SCI’s Jason Hann Tells Us His Top 10 Favorite Percussionists

first_imgWith The String Cheese Incident set to make their debut at the renowned Kings Theatre in Brooklyn, NY (tickets), we asked percussionist Jason Hann to give us a little taste of his musical influences. In turn, Hann wrote out a list of his ten favorite percussionists, spanning genres, eras, countries and more. No stranger to the rhythms of the road, Hann has been an integral part of Cheese’s iconic sound, and his work in EOTO, with Isaac Hayes an the legendary Brothers Johnson only furthers his love of percussion-based music. Read on for Jason Hann’s ten favorite percussionists, and be sure to enter the contest below to win tickets for their upcoming run at the Kings Theatre from August 13-14!Indigenous percussion instruments are a lifetime of study in order to incorporate the history and breadth of expression that these instruments can produce. A percussion instrument is really any object you can pick up, but many modern percussionists might take random sounds and play them in a way that fits into film scores, sound design, and avant guard music. I didn’t include any vibraphone or marimba artists in this list, as it’s so specific, melodically, I felt like I would have had to include piano players as well. My favorite part about percussion is that you can go to any region in the world and chances are, they have a unique percussive instrument that has a deep history to it. Many of these places are creating their own voice and bringing it to the rest of the world as they combine their rich heritage with modern forms of music. Not ranked in any order, and far from any complete list…Don Alias – he’s my favorite percussionist, if anyone needs a quick answer. I remember when I was first starting to pay attention to percussion on recordings, I would hear something and run to the album cover to look at the musician credits. Don Alias’ name would always come up. Such great parts and vibe on everything, and his interaction with the music while grooving always felt like the most musical for my taste. You can hear him on Jaco and Miles Davis recordings, and he also plays some of the grooviest drumset playing you’ll ever hear on Joni Mitchell’s “Shadows and Light” live recording. Check out Jaco Pastorius’ “Word of Mouth” recording to hear a great example of his playing. Giovanni Hidalgo – Puerto Rican percussionist taking conga technique to levels way beyond the original style of the instrument. But that’s what master drummers do. He learned to apply drum rudiments to the congas from José Luis Quintana (Changuito) – the famous and most innovative congero from Cuba – and has continued to add new techniques to his repertoire. Known for being on Mickey Hart’s Planet Drum recordings as well, but maybe introduced to most of the world while touring with Dizzy Gillespie.Zakir Hussain – virtuoso tabla player from India, the son of another legendary Indian percussionist, Alla Rakha. One thing about tabla players who play music for a living, there is already a stunning amount of technique and depth of rhythmic phrasing that you need just to accompany another classical player or dancer. To achieve a level of mastery and push beyond the language of the instrument is something Zakir has done. You can hear him on Diga Rhythm Band, Mickey Hart’s Planet Drum, and Shakti recordings. His work with Tabla Beat Science (Bill Laswell) puts tablas in a modern dub setting. Aloke Dutta is another tabla player that pushes tabla to new mastery levels. He only plays solo tabla as there was a time in the early 1900s when playing tabla in India was revered as a lead instrument of India, more so than the Sitar. Aloke is more known as the tabla teacher to amazing drummers like Terry Bozio (Frank Zappa) and Danny Carey of Tool. He has done some solo performances opening for Tool.Assane Thiam – the Tama drum is one of the lesser known percussion instruments in the West. It has lots of strings that attach 2 heads of a drum onto a body of a drum. It’s held under the armpit or by the drummer’s waste. The strings are squeezed with one arm to change the tension and pitch of the drumhead, while the other strikes the head with a curved stick, and imitates the language of the region that it is played. It’s more commonly known as a “talking drum”, though there are many styles of “talking drums” such as the larger, lower, melodic drums of Ghana and Nigeria that you would hear in music by such artists as King Sunny Ade. Assane Thiam plays the Tama “Talking Drum” in the style