Carol Tristano & Her Ride Cymbal

John Trentacosta -- October 8, 2o15 -- photo by Mark Weber ---- Over the years I've come to regard the jazz you hear in bars, restaurants, taverns, hotel lounges, as where jazz really exists -- these guys who are in the trenches, working in small groups, playing the American Song Book, and the Fake Book, and the Real Book, and whatever else needs revamping into jazz, is the bottom line, (Cal calls them club dates and he should know he's played thousands) -- John Trentacosta is another who has played thousands of club dates -- there is a healthy club scene here in New Mexico up and down the Highway 25 corridor between Albuquerque - Santa Fe - Taos these musicians are driving home late late at night up and down 25 (David Parlato wrote a tune in commemoration of that night time drive) ----- John moved to Santa Fe about the same time Janet & I came to Albuquerque (1991) (I think John was 1992) from his home on Staten Island -- He's a great drummer and has backed up everybody from Lee Konitz to Nick Brignola to Giacomo Gates (I wouldn't have known of Giacomo's gift for song if it wasn't for John bringing him out to New Mexico) to Joshua Breakstone to Chris Calloway to Doug Lawrence (John is with Warren Vache Quartet in this photo) ----- I think it was Kenny Davern who put the bug in my ear about club dates: He loved them, the noisier the more raucous the more Kenny loved it (but, he played clarinet and it cut through all the racket) ---- club dates are where jazz stays healthy, where it flexes its muscles, where part-time musicians come and sit in, where somebody's mom gets up and sings a song, where the new axe is tried out . . . . where it's Real ----- ALSO, check out the YouTube footage of cornetist Don Joseph of Staten Island, that's John Trentacosta on drums

John Trentacosta — October 8, 2o15 — photo by Mark Weber —- Over the years I’ve come to regard the jazz you hear in bars, restaurants, taverns, hotel lounges, as where jazz really exists — these guys who are in the trenches, working in small groups, playing the American Song Book, and the Fake Book, and the Real Book, and whatever else needs revamping into jazz, is the bottom line, (Cal calls them club dates and he should know he’s played thousands) — John Trentacosta is another who has played thousands of club dates — there is a healthy club scene here in New Mexico up and down the Highway 25 corridor between Albuquerque – Santa Fe – Taos these musicians are driving home late late at night up and down 25 (David Parlato wrote a tune in commemoration of that night time drive) —– John moved to Santa Fe about the same time Janet & I came to Albuquerque (1991) (I think John was 1992) from his home on Staten Island — He’s a great drummer and has backed up everybody from Lee Konitz to Nick Brignola to Giacomo Gates (I wouldn’t have known of Giacomo’s gift for song if it wasn’t for John bringing him out to New Mexico) to Joshua Breakstone to Chris Calloway to Doug Lawrence (John is with Warren Vache Quartet in this photo) —– I think it was Kenny Davern who put the bug in my ear about club dates: He loved them, the noisier the more raucous the more Kenny loved it (but, he played clarinet and it cut through all the racket) —- club dates are where jazz stays healthy, where it flexes its muscles, where part-time musicians come and sit in, where somebody’s mom gets up and sings a song, where the new axe is tried out . . . . where it’s Real —– ALSO, check out the YouTube footage of cornetist Don Joseph of Staten Island, that’s John Trentacosta on drums.

The Thursday Jazz Radio Show

April 21, 2o16 Jazz @ Noon every Thursday (starts at 12:07 after the satellite news) Host MARK WEBER KUNM Albuquerque, USA 89.9 FM (Mountain Standard Time) also streaming on the web KUNM.org Current time zone offset: UTC*/GMT -6 hours (*Coordinated Universal Time)/Greenwich Mean Time)

CAROL TRISTANO & HER RIDE CYMBAL

Once she initiates her ride
………………….she never lets it go —-
…………………………….it is constant,
…………………………………..no leaving it —-
Like a laser beam
…………the ride permeates
Unwavering concentration of energy
is held in that ride, little bursts are
released via the off-beat snare hits
while the hi-hat marks time
……………..like a hood with a cigarette dangling
……………..eyes half-lidded
……………..leaning up against the wall of a skyscraper
the entire kit begins to glow
flickering warmth when mankind only knew
how to capture fire from lightening strikes,
saved it like the sacred thing it is
glowing, the bass drum is that ancient
drum from around that fire, heard now
from down through the ages
our camp not far from the river under
…………..that ridge-turning cliff
………………on midsummer in deer country
cougar, bear, elk, beaver, crows, eagles
taught us their songs
and the drumset glows
and each glowing coal is worshipped
each tap on the snare
keeps it center, centering,
and the ride never ceases, as
the planet turns with the night
the ride finds Earendel (Venus, the Evening Star) in
…………the west following
it is this western light calm & serene
pure energy out of the universe
undulating waves of the Big Bang
Carol’s ride is that river
toms are hot biscuits & biscotti
tumbling
the moon-illuminated clouds pour from the night
hissing
refracted churning turbulence
glowing

