Originally Posted by Garvin
Welcome Phil. I just started working on your book Latin Soloing for Drumset again. I've had it for a couple years and use it as a reference when I get stuck in a rut. Your playing is awesome and I really appreciate the exercises in that book a lot. It's great to have someone like you on the forum since to my knowledge there is no one else at your level of expertise with an open thread as of yet. Again thank you and welcome!
Okay I also have a question regarding the clave. When I first started listening and playing Afro-Cuban music I was very much an outsider. In the last 6 or so years I've listened, played and really tried to internalize the clave. I know in the folkloric stuff I've done, clave is very important. My question for you is this: As a kit player in a less traditional setting, how strictly do you apply clave? For instance in a Latin-Jazz setting, playing with non-percussionists who have only a peripheral understanding of Afro-Cuban music, do you stick to the clave all the time, or do you just follow the music and check in with the clave from time to time?
I hope that reads okay (it's early)
Oh, one more thing... Have you met or played with a percussionist named Chris Trujillo? He's a timbalero from LA, but now lives in the Southwest. Just curious.
HI bro....well first thank you for the kind words about my playing. Appreciate it:-)
Glad you are enjoying the book too! That book was truly a labor of love. Took a very long time to write and was very $$$$$$$$$$ hahaha. Faaaaantastic players on there made the whole thing come to life.
Chris Trujillo. I have heard of him, but I don't think we have met. I am sure he's great. I heard he's great too so.
As far as the clave thing goes. When I am playing in a Latin jazz setting, I still keep the clave in mind of course. If anything...in the circumstances you are describing...you should try and keep it in mind because of your own phrasing. If you are always in clave it will help the tune in general. If phrasing in clave is embedded in you then you wont have any trouble with this. Also, there will be a day when you play with people in a latin jazz setting that might be into the whole clave situation allot more. Might as well be ready for that day! Keep the clave in mind always, except...for when composers are taking what is known as "clave license" - That means they write in sequences that don't line up with the clave or disregard clave altogether in their playing. I have found that it does no good to be a member of the bitter "clave police" haha...especially if playing with players who are great but don't necessarily have the knowledge. Just enjoy the grooves and keep the clave to yourself, for your most inner thoughts and expression.
Another thing that comes up allot is that maybe...(I don't know in your case) ...people have been told or have been given many strange notions about clave. What the clave really is. It may be that simply...you might have to help out your band mates and try to turn them on to the whole clave concept. If you do it in a diplomatic and friendly way, it could be more enjoyable for you to play with them. Like I said , I don't know the whole situation in that particular setting you mention, but those thoughts always helped me:-) I hope that helped! Feel free to ask me any other questions you might have. I answer as soon as possible.
Clave = Key
Love = Clave