that they play in Senegal, Mali, and Gambia. It’s a smaller drum with amazing hi pitched articulation that can cut through the loudest of Sabar (traditional drums) drums of Senegal. Assane has released his own recordings which feature the Tama, but he can be mostly widely heard on the recordings of famous Senegalese singer, Youssou N’Dour. The clarity he displays on the Tama within a band or traditional setting is unparalleled for my ears. It’s like a musical guide for the drums to follow. Check out his solo recording “Li Tama Di Joy Wax La” if you can find it. I also got to see Tama player, Petit Madou, from Mali play a 30-minute solo tama party at the Festival in the Dessert in Mali, that had the whole Malian community dancing and singing with his every phrase. He plays with Habib Koite.Naná Vasconcelos -a true soundscape master of sonic expression from Brazil. When I think of his playing, I can see the story he’s telling. It’s always a story. He creates moods with sounds and takes me through the forests, along the rivers, sitting with the tribes. His main instrument is the Berimbau, which has a long stick connected to a gourd with wire and played with a smooth stone in one hand to control the pitch, while a smaller stick strikes the wire, and controls the resonating gourd by bringing it to the body to give it a “wah wah” effect. One of my favorite recordings he plays on is “As Falls Wichita, So Falls Wichita Falls” by Pat Metheny and Lyle Mays. His “Africadeus” recording from 1973 is one of those “turn the lights out” recordings that you’ll want to spend time with.Airto Moreira – another Brazilian percussionist. Seems like Brazilian percussionists, in particular, have this sound quest that always goes beyond the drums that are featured in their indigenous or popular Carnival settings. Airto just swims in all of the instruments and sounds from the region – that includes the sounds of the Amazon rain forest. He’s combining his voice along with sounds, and instruments and always creates an entire percussion section on his own, whether he’s playing percussion or combining it with drumset. Everything he picks up is another expression played with fluidity or recklessness, depending on the moment he’s creating. All sounds are fair game: bird calls, shakers, tree branches, pandeiro, surdo, repinique, caixa. Having been with Miles Davis, Weather Report, and Chick Corea’s Return to Forever project, Airto is one of the most influential percussionists by far.Paulinho Da Costa – from Brazil, maybe the most recorded percussionist of all time. You probably hear him playing on something at some point in your day. He’s played on over 2000 albums and over 150 films. From films like Indiana Jones and Jurassic Park, to modern TV shows like American Horror Story. I remember before I was playing percussion, I would pick out his parts that would jump out on Michael Jackson’s debut “Off The Wall” recording. The way his percussion parts were arranged in that setting was sooooo deep for me. Lots of parts that just added to the groove and never got in the way of other parts. Just about every album I checked out the liner notes on, I would see his name. When I actually started playing percussion, I went back to all of those records and listened with a more sensitive ear to what he was doing. He’s also played on Miles Davis recordings, all of the Michael Jackson recordings, Madonna…really too many to list. All Music Guide has him with over 900 artists playing all styles of music.Kim Duk Soo – from Korea. At the age of five he was getting awards from the the Korean president for his performance of traditional drumming from Korea. If you haven’t seen Korean drumming it’s one of the most incredible visual and rhythmic treats. the drums are hourglass shaped Janggu, strapped in to be played horizontally with drum heads on each side, played with sticks. The technique crosses sticks across the drum, while the drummer moves their head in a circular pattern to note the breathing cycle that is their method of keeping time. You know that you’re inside of the music if your head pattern allows a 5-foot ribbon attached to your hat to do circular and figure 8 patterns while you play. All of this while dancing at the same time. This dance also involves all of the drummers whirling and doing flips while everything else is going on…and Kim Duk Soo single handily brought this traditional farmers music to the world stage. Shunned as “music of the farmers” and not considered valuable to cosmopolitan Korea, Kim Duk Soo made it