Recommended Listening

Hello All,

I've put together  list (which is really a starting point, and not an "end all be all" for listening!) for what I consider to be essential listening for jazz musicians, and especially jazz drummers. I've organized the recordings by drummer, and limited myself to 5 drummers per category. You will also notice, that because I limited it to 5, there is an Honorable Mention category with names below each list of drummers. My apologies if I didn't include your favorite drummer or your favorite recording, but these are the drummers I felt who have been the most important "game changers", and true masters of the music. Now these categories are not set in stone, and I realize that there are recordings of many of these drummers that don't fit the guidelines of these general categories (i.e. Roy Haynes and Billy Higgins could be considered bebop, post bop, or modern drummers, , or Jeff Ballard isn't really young enough to be in the same category as Marcus Gilmore….I get it.) Again, this is a starting point, and these are categories that I thought made sense in terms of the language these drummers are known for, and the influence they had on the music, past and present. 

I'm happy to discuss at length the importance of each drummer, and why I chose to include that particular player, but I'll just post the list and let you listen for yourself. Enjoy!

Recommended Listening
Wayne Salzmann II


Early Jazz/Swing Masters
Baby Dodds  - Footnotes to Jazz –Talking and drum solos – available on itunes, any with Louis Armstrong
Chick Webb – Any as a leader, “Liza” and “A Tisket a Tasket” – from Drums Parade
Papa Joe Jones – Any with Count Basie 1936-1948 (except 1944-46) or as a leader
Gene Krupa – “Sing, Sing, Sing” or “Don’t Be That Way” with Benny Goodman Orchestra, or Krupa & Rich
Buddy Rich – Any as a leader, Rich vs Roach, or small group w/ Charlie Parker, Bird and Diz, Koko, Bird with strings, Lester Young trio
H.M – Cozy Cole, Shadow Wilson, Shelly Mann, Big Sid Catlett, Mel Lewis, Louie Bellson, Joe Morello, Sonny Payne, Sam Woodyard

Bebop Masters
Kenny Clarke: Charlie Parker – Swedish Schnaps, Dizzy Gillespie – The Giant, Miles Davis – Bag’s Groove, Dexter Gordon – Our Man in Paris, As a leader, or with The Francy Boland Big band
Max Roach -  Miles Davis – birth of the cool, Clifford Brown – Jordu, Study in Brown, Clifford Brown & Max Roach, Sonny Rollins – Saxophone Colossus
Art Blakey – Any as a leader/Jazz Messengers Moanin, A Night at Birdland, Hank Mobley – Soul Station, Cannonball  Adderly- Something else
Philly Joe Jones – Miles Davis – Milestones, Relaxin’, any 1st great quintet, Bill Evans – Everybody digs Bill Evans, Interplay, John Coltrane – Blue Trane
Jimmy Cobb – Miles – Kind of Blue, someday my prince will come, Wynton Kelly – Kelly Blue,  Cannonball – Sophisticated Swing, Wes Montgomery – Smokin at the halfnote
H.M. Stan Levey, Joe Chambers, Art Taylor, Frankie Dunlop, Ben Riley, Grady Tate, Dannie Richmond, Gene Lake, Ed Thigpen
Post-bop Masters
Roy Haynes – Any as a leader, We Three, Out of the afternoon, Fountain of Youth,  Sonny Stitt – The Sonny Side of Stitt, Chick Corea – Now He Sings, Now He Sobs, Pat Metheny – Question and Answer
Billy Higgins - Ornette Coleman – The Shape of Jazz to Come, Dexter Gordon – Go, Hank Mobley – Dippin’, Lee Morgan – Sidewinder, Joshua Redman – Wish, Charles Lloyd- Hyperion with Higgins
Elvin Jones – Any as a leader/Jazz Machine, John Coltrane – A Love Supreme, Crescent, Impressions, My Favorite Things, Wayne Shorter – Juju, Speak No Evil, Night Dreamer, Larry Young – Unity, Into Something, McCoy Tyner – The Real McCoy
Tony Williams – Any as a leader/Lifetime, Miles Davis 2nd Great Quintet – Nefertiti, ESP, Four & more 1964, Seven Steps to Heaven, Eric Dolphy – Out to Lunch, Herbie Hancock – Empyrean Isles, Maiden Voyage
Jack DeJohnette – Any as a leader/Gateway, Miles Davis – Bitches Brew, Keith Jarrett – At the Blue Note, Up for it, Whisper Not, Standards 1 & 2, Charles Lloyd – Dream Weaver, Michael Brecker – Tales from the Hudson
H.M. Kenny Washington, Al Foster, Ed Blackwell, Paul Motion, Lewis Nash, Bob Moses, Jon Christensen

Modern Masters
Jeff “Tain” Watts – Any as a leader, Citizen Tain, Bar Talk, Wynton Marsalis – Standard Time, Branford Marsalis – Dark Keys, Footsteps of our Fathers, Kenny Garrett – Songbook, Michael Brecker – Time is of the Essence
Bill Stewart – Any as a leader, Think before you Think, Telepathy, John Scofield – Enroute, This Meets That, Pat Metheny – Trio 99/00, I can see your house from here, Larry Goldings – Whatever it Takes, John Patitucci – Now

Brian Blade – Any as a leader/Fellowship Band, Joshua Redman – Moodswing, Timeless Tales for Changing times, Elastic, Kenny Garrett – Triology, Wayne Shorter – Footprints Live.
Greg Hutchinson – Christian Mcbride – Family Affair, Dianne Reeves – What a little Moonlight, Joshua Redman – Beyond
Peter Erskine – Any as a leader, Weather Report – 8:30, Weather Report, Marc Johnson – Bass Desires, Abercrombie/Johnson/Erskine, Steps Ahead – Steps Ahead
H.M. Jeff Hamilton, Ed Soph, Adam Nussbaum, Terri Lyne Carrington, Matt Wilson, John Riley, Joey Baron
Current Masters
Ari Hoenig – Any as a leader, The Painter, Bert’s Playground, Time Travels, Inversations, Kenny Werner – Peace, Free Play, Jean Michel Pilc – New Dreams, Tigran Hamasyan – World Passion
Eric Harland – Voyager, Charles Lloyd – Jumping the Creek, Aaron Parks – Invisible Cinema, Terence Blanchard – Bounce, Aaron Goldberg – Home
Kendrick Scott – Any as a leader/Oracle, Terence Blanchard – A Tale of God’s Will, Flow, Gretschen Parlato – In a Dream
Jeff Ballard – Kurt Rosenwinkel – The Next Step, Deep Song, Brad Mehldau – Trio Live 2008, Ode, Joshua Redman - Momentum
Marcus Gilmore – Chick Corea – The Vigil, Vijay Iyer – Accelerando, Historicity, Nicholas Payton – Into the Blue, Gonzalo Rubalcaba – XXI Century
H.M. Mark Guiliana, Tyshawn Sorey, Chris Dave, Dan Weiss, Justin Faulkner, Justin Brown, Jim Black, Jamire Williams, John Hollenbeck, Dave King

1 comment

  • Justin
    Justin Cape Town
    Hi Wayne I enjoyed your list of recommended resources. I wanted to ask you which jazz drumsticks you use and which one's you perhaps recommend? I'm on the hunt for a good pair but I'm struggling to find a pair that suits me.

    Hi Wayne

    I enjoyed your list of recommended resources.

    I wanted to ask you which jazz drumsticks you use and which one's you perhaps recommend? I'm on the hunt for a good pair but I'm struggling to find a pair that suits me.

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