Lanny Morgan and his wife Marty at The Lighthouse -- June 26, 2o11 Hermosa Beach, California -- photo by Mark Weber -- Lanny of the greased-lightening alto sax

Lanny Morgan and his wife Marty at The Lighthouse — June 26, 2o11 Hermosa Beach, California — photo by Mark Weber — Lanny of the greased-lightening alto sax

Teddy Wilson in trio with Jake Hanna and Monty Budwig at Donte's -- March 16, 1977 -- photos by Mark Weber ---- When is there going to be a comprehensive re-issue of the Teddy Wilson Orchestra sides circa 1935-1945? These are the tight swinging high-stepping sterling little 7- or 8-piece bands he had that could swing the gate off its hinges and took the squeak out of our step

Teddy Wilson in trio with Jake Hanna and Monty Budwig at Donte’s — March 16, 1977 — photos by Mark Weber —- When is there going to be a comprehensive re-issue of the Teddy Wilson Orchestra sides circa 1935-1945? These are the tight swinging high-stepping sterling little 7- or 8-piece bands he had that could swing the gate off its hinges and took the squeak out of our step

Kazzrie Jaxen Quartet upstate NY ---- August 24, 2o14 -- photo by Mark Weber -- Bill Chattin (drums), Charley Krachy (tenor), Don Messina (bass) it's Don's birthday this day (b. April 21, 1955 which is same as my mom's and my "half-birthday") We'll play some of the recordings Don has put his pulse and spirit upon . . . .

Kazzrie Jaxen Quartet upstate NY —- August 24, 2o14 — photo by Mark Weber — Bill Chattin (drums), Charley Krachy (tenor), Don Messina (bass) it’s Don’s birthday this day (b. April 21, 1955 which is same as my mom’s and my “half-birthday”) We’ll play some of the recordings Don has put his pulse and spirit upon . . . .

Bud Tristano at The Stone in duet with pianist Valentina Nazarenko -- September 22, 2009 -- photo by Mark Weber ---- (Bud is Carol's brother)

Bud Tristano at The Stone in duet with pianist Valentina Nazarenko — September 22, 2009 — photo by Mark Weber —- (Bud is Carol’s brother)

Los Angeles drum maestro Chris Garcia -- March 7, 1994 in Albuquerque -- photo by Mark Weber -- In my next life I want to be a drummer

Los Angeles drum maestro Chris Garcia — March 7, 1994 in Albuquerque — photo by Mark Weber — In my next life I want to be a drummer

Kazzrie Jaxen & Bud Tristano -- September 20, 2009 NYC -- photo by Mark Weber ---- Bud and Kazzrie have a record in the works and in time we'll hear it . . . . .

Kazzrie Jaxen & Bud Tristano — September 20, 2009 NYC — photo by Mark Weber —- Bud and Kazzrie have a record in the works and in time we’ll hear it . . . . .

We all want to be drummers some day -- but only a few are called -- That's Bobby Bradford giving it a shot ---- May 176, 2008 -- photo by Mark Weber

We all want to be drummers some day — but only a few are called — That’s Bobby Bradford giving it a shot —- May 176, 2008 — photo by Mark Weber

Terry Riley and George Brooks at Knitting Factory -- August 9, 1998 -- photo by Mark Weber -- George will be bringing a band into the Outpost this night here in Albuquerque

Terry Riley and George Brooks at Knitting Factory — August 9, 1998 — photo by Mark Weber — George will be bringing a band into the Outpost this night here in Albuquerque

Doc Bernard on Bourbon Street, New Orleans -- August 6, 1993 -- photo by Mark Weber ---- Doc is the half-brother to Professor Longhair

Doc Bernard on Bourbon Street, New Orleans — August 6, 1993 — photo by Mark Weber —- Doc is the half-brother to Professor Longhair

Jackson Pollock's records and record player at Pollock-Krasner House, 530 Fireplace Road, Springs, Long Island, New York -- July 1, 1995 -- photo by Mark Weber

Jackson Pollock’s records and record player at Pollock-Krasner House, 530 Fireplace Road, Springs, Long Island, New York — July 1, 1995 — photo by Mark Weber

Lenny Popkin Trio in flight: Check out Carol’s concentration on that ride. Acute.