so popular in Korea again through his group SamulNori, that colleges continue to have national competitions the way the US has Drum and Bugle Corps competition between elite marching bands. I was fortunate to go study in Korea with Kim Duk Soo in 2 different years and participate in his international drumming competition.Manolo Bedrena – from Puerto Rico. My dad was always playing Weather Report records when I was young. Badrena is on almost all of the different eras of that band. There’s so much about his playing that I love. The way he jumps into phrases, does a certain thing that seems to move the whole band to the next level. You can almost hear the band react to certain things that he does, and it feels right. I wasn’t sure if I was just making that up in my head but I got to see him with Joe Zawinul’s band in the mid 2000s and, watching his interaction with other musicians, it confirmed so many things that I pictured from listening to the recordings. He has such a creative way of having one hand in the world of congas, while his other hand plays timbales and bells at the same time, whether there’s a stick in his hand or not. Super musical at all times. In those settings with Zawinul, Weather Report, or Sixun where he can be creative with no rules on how a type of music is traditionally played, is some of my favorite playing.Djembe – Ha. I just wanted to list this as an instrument and list different players to look up. You can do a similar thing for any percussion instrument. You can follow recordings for the conga drum back to the 1930s and there were moments in American culture where percussionists like Tito Puente and Mongo Santamaria had an incredible influence on popular music in the US through the conga drum. It’s really in just the last 20 years that the djembe drum has spread to the rest of the world, with it’s largest impact in the US being mostly seen at drum circles, while the culture of serious study that supports it is much greater, but not as often seen. It seems like every 5 years, though, I hear another evolution of phrase and technique on the instrument. There weren’t many recordings to check out when I was younger. I would order from overseas music catalogs to get all of the Les Ballets Africans, Mamady Keita, and Famadou Konate recordings. Now, there’s a ridiculous amount of resources for hearing new djembe music coming out of that area of West Africa (Mali, Guinea, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Senegal) as well as hearing players that have moved to the US. Some of the players that have made me rethink what’s possible on the Djembe are Moussa Traore (Mali), Bassidi Koné (Mali), Sidiki Dembele (Ivory Coast) …so many more on the list. Weedie Braimah (US/Ghana) is part of the new generation that’s taking it to another level.I’d also like to address some players that play the smaller, middle eastern/North African, goblet shaped drums known by names such as Doumbek, Darbuka, Darabukkeh, Tombak and Tablah (not to be confused with the pair of drums from India called “tablas”). Hossam Ramzy might be one of the most well recorded of these artists, releasing many solo recordings of middle eastern percussion, as well as playing with Robert Plant during his exploration of Middle Eastern music. You can see these drums as usually the smaller and lighter drums at a drum circle that look like mini djembes, but the traditional/classical way of playing these instruments is as deep as any other instrument can get. The traditions of these instruments go back to 1100 BCE with a continued evolution by younger generations. The finger and snap techniques on these drums are so intricate in getting so much expression out of the drum. Check out artists such as BURHAN ÖÇAL (Darbuka), ‪Erdem Dalkiran (Darbuka), Misirli Ahmet (Darbuka), Mohammad Mortazavi (Tombek), and the young Servan Gider (Darbuka).Win two tickets to see The String Cheese Incident at Kings Theatre in Brooklyn, NY by entering the contest below!last_img read more

On Tour With The Grateful Dead 1982: New York State, Ice Hockey, & A Bit Of Long Island Magic [Audio/Video]

