A Drum Supreme aka Trap Set Nirvana

An expansion piece on a music selection

A few instruments evoke our instincts to move like the drum. I’d like to welcome you to trap set nirvana Here is a collection of some of my most favourite drum performances from some amazing drummers over the years.

I have put this mix together paying particular attention to the impact and uniqueness of each song. For example the amazing drum break by the master teacher Harvey Mason featured in Weather Reports’ Sweetnighter which spawned a seminal influential hit in the broken beat movement after it was used by Afronaught or the now almost forgotten gem by Starcrost’s Paul Pearcy.

Obviously this journey is partly inspired by the recent great film Whiplash, which I found immensely entertaining.

Drummer: Harvey Mason

Among the many outstanding examples of great drumming on display in this selection is an introduction by one Chris Dave who I believe is one of the vanguards pushing the art in recent years. His use of syncopation and hip hop/jazz sensibilities elevate him to great heights.

He is accompanied by another accomplished young Karriem Riggins who has been involved in stellar projects that straddle multiple genres of music including his collaborations with Miguel Atwood-Ferguson the composer/conductor.

Of course any foray into mallet wielding will not be complete without any mention of Billy Cobham, Michael Giles or the young protege Myele Manzanza. Whose amazing dexterity is on display here.

George Duke/ Billy Cobham and Band. Live in Montreux 1976

Now back to one of the the most important films this year — Whiplash. It impressed enough folks to warrant an Academy Award nod. Deservedly so. Turning music school drumming into a bloodsport (literally). There is blood spilled on the kit more than once in this visual equivalent of Juan Tizol’s epic assault Caravan, which is used fittingly in a pivotal scene in the plot and included in this selection.

I loved the film and felt that its release was needed to inspire and arouse the thrill of appreciating great musicianship.

So sit back and enjoy while these great players do their thing. Sharing their craft with you as they have with me is an honour and pleasure. Enjoy!

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