, hopeful articulation of the problem and solution. I can do it now at slower tempo . . . baby steps indeed . . .

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10 Re: Combustible on Mon Jan 04, 2010 10:57 am

woofus wrote:Was able to do as you suggest a few weeks ago, Suss. Had a lot of success, but still not comfortable with the heel down, fast heartbeat samba approach. It's a very basic thing and I see the light at the end of the tunnel, but have been running from it for years. I will get there soon and be transformed . . . or I will never get there and be compromised!

Well all I can say Woofus is that you truly are your own worst critic! I remember when I first heard you play with the stellar folks in Florida (and courageously offered on Boomer's old website/forum), that you already demonstrate an open-mind when applying musical techniques to your performance. All you lack is getting out of your own way and becoming comfortable with whatever baby-steps you dictate for yourself. However, I will admit that its rather difficult for me to describe the production values anyone must determine for themselves, and themselves alone. That's the beauty of our artform, and I love it.

Specifically, when I play a salsa, I toggle between both heel-down and heel-up. The former when grooving; the latter when pulsing/driving (for the sake of dynamics). Officially (and as I have interpreted the contributions of so many fine and well known players is), DYNAMICS is the key, and disciplined TECHNIQUE is the road to walk before running. Clearly, this can seem rather daunting when applying "rudiments" to the kit, but think of it this way: RUDIMENTS ARE OUR FOUNDATION AND LEXICON. They provide the vocabulary for any serious drummer to translate impulses into music. When one masters even a smiggen of them, that person is well along the way to embrace the other subtleties the rest (rudiments) provide. But then I suspect that you already know this.

Don't be bored with baby-steps. After all, you're playing genres much different than what you might have ever been exposed to if guilty of being xenophobic (which YOU ARE NOT!).

I personally love your playing and your freedom/liberty to keep on keepin' on, I applaud you. We're all improving in our craft when (IMHO) we approach whatever we do with this attitude and appreciation. Heck, I'm doing things behind my kit that I wish I had known back in the day when recording for major artists and labels. The solace I experience now is that I'm still called upon to provide just what's recognizable from me when keeping others in mind/studio/art, etc. For me, that's the greatest blessing I can acknowledge and take into 2010. May it be the same for you and yours.

Respectfully and with...

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