first_imgThe great state of New York hosted a whopping 309 Grateful Dead shows over the course of the band’s 30-year career, ending in 1995. While over half of those shows were in or around the San Francisco-based band’s second home of New York City, the band also cultivated and maintained a significant presence upstate, which started with their infamous gig during a rainstorm on August 16th, 1969 at the iconic Woodstock Music & Art Fair.As the 2019 NHL playoffs start today, it’s more than appropriate to acknowledge that New York has long been a hotbed for the sport of ice hockey, serving as the home to 3 NHL teams and dozens of minor league, collegiate and junior teams. The city of Lake Placid was also the site of the 1980 Winter Olympics, where the USA men’s ice hockey team staged their “Miracle On Ice” en route to winning one of the most unlikely gold medals in Olympic history.On Tour With The Grateful Dead 1987: Reliving The First East Coast Shows After Jerry Garcia’s Coma [Full Videos/Audio]The Grateful Dead, pro hockey, and New York all intersected very nicely in April 1982, when the Grateful Dead played five straight shows in New York hockey arenas during their spring tour. While this tour’s most famous show is the Philadelphia Spectrum show on April 6th (listen below), this week in New York was an eventful one for both the Grateful Dead and for hockey. This was also the first tour where lead guitarist and vocalist Jerry Garcia and bassist Phil Lesh had switched stage positions, so Garcia was now left of center next to keyboardist/vocalist Brent Mydland while Lesh moved out to stage right—the stage plot that would remain for the remainder of the Dead’s career, spawning the terms “Phil side” and “Brent side” amongst latter-day Deadheads.Grateful Dead – Philadelphia, PA – 4/6/82 – Full Audio[Audio uploaded by Jonathan Aizen]The week kicked off on April 8th in Syracuse, at the Onondaga County War Memorial Arena. The arena has been home to five minor league hockey teams since opening in 1951 and is the current home of the Syracuse Crunch, but in hockey lore it’s most famous as the filming location for the legendary scene in the 1977 hockey comedy film, Slap Shot, when the Charlestown Chiefs’ infamous Hanson brothers climb into the stands to fight with the opposing team’s fans.Slap Shot Fight ClipHowever, the Grateful Dead brought a decidedly more peaceful vibe with them on this night, delivering the last of the seven shows they would play at this venue over 11 years. The band’s performance on this night was solid, with highlights coming by way of a particularly strong night from rhythm guitarist and vocalist Bob Weir. The first set featured a strong “Let It Grow”, while the second set was anchored by “Playing In The Band”, “Estimated Prophet”, and a strong version of “Not Fade Away” emitting from the “Space” segment of the show.Grateful Dead – Syracuse, NY – 4/8/82 – Full Audio[Audio uploaded by Jonathan Aizen]The following night found the band 88 miles west at the Rochester War Memorial, which was built in 1955 and has remained the home of the AHL’s Rochester Americans since 1956. In 1982, the “Amerks” were on an upswing that would culminate in Calder Cup championships in 1983 and 1987 and a trip to the finals in 1984. On April 9th, 1982, the Dead were on an upswing of their own from the previous night’s show. The first set was highlighted by an “Alabama Getaway” > “Greatest Story Ever Told” opening duo, a nice “Bird Song”, and a set-closing “China Cat Sunflower” > “I Know You Rider”. The second set raised the bar even further with a rare second-set appearance of “To Lay Me Down” and an excellent set-closing run of “The Other One” > “Stella Blue” > “Goin’ Down the Road Feelin’ Bad”. The set closed with a cover of The Rolling Stones‘ “Satisfaction”—and when a Dead show contained a version of the Rolling Stones classic, it was almost always a sign that the band was having a hot night. As Bob revealed in David Gans and Peter Simon’s 1985 book, Playing in the Band, “‘Satisfaction’ just came up one night…one of those little clouds of madness that drifted across the stage. We do it every now and then, usually when I‘m feeling pretty ringy. We have never done that one remotely the same way twice, and obviously we’ve never, ever rehearsed it. There are a number of songs we’ve never rehearsed, but ‘Satisfaction’ is one of the songs that rehearsal would ruin.”Grateful Dead – Rochester, NY – 4/9/82 – Full Audio[Audio uploaded by Jonathan Aizen]Saturday, April 10th, 1982 was an off-day for the Grateful Dead, but not for Jerry Garcia, who took the opportunity to sneak across state lines to New Jersey to play not one but two solo acoustic shows at the Capitol Theatre in Passaic, with the second one running until after 2:00 am.Jerry Garcia Solo Acoustic – Passaic, NJ – 4/10/18 – Full Audio (Early Show)[Uploaded by nognuisagoodgnu]Jerry Garcia Solo Acoustic – Passaic, NJ – 4/10/18 – Full Audio (Late Show)[Uploaded by