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Nica's Dream

JohnnyVibesAZ

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How would you play this one.?
I saw one drummer playing a mambo:
Ride: 1 2 3 4 & | & & 3 4
Left hand alternating between rim click and rack on: 2 4 &
Bass drum and hi hat alternating on quarter notes.

Not sure what the drummer's doing on the H Silver recording.

Here's another one you might enjoy.

 

Edward

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On the Horace Silver recording I think the drummer is using brushes and playing straight quarter notes during the Latin section and swung eighth notes during the swing section. I think it sounds more hip and less stiff but the mambo beat you point out is also good. The 3 straight quarter notes at the beginning of the phrase and the two at the end along with the 1/3 bass drum pattern make it easier to transition from mambo to swing and back again without affecting time keeping compared to other mambo patterns do at least for me.
 

RIDDIM

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A section - sort of a cascara/swing meld. B section - swing, with attention to hits. Not hearing any brushes on this.

Here's a transcription of sorts:
 

Edward

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Sorry, I stand corrected. I was thinking of the Miles Davis version of Blue Dolphin Street.
 

richiegarcia4

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Haha.
That transcript is really helpful. Funny how a lot of those old jazz drummers didn't bother with the bass drum on Latin grooves.
 

RIDDIM

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Haha.
That transcript is really helpful. Funny how a lot of those old jazz drummers didn't bother with the bass drum on Latin grooves.

That's probably because most North Americans at the time were well not acquainted with what we call Latin grooves, nor the music they were part of. As information became more widely available, that changed. Also, an active bass drum is not necessarily part of some of that music; for some Afro Cuban music, sometimes just tumbao - kick on the and of 2 - is all that's needed.
 
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LarryJ

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If you are playing live, your Latin groove will depend on how your bass player and piano player interpret the song. This applies to most "Latin" songs in the small group jazz world. Most of the Latin songs in the Real Books are listed as Bossa or Samba, even if they are closer to mambos, rhumbas, etc.

Ed Soph once told me, you are playing in a jazz band, not a Latin band.
 

Edward

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If you are playing live, your Latin groove will depend on how your bass player and piano player interpret the song. This applies to most "Latin" songs in the small group jazz world. Most of the Latin songs in the Real Books are listed as Bossa or Samba, even if they are closer to mambos, rhumbas, etc.

Ed Soph once told me, you are playing in a jazz band, not a Latin band.
That is a great way to put it!
 

multijd

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I often think of “Latin” rhythms as having three levels of interpretation.
1) Authentic application involves playing in a traditional rhythm section with most likely no drumset. Individual instruments played by one player with very specific rhythmic parts that adhere to the clave and respond to the arrangement. Of course there are many rhythms that could be utilized from all over the Afro-Caribbean and South American diaspora.
2) “Latin Jazz” where drumset is utilized and possibly congas, bongos, timbales and other hand percussion. The drumset has to adapt and allow the traditional instruments to play their parts. The drumset drummer needs to know the traditional patterns in order to adapt what is missing and/or complement what the others are playing.
3) “Latin” styles in a jazz band. Here the drummer is freer to apply hybridized rhythms. Adhering to clave isn’t sacred but helpful. Here the drummer needs to create a good groove with Afro-Caribbean style syncopation along with the other rhythm players, most likely bass and piano and/or guitar.
I see Nica’s Dream as being in the third category. Unless you are playing it in a Latin Jazz band.
 

DrumPhil

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I get a kick out of Wes Montgomery playing it with a European trio in the 60s, with a young Han Bennink on drums. Not as good as Blakey and the Messengers but fun to see their different backgrounds meld together.

 

Edward

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@richiegarcia4 How did you get on with this? I just started working on it. Did you find anything else that was helpful?
Practice making the switch from Latin to jazz and vice versa on 3 not 1. So you might play 7 1/2 bars of swing and then go into Latin for the 1/2 bar and they play 7 1/2 more of Latin ect. It’s a little tricky if you are used to always switching on one and takes some practice but it makes the transition smoother.
 

multijd

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I love this OP arrangement. That brush pattern is HIP. Does anyone know what Bobby Durham is doing there?

Wild. I can only speculate but I’ll try it next time I’m at the drums. I think it’s a throw-rebound like the Brazilians. If you can play 1/8th notes at that tempo with one hand, you turn your hand sideways and make a strumming motion with the brush that produces 1/16th notes through the back and forth strokes.
 


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