Al Jackson Jnr

If there’s one piece of music which defines America at a certain time it’s ‘Green Onions’ – certainly as far as those of us living in the UK are concerned. Even now more than fifty years after the record came out it’s still being used to pinpoint a time and place. If a film or

By | 2017-09-13T11:32:22+00:00 October 22nd, 2014|Categories: Groovers and Shakers|Comments Off on Al Jackson Jnr

Louie Bellson

Louie Bellson was born Luigi Paulino Alfredo Francesco Belassoni and with Christian names like that it’s no surprise he was deeply religious. I’ve been lucky enough to meet him several times at various music trade shows and he always came across as being an absolute gentleman. I even remember visiting Remo’s Los Angeles factory in

By | 2017-09-13T11:32:22+00:00 September 22nd, 2014|Categories: Groovers and Shakers|Comments Off on Louie Bellson

Ed Thigpen

  Edmund Leonard Thigpen was born in Chicago on December 28th, 1930 but moved to Los Angeles with his mother when his parents split up. His father Ben was a professional drummer and played in Kansas with a swing outfit called ‘Andy Kirks Clouds Of Joy’. These guys epitomised what became the Kansas City Sound

By | 2017-09-13T11:32:22+00:00 August 25th, 2014|Categories: Groovers and Shakers|Comments Off on Ed Thigpen

Jerry Allison

  Jerry Ivan Allison was born on 31st August 1939, is known to his friends as JI and in my opinion Rock and Roll drummers owe a bigger debt to him than they probably know. Because of his involvement with Buddy Holly and The Crickets his was the voice of ‘pop’ drumming before we had

By | 2017-09-13T11:32:22+00:00 July 22nd, 2014|Categories: Groovers and Shakers|Comments Off on Jerry Allison

Dave Tough

Dave Tough was born of Scottish parents in Oak Park, Illinois on the April 26th, 1907. At the time Oak Park was a town just outside of Chicago so unsurprisingly he was ideally placed to become a leading light in the Chicago jazz scene. Since prohibition was still in place there until 1973, moving into

By | 2017-09-13T11:32:22+00:00 June 25th, 2014|Categories: Groovers and Shakers|Comments Off on Dave Tough

Joe Morello

Joseph Albert Morello was born in Springfield, Mass. on July 17th 1928 and first came to the world’s attention in 1959 with Dave Brubeck on the album ‘Time Out’. However, he’d certainly paid his drumming dues long before he was thrust into the drumming spotlight at the end of the fifties and had already become

By | 2017-09-13T11:32:23+00:00 May 25th, 2014|Categories: Groovers and Shakers|Comments Off on Joe Morello

Max Roach

  Maxwell Lemuel Roach was a pioneer of Bebop along with Kenny Clarke but he played all sorts of music. He was born in Newland, North Carolina but there is a discrepancy between the ‘official’ birth date and the one his people give out. The family Roach say he arrived on January 8th, 1925 but

By | 2017-09-13T11:32:23+00:00 May 22nd, 2014|Categories: Groovers and Shakers|Comments Off on Max Roach

Johnny Otis

The first time I heard the hambone rhythm (also known by its African name of Juma and 3/2 clave) was on a record called ‘Willie And The Hand Jive’ by the ’Johnny Otis Show’ . This band was somewhat unusual for the time being led by a drummer. This would have been in 1958 and

By | 2017-09-13T11:32:23+00:00 April 25th, 2014|Categories: Groovers and Shakers|Comments Off on Johnny Otis

Chico Hamilton

  Foreststorne ‘Chico’ Hamilton was born in Los Angeles on September 20th 1921 and I have to admit he didn’t exactly introduce me to jazz; instead he introduced me to something which for me, as an embryonic rock ‘n’ roll drummer, proved to be very important. The possibilities offered by playing a regular drum kit

By | 2017-09-13T11:32:23+00:00 March 28th, 2014|Categories: Groovers and Shakers|Comments Off on Chico Hamilton

William E. “Smoky” Dacus

I’ve always had more than a passing interest in ‘Western Swing’ music, since in essence it was close to the ‘skiffle’ many of us ‘older’ Brits started our careers with. My curiosity was whetted further when I played with Don McLean who every now and then would throw in songs within the genre. And, over

By | 2017-09-13T11:32:23+00:00 December 28th, 2013|Categories: Groovers and Shakers|Comments Off on William E. “Smoky” Dacus