nognuisagoodgnu]Garcia’s late night may explain the slower start to the Grateful Dead’s first of two shows at Long Island’s Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale, NY on April 11th, 1982. Known colloquially as “Nassau” by both Deadheads and hockey fans, the building was the full-time (and now part-time) home of the NHL’s New York Islanders, who in April 1982 were the two-time defending Stanley Cup champions. Nassau opened in 1972 for the Islanders’ debut season, and the Dead would ultimately play 42 shows there over 12 multi-night runs from 1973 through 1994.The first set on April 11th had a somewhat slower vibe at times, but it was ultimately redeemed by nice versions of “Althea”, “Beat It On Down The Line” and “Let It Grow”. The second set featured a traditional Sunday airing of “Samson and Delilah” followed by a non-traditional second set version of Mydland original “Never Trust A Woman” and a “Truckin’” that generated the loud and expected cheers as its lines about Buffalo and New York were delivered.Grateful Dead – Uniondale, NY – 4/11/82 – Full Audio[Audio uploaded by Jonathan Aizen]However, the Dead returned to Nassau the following night and delivered the strongest start-to-finish show of the five-show run in the state. Opening with then-rarity “Iko Iko” was a good omen, and other highlights came from a mid-set “Bird Song” and the closing pairing of “Looks Like Rain” and “Deal”. Meanwhile, the second set hit greater heights with new addition “Man Smart Woman Smarter” as the opener followed by a lengthy, sparkling “Sugaree”. A standout version of “Estimated Prophet” followed (complete with a second “mid-song” solo at its conclusion) before dropping into “Uncle John’s Band”, and “The Other One” that came out of “Space” was deep enough to trick Bob into accidentally signing its second verse twice. In addition, for the second time in a week, “Satisfaction” appeared. This time, the Stones classic served as the encore, and as the lights came up, those famously invisible clouds of Grateful Dead magic were left hanging in the Nassau’s rafters.Grateful Dead – Uniondale, NY – 4/12/82 – Full Audio[Audio uploaded by Jonathan Aizen]As it turned out, Nassau’s primary tenants had some use for that magic. The very next night, the defending-champ Islanders were trailing 3-1 with less than 6 minutes left in the deciding game of a first-round playoff series with the then-lowly Pittsburgh Penguins, a sub-.500 team who had miraculously hung around despite being severely overmatched. But when all seemed lost, the Islanders scored two late goals to tie the game and then went on to win by scoring early in sudden-death overtime. The Islanders admitted the Penguins “scared us half to death” before going on to win their third of four consecutive Stanley Cups (NHL link below). The Islanders would not actually lose a playoff series until the 1984 finals, when they were finally dethroned by the Edmonton Oilers and their 23-year-old wunderkind Wayne Gretzky.Islanders vs. Penguins – 1982 Stanley Cup Playoffs – Nassau Coliseum[Video: Disengage]While that hockey magic played out on Long Island, the Grateful Dead also made a little history of their own that day when Jerry and Bob made the first of five appearances by Grateful Dead members on Late Night with David Letterman, where they engaged in humorous chatter with Dave and played acoustic versions of “Deep Elem Blues” and “Monkey and the Engineer”.Jerry Garcia, Bob Weir On Letterman – 4/13/82Last but not least, the band finished out their week of gigs in New York hockey arenas by heading back upstate to Glens Falls, NY. The compact 4,974-capacity Glens Falls Civic Center was built in 1977 and was then the home of the AHL’s Adirondack Red Wings who, in April 1982, were the defending Calder Cup champions—the first of four Calder Cups they would win over the next decade. Since 2015, the arena has been home to the ECHL’s Adirondack Thunder.The Dead rounded out this week with one of the best first sets of the year featuring a “Jack Straw” opener, a big early surprise in the form of an electric “Deep Elem Blues” that was doubtlessly prompted by its acoustic performance on TV the night before, a welcome “Lazy Lightning” > “Supplication” with a couple lyrical miscues, and a fiery “Bertha” to end the set. The second set opened with an unusually long, involved “China Cat Sunflower” that segued into the expected “I Know You Rider”. That was followed by the biggest highlight from these five shows: one of the finest versions of “Playing In The Band” from the era, a 16-minute version that a featured Bob using a slide to beautiful effect before yielding the stage to allow drummers Bill Kreutzmann and Mickey Hart to deliver their nightly, spirited and improvised duet.Grateful Dead – Glens Falls, NY – 4/14/82 – Full Audio[Audio uploaded by Jonathan Aizen]From there, the band would leave New York for shows in Rhode Island, Connecticut, and Maryland to finish out the spring tour, but all things considered, it was a solid week of business for the Grateful Dead, the state of New York, and four of its hockey arenas. Hopefully, someone from the New York Islanders sent a thank you note to the Grateful Dead.last_img read more