12 Comments

  1. very cool

  2. wow, Mark, you really done got it down the bebop beat of the cool-kitten drumming Carol Tristano…your poem almost becomes aural… I “heard” it in my blood… okay, now, Mark, you gotta do the same for the go-go dancin ancient go-go girl Joanie… only kidding, really… no foot-flopping Temptation Walk nor Funky Chicken can compare with the smooth moves of Carol’s..and she’s Now and happily happening… love these photos…Fred loves your jazz posts..

  3. Carol Tristano

    April 20, 2016 at 6:35 am

    Mark – you’ve completely turned me around with this amazing poem! Joan’s right – you can “hear” the words dancing like a drum solo – each drum – cymbol – the whole kit walin’. I think you’re a drummer in this life – you capture things I feel so deeply about the drums. Hard to believe you wrote it about me – but I will revel! Thank you from the bottom of my drum heart beat.

    Great photos – I love the one of Bud and Kazzrie! I am so excited about their upcoming record.

  4. Christopher Garcia

    April 20, 2016 at 5:49 pm

    once upon a time Jazz time left the bass drum and the sock cymbal/low boy
    and moved over to the highhat and the ride cymbal,
    with occasional punctuations with the bass drum……….

    The ride cymbal permeates the band stand.
    it is the (other) harmonic/rhythmic cushion for the soloist.
    so much so for some that Dizzy Gillespie used to carry a trumpet case
    AND
    a ride cymbal on tour with him that he wanted drummers to play when he was soloing.

    He told Louie Bellson,
    “I don’t want to tell you what to play, but you play this for me”
    (It was a China cymbal with 6 rivets in it (!)

    The spread of the ride depends on the drummer playing it
    it can be HUGE and washy, ala Mr. Elvin Jones, Paul Motian, Art Blakey

    “I mean, first of all, you have to play the cymbal just as you would have to play a trumpet, and so it doesn’t really matter if it’s gold or silver or brass or steel, you know. If you’ve got a good mouthpiece you can play it. So I never did believe in going through that whole charade of listening to the vibrations and the ding-ding-ding; that seemed to me to be so superfluous, because it’s the stroke that makes the tone, and if the cymbal isn’t flawed to begin with, then the more you play it the more it becomes pliable, and of course it’ll vibrate more, and the tone grows—and once I discovered that, I quit trying. I used to do the same thing, although I’d get to the point where if you’d bang a couple of cymbals I couldn’t tell the difference. My ear would be completely blank; it would just be dulled to any kind of subtleties. So I concluded, “Well, the best thing to do is if I’m behind it I can tell if it sounds good or not and I can put more pressure on it to bring the tone up or hit it near the crown and near the leading edge or whatever,” and the tone changes in each position. So it’s very simple.”
    ELVIN JONES

    or it can be as quiet as a mouse.

    “For a band to be a jazz band, you got to be able to hear a mouse peeing on cotton”
    ART BLAKEY

    or relentlessly driving and articulate
    Max Roach, Roy Haynes, Philly Joe Jones, Danny Richmond,
    Tony Williams, Jack de Johnette, Bob Moses, Jon Christensen
    way too many to mention so I didnt mention all of them

    you can play across the cymbal with the shaft of the stick,
    with the tip of the stick,
    on the bell,
    or the edge of the cymbal
    with the stick straight up and down,
    i.e.,
    with the stick parallel to the wall
    and of course dead strokes, open strokes,
    i.e.,
    how and where you hold the stick also changes
    the tone, pitch and resonance of the cymbal changes with each of them

    and you can ALWAYS tell who is playing just
    by the amount of space between the rhythm
    being played on the ride cymbal

    someone actually measured this scientifically
    with about 15 jazz drummers in DOWNBEAT once
    i.e.,
    which was a little too scientific for me……….

    Some “swing” the time using the triplet/sextuplet as a subdivision
    and some go back and forth between that and a 16th note subdivision
    sounding very much on top of the beat and always pushing the time forward
    the “subdivisions” aren’t played but FELT

    Chick Corea once said that when he plays piano solo that he can play with a dynamic range from 0 to 10
    but as soon as he plays with a drummer that it shrinks to 6 to 10
    “unless I am playing with Barry Altschul or Roy Haynes” was the quote……….

    had the privilege of watching Elvin Jones play
    I was backstage laying on the floor and could see his feet the entire time
    his right foot was on the bass drum about 90% of the time
    either caressing, slamming or “riding” the bass drum
    and his left hand rarely left his snare drum

    the other thing he did that night
    which very very few drummers do was to
    PLAY THE SILENCE

    some drummers think that the time has to be relentlessly articulated
    on a ride cymbal,
    i.e.,
    once they start they ain’t going to stop………..

