This blog has now reached it's end. The American Adventure has finished. Will there be a sequel in the near future? One will never know, but for now let's let the credits roll...

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Tales from MI - Chapter 11

Next up is another real treat. From the next class - Ensemble playing technique - taught by none other than the legendary Ralph Razze.


You have no idea how much of an honor it is to see and hear this man on the drums. Big band playing legend, sessions legend.. LEGEND.

While the class itself wasn't too taxing - we basically learned how to interpret charts in a real life setting (which by the way really helped when it came to my cruise audition) - and I breezed through most of the class, it was incredible to witness Ralph blasting his way through these charts.

Also incredible was the fact that Ralph is an incredible library of amazing music. He's worked on GI JOE commercials - which I HAVE THE TRACKS FOR NOW - and a lot of like cool 80's big band funk and all sorts of stuff. He's just worked on so much stuff and in his class we got a taste of all the stuff he's worked on in the many years.

Equally mind blowing was our next level 3 class - Odd meter - taught by another legend, Ed Roscetti.

Composer extraodinaire, innovative legend, world music genius and perhaps one of the greatest educators I've ever met. Together there with the live band we played in class. Ed is an incredible educator. His approach to learning and teaching is just so thorough and effective it makes it hard to believe that few others teach the same way.

I also did get the chance to see Ed live several times and one of the greatest encouragements is that he IS what he talks. To use a cruddy cliche - he talks the talk and walks the walk. Everything I saw him teach and talk about I also saw him use in a live setting. There are no tricks, no special moves, no hidden secrets. He teaches the way he plays and his own approach to becoming good in what he does. It's incredible.

That and he reduces the notion of playing in weird odd numbers into a super systematic method of learning.

And of course the best part is that he's so vocal with his teaching. A trait I think all drummers should have. He sings beats and rhythms and everything with his mouth. He then plays it with his body. He encompasses the instrument so well.

Great two classes. Awesome experience. Tune in for more!

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