PlaylistJazz drummer Curtis Nowosad plays favourites
Posted by Curtis Nowosad, musician | Thursday November 8, 2012
Drummer Curtis Nowasad (courtesy Curtis Nowosad)
Jazz drummer Curtis Nowosad is releasing his first album, The Skeptic & The Cynic. But if you're looking for more interpretations of jazz standards - this isn't the album for you.
While selecting material for the record, Nowosad turned to music other than jazz for inspiration. And his take on tracks by Michael Jackson, Joni Mitchell, Roger Waters, Bob Marley, Tupac Shakur and Black Star are paired alongside some original compositions.
Since we know he listens to a wide range of music, SCENE asked Curtis Nowosad to share what's on his Playlist right now.
I'm really blown away by this band's interaction and uninhibited creativity on their version of this John Coltrane classic. They're completely grounded in the jazz tradition but they break every single "rule" (note saxophonist Mark Turner's first note when he comes in, for example). Billy Hart is an unsung hero in jazz who is finally starting to get his due, and I'm also a second generation student: he taught my teacher Quincy Davis. This group also features The Bad Plus' Ethan Iverson on piano, and shows off a whole other side to his playing.
I had the privilege of attending the Banff Centre's annual Jazz Workshop in May where I met and worked closely with pianist Vijay Iyer. Vijay is brilliant and his trio has a very unique sound. In this version of Ronnie Foster's "Mystic Brew" (perhaps best known as the sample in A Tribe Called Quest's "Electric Relaxation") they take the basic groove and move it through three different time signatures, without it being immediately evident what it is they're doing; it makes for a very cool effect. They give a similar treatment to Michael Jackson's "Human Nature", on their most recent disc Accelerando.
"Thinkin' 'Bout You" by Frank Ocean
When this album came out, I couldn't listen to anything else for three weeks straight. The production is great, the music defies classification, and Frank Ocean is an amazing vocalist. This song shows off his huge range, in addition to being just plain awesome.
Doudou N'Diaye Rose is the modern master of the sabar, Senegal's traditional drum. Here he directs a drum choir made up completely of his own children, of which he has 43, who are all drummers! The rhythm is amazing enough coming from one person but the sheer power of a group of that size playing in unison just knocks me out.
To Bird With Love: Live At The Blue Note by Dizzy Gillespie (Telarc)
I picked this CD up at Music Trader recently, and it's a great live album commemorating Dizzy Gillespie's Diamond Jubilee, and features a ton of special guest saxophonists, old and young, playing songs associated with Diz and his partner Charlie Parker. It is interesting to listen to living legend Benny Golson next to a 24-year-old David Sanchez on this track (a jam session staple), and hear such a contrast in language, sound, and approach. This also features some great playing from one of my favourite drummers, Kenny Washington. Great bebop.
Curtis Nowosad will release his latest CD, The Skeptic & the
Cynic November 8 at the Park Theatre. The show features Derrick Gardner, Craig
Bailey, Steve Kirby, Will Bonness, Laurent Roy
and special guests Niall Bakkestad-Legare and Ismaila Alfa; plus an
all-vinyl soul jazz DJ set by Steve St. Louis.