Thread: Terence Higgins
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Old 08-31-2007, 09:27 AM
Dhead Dhead is offline
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Default Terence Higgins

I've searched through the forum and there isn't a thread about this amazing drummer from New Orleans,so here we are.
He's the drummer of the Dirty Dozen Brass Band!

New Orleans Monster Drummer Terence Higgins

New Orleans is known for it's great music and culture,and it is also known for spawning some of greatest drummers in the world. Every serious drummer has been influenced by New Orleans style drumming at some point in there developement. With a unique blend of slinky street beats, New Orleans funk, R&B, zydeco, blues, traditional jazz, and swing, gives New Orleans Drummers that thang!!!.....But don't get it twisted, "New Orleans style of drumming is not method book friendly, It's all about the feel of it, It's a feeling thing and It's part of the fabric of New Orleans".

Terence was born in New Orleans in 1970 and was raised in the suburb of old Algiers. He was introduced to the drums at a very young age by his great grandfather and he has been playing ever since. In high school he was one of two students chosen from the state of Louisiana to perform in the McDonald's All-American band, after high school he enrolled in music studies at Southern University, after a few years he decided to pursue a career in the music business.

Specializing in New Orleans grooves and keeping in touch with the Crescent City's second line tradition and early New Orleans funk and R&B, he draws his influences from the legends of New Orleans drumming such as: Baby Dodds, Earl Palmer, Smokey Johnson, Charles "Hungry" Williams, Shannon Powell, James Black, Herlin Riley, Zigaboo, Joe Lastie, Idris Mohammed, Ricky Sebastien, Herman Ernest, and Mean Willie Green and also his peers: Adonis Rose, Brian Blade Gerald French, Donald Edwards, Troy Davis, Stanton Moore, Russell Batiste Jr., Jeffrey "Jellybean" Alexander, Doug Belote, Alfred Salvant, Raymond Weber and many other drummers around the world.

His professional career has taken him all over the world and his unsurpassed skills on the drums has allowed him to play with an eclectic group of musicians.Terence credits George Porter Jr of the Meters for taking him under his wing and introducing him to the vast repertoire of New Orleans music. Terence has performed with artist like Dr. John, Earl King, Marva Wright, Kermit Ruffin, Snooks Eaglin, Johnny Adams, George Porter Jr., The Wild Magnolias, Dave Badie, Ivan Neville & Dumpsta funk, Jon Cleary, Donald Harrison, Allen Toussaint, Michelle Shocked, Norah Jones, Renee Mcrary, John Scofield, DJ Logic, Bobby Jordan, Ed Perkins, Theryl "Houseman" Decluet, Micheal Ward, Robert Randolph, Widespread Panic, The Black Crows, North Mississippi All-Stars, Treme Brass band, Fats Domino and many other New Orleans artist. He is now touring and recording with one of New Orleans premier groups the Dirty Dozen Brass Band as well as his own band Swampgrease. Growing up in New Orleans has exposed him to some of the greatest music and culture the world has to offer, Terence is no exception, as the next generation continues the legacy of the musical heritage of the city of New Orleans.

Terence Higgins & Swampgrease " In the Bywater "

Terence Higgins, internationally known as drummer for the Dirty Dozen Brass Band , is as well versed in the churning New Orleans funk style as any man can be. Born and raised in NOLA, Higgins has performed with everyone from Widespread Panic to Dr. John to Norah Jones, and has even gained his own set of peers in other drummers such as Brian Blade, Russell Batiste Jr., and Stanton Moore . Higgins appears on dozens of albums, but with his first “solo” CD his own ideas have become a force to be reckoned with.

In The Bywater is named after the neighborhood in which the cd was recorded, one of the most historic in New Orleans. Just down the Mississippi River from the French Quarter, Bywater's colorful, diverse history seeps through into the sounds contained on the disc. But with that history comes a marked modern slant full of synthetic sounds and forward-thinking musical interplay. Higgins is joined by many of his NOLA compatriots here, including sibling keyboard and sax players (Andy and Scott) with the impossibly Cajun surname of Bourgeois. Also featured on the album are DDBB guitar craftsman Jamie McLean, trombonist Sammy Williams, bassist Calvin Turner ( Jason Crosby , Marc Broussard), and noted funk guitarist Renard Poche. Together they display the stuff that makes New Orleans music not only irresistible, but a worldwide curiosity and essential cultural edifice.

“Terrestrial Landing” gets the disc hopping, with a blast-off of funk and synthesizers that give way to the neck-breaking funk of “Gotta Get Swamp Jiggy”. Poche's vocoder provides digital vocals to get the track going while Higgins' seems to have at least four arms, finding a beat at every nook of the song's loose groove. Williams dazzles with a gliding, creative trombone solo, and Bourgeois serves up a dirty clavinet solo. This song just floors you with hard-hitting breaks and distorted, teeth-clenching melodies interspersed with tricky jazz passages.

The title track shuffles off via a neo-traditional rhythm from Higgins and caterwauling slide guitar from McLean. This is an electrified brass parade through the JazzFest crowd on a 100-degree day at the Fairgrounds, sweaty and sauntering. There's no groove that the soloists on this album can't handle, as they lace Higgins' second-line-influenced beats with all kinds of musical chatter. Turner achieves the elusive goal of having the bass be just that…the “base”. Only when the listener truly needs a reference point does the bass bubble up through the foundation, and Turner manages to provide the perfect layer every time. “Barber Shop” is a concrete old-school funk jam that is spiced with joyful melodica. If Higgins was trying to provoke images of Afros being neatly trimmed in a downtown barbershop during the 1970's, he succeeded! Wah-wah and a strolling, steady beat make this a highly visual instrumental. This is The Meters on a perfect Saturday afternoon in the city. Then it picks up steam and careens into a dance-jazz tune with a sprightly sax solo before disintegrating into a big, noisy rock ending.

The carefully constructed “100mg.” Is one of the more moderately paced tunes on the disc, and each band member has an equal voice here. Somehow each instrument manages to pop into the spaces left by the others, creating a roiling circus of funk. “Catharsis” is a smooth ride with synth-flutes and resounding organ backdrops. The band's propensity for tight jazz/funk breaks and melodies is on high volume here, as this song skips between cocktail jazz and roughneck funk.

The disc ends with the improvised madness of “Past Neptune”, which starts as a free-association jam but eventually gains a makeshift theme. It is at this point of the listen that you realize how enjoyable of a ride this album is. The whole smorgasbord of virtuostic playing comes back to the listener during this moment of relaxation. The patience, dedication, and skill displayed by Swampgrease are what sets In The Bywater apart from the multitudes of other fusion/funk outfits.
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