China challenges U.S. solar tariffs at WTO

first_imgChina challenges U.S. solar tariffs at WTO FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Associated Press:China says it is challenging a U.S. tariff hike on solar panels before the World Trade Organization, adding to its sprawling conflicts with President Donald Trump over trade and technology.The 30 percent tariffs announced in January improperly help U.S. producers in violation of WTO rules, the Commerce Ministry said. It said a formal complaint was filed Tuesday with the WTO in Geneva.The solar duties are separate from tariff hikes imposed by the Trump administration starting in July on Chinese imports in response to complaints Beijing steals or pressures companies to hand over technology. The duties also apply to imports of solar cells and modules from Europe, Canada, Mexico and South Korea. That strained relations with U.S. allies.The Trump administration has defended the solar tariffs as necessary to protect American producers, saying import prices were unfairly low due to subsidies and other improper support.Washington took action under a 1974 U.S. law instead of through the WTO. That led to complaints it was undermining the global trade body. U.S. officials say such action is necessary because the WTO lacks the ability to address Chinese trade tactics.WTO complaints begin with negotiations between parties to the dispute. If those fail, the case moves to a panel of experts who can decide whether the trade controls are improper.More: China files WTO challenge to US tariffs on solar panelslast_img read more

Revealed: Four Ghanaian players falsify passports to get into Black Meteors

first_imgFour Ghana Under-23 male team players falsified their passports to get into the team, a management committee member Nana Oduro Sarfo has sensationally revealed.The four players travelled with the team to Mozambique for the first leg tie of the qualifiers for the 2015 All Africa Games last weekend.Luckily, officials of the Olympic team detected the anomaly in their passports early and stopped them from featuring in the game to avoid any potential embarrassment.The four players, whose identies GHANAsoccernet is withholding, have more than one passport with different birthdays.The Black Meteors lost 1-0 against their host and an outspoken member of the management team Oduro Sarfo has revealed the players falsified their passports to be in the team.“ We have a situation where about four of the players changed their names and ages to get into the Black Meteors for the trip to Maputo. One player called Goza changed his name to Kudjo Mensah and also changed his name to get into the team,” he told  Happy FM “I realized this development immediately the first squad was called so I reported my observation to the chairman of the U-23 team and he has begun investigations into this development so as to deal with it.Oduro Sarfo is unhappy with the selection criteria for the team during their recent international friendly against Egypt insisting the call-up of Hearts goalkeeper Mutawakilu Seidu was suspect.“I just couldn’t imagine how a goalkeeper like Eric Ofori Antwi who has graduated from the under-20 team, would be left out and Mutawakilu Seidu would rather be called.”The fabrication of players’ ages continues to be a problem for football in Africa and South America especially.Suspicions about true ages of some Ghanaian footballers date back many years with Ghana being banned at the Under-17 level the recent example. Ghana have a rich tradition of seemingly promising youngsters who mysteriously fail to fulfill their potential due to age-cheating an and falsified documents.The growing phenomenon of age-cheating forced world governing body, FIFA, to introduce the Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) which subjects young players to determine their true ages.last_img read more