Sunday September 5, 2010: SHAPING THE COLOUR OF MUSIC

Last weekend, my wife and I had the privilege to listen to some very fine musicians.  One of the performers was drummer Timothy Pope.   Tim has performed with Ray Charles, Bobby McFerrin, Jose Feliciano, Ben E. King, La Toya Jackson, Tony Orlando and Dawn, Mary Wells, The Ink Spots, The Drifters, Little Anthony … the list is long.  What was incredible about the performance is the colour he plays into the music – the use of the cymbals, the drum heads, the sticks to create a colour palate that complements the music.

I have a signed photo of Tim accompanying Ray Charles – it was great to see this man perform live.  We talked after – I mentioned that I heard Steve Ferrone play at The Bitter End in New York just a few weeks back – another drummer who plays with interesting colour.  Tim gestured with an open hand, “To me, Ferrone, is one of the five best in the world.  He has played with so many great performers and produced some great records.”

A few months back, when drummer Ashwin Sood performed with Revv52 and guests Meaghan Smith and Jimmy Rankin, the performance level of the group was stellar.  Sood has performed with Sarah McLachlan, Wild Strawberries, Sheryl Crow, Stevie Nicks, Greg Keelor, Rufus Wainwright, JD Fortune, Delerium and Chantal Kreviazuk and so many more.

A great drummer creates the groove – he feels it before the song begins and in the performance he colours and shapes the overall sound.

Next time you see a concert, listen to the drummer – listen to how they shape the sound of the group.  A great drummer is key to a remarkable performance.

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