    there were a couple of times that night where he just stopped playing completely
    he didn’t hear it so he didnt play it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    WHAT A CONCEPT

    and it was like being in an maelstrom on the ocean and getting to a clearing
    and the skies opened up

    he showed how to relentlessly articulate THE SILENCE
    as when he came back in that maelstrom was back with a vengeance………

    got together with Bobby Bradford a few times and played duo
    drums and either cornet or trumpet
    MAKING MUSIC

    he graciously asked,
    how and/or why would I say no…………

    at one point we stopped and he said
    “don’t know what you are thinking when you do it,
    but every now and then you do THIS THING
    and to me it sounds like a storm.
    If we are on the bandstand some night I might walk over to you
    and ask you to do that storm for me”……

    so a few weeks later I get the call
    I show up and it’s the MO’TET
    most of the cats I know and have played with
    but they have never played with me in that context
    the MO’TET context
    and some are quite surprised to see me

    about 20 minutes into the set we are playing a ballad
    it is broken down to just piano, bass and drums
    and I am playing brushes on my floor tom and a flat ride cymbal with my left hand

    Bobby walks around the bandstand and comes up beside me and says
    “I need to hear that storm”
    at that moment we were playing Blakey jazz,
    i.e.,
    all kinds of mice peeing on cotton could be heard throughout the club

    “Right now?” I ask
    “Right now” he says
    all the while the piano and bass are still playing

    “How big a storm do you want Bobby?”
    his reply
    “Tsunami baby TSUNAMI”
    i.e.,
    that clear blue sky once again became enveloped in storm clouds
    thunder lightning and sheets of rain……………

  5. I asked Chris to explain what a ride was. Whew. Brilliant.

  6. Chère Joan – you’re crazy – your moves don’t quit! You’ve got the beat in your heart and soul and you rock and swing with every moment – with every word you write – with every utterance! There I was again in Paris reading your book – on the edge of my seat – with a lump in my heart!

  7. ————————————-playlist———————————
    Thursday Jazz Show
    April 21, 2o16
    KUNM Albuquerque
    Host MARK WEBER

    1. Lenny Popkin Trio w/ Carol Tristano & Rich Califano “Trio” –August 1997 cd LENNY POPKIN (Lifeline)
    2. Virg Dzurinko & Ryan Messina (piano & trumpet) “Semi-Subconscious Lee” cd UNDERTOW (New Artists Records) ——2o15
    3. Nancy King & Glen Moore “Sermonette” — 1993 cd CLIFF DANCE
    4. Grant Green “Django” –15nov63 cd IDLE MOMENTS
    5. Billy Taylor spoken message regarding supporting public radio
    6. Billy Taylor Trio “Sweet Georgia Brown” –17dec54 LIVE AT TOWN HALL
    7. Lee Konitz & Ted Brown “Smog Eyes” –20oct76 cd FIGURE & SPIRIT
    8. Bird & Diz “Meandering” (Embraceable You) –26nov45 (Savoy) from the Koko session
    9. Lenny Popkin Trio w/Carol Tristano & Gilles Naturel — 24may06 “Danse” cd TIME SET
    10. George Wallington Trio “Fine and Dandy” –21nov51
    11. George Wallington Trio “I’ll Remember April” — 21nov51
    12. Ken Peplowski Quartet (Martin Wind, Matt Wilson, Ehud Asherie) “An Affair to Remember” –24feb15 cd ENRAPTURE (Capri)
    13. Chet Baker “Daybreak” –7mar55
    14. Paul Gonsalves “Cleopatra’s Lament” –21may63
    15. Henry Franklin, Bill Heid, Carl Burnett, Chuck Manning “Under Tanzanian Skies” 18dec14 cd
    HIGH VOLTAGE (SP Records)

  8. Thanks Mark…always enjoy your emails…great stories and photos. Ted Btrown

  9. Bill Chattin has many of the same things going on that I address
    in that poem to Carol : the focus on the ride cymbal.

    And Kazzrie reminded me that Kenny Clarke also zeroes in on the ride.
    She talks about that on a previous post >

    http://markweber.free-jazz.net/2014/10/04/kazzrie-jaxen-quartet-and-the-beacon-fires/

  10. Mark — Great poem about Carol Tristano’s drumming! I watched her on video and was very taken with it, she makes beautiful the sounds of drums and you do a perfect job describing it. Loved the photo of Pollock’s shelf with the Thelonious Monk early record (his first?) I’ve been listening to early Thelonious on a box set of his first 8 records and he never fails to amaze and inspire. Also love Pollock and so thanks your photo unforgettable….

  11. Carol Tristano

    April 25, 2016 at 5:41 pm

    Fred – thank you for your kind words! And thank you for your soulful poetry!

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