The Latest top 5 list comes from one of the more prominent musicians in Sydney – Simon Barker. Not only a great drummer, Simon also runs Kimnara Records which puts out consistently high quality CDs from Australian artists such as ‘Band of Five Names’, Scott Tinkler, Phil Slater, Matt McMahon and Carl Dewhurst. Two of my favourite Australian records are Phil Slater’s “The Thousands” and Matt McMahon’s “Paths and Streams” which both feature Simon and are released under the Kimnara flag. Simon has provided a lot of guidance in helping release ‘The Dilworths” debut album.
Also, if you are free on Monday the 1st March be sure to get down to the Australian Film Festival screening of “Intangible Asset No. 82” – a documentary following Simon’s search for a shaman and grandmaster musician in South Korea. Click here for more details.
Here are his top 5:
It’s hard to describe how much joy I’ve experienced while listening to Jack Dejohnette play the drums. I first heard him on Keith Jarrett “Standards Volume 2” when I was a teenager and have been a huge fan ever since. Jack’s way of creating streams of unresolved conversational rhythms had a huge impact on me, and his willingness to consistently develop new approaches to his instrument (conceptually and physically) is really inspiring… a wonderful musician.
What can you say? I’ve been listening to Elvin Jones since I started and am still completely mystified by the depth of his pulse and ability to create such a profoundly personal style. I love so many records that he’s on but my favorite is “Crescent” by John Coltrane, featuring the track “Wise One”… one of the most lyrical grooves I’ve ever heard. There are so many facets to Elvin’s playing… the powerful ritualistic playing, the incredibly swinging accompanist, the amazing ballad playing… genius!
Kim Seok Chul
In 2000, I was working in Korea and heard a recording of ritual music from Korea’s East Coast performed by a group of shamans led by Kim Seok Chul. The drumming had a profound effect on me and has changed the direction of my life. Since hearing this music I’ve spent many years traveling to Korea to study, perform, and engage with Korea’s extraordinary musical heritage. The style of drumming performed by members of Kim Seok Chul’s family is characterised by dense streams of conversational rhythms that are mesmerising. I was very fortunate to meet Kim Seok Chul in the final days of his life… a once in a lifetime experience!
In 1997, while touring Europe with Scott Tinkler, I was very fortunate to hear Jim Black perform with Ellery Eskelin. At the time I was unsure of what I was trying to do musically and feeling pretty confused (while also having a blast with Scott and Adam). With that in mind I went to Jim’s gig and was completely blown away. He played in a way that included everything from trad to ‘Blondie’… heavy metal, jazz, ‘The Bangles’… it was an incredible experience that was refreshing and inspiring and so exciting to listen to. Jim and the community of musicians he’s involved with have had such a positive impact on so many young musicians… a very inspiring guy.
Lately I’ve been really getting into ‘Questlove’, Ed Blackwell, Joey Baron, Rick Marotta, Hamish Stuart, Tony Williams, Mitch Mitchell, Ritchie Haywood, Paul Motian, Vernel Fournier, Steve Jordan, Tony Buck, Katsuya Yokoyama, Watazumi, Feldman, as well as the various drummers who played with Curtis Mayfield and James Taylor.
Also, I have to say that perhaps the most influential musicians in my life have been people who I’ve played with who want to try things that may not have been played by other drummers. Mark Simmonds had some killing drum beats that were fully formed in his head which were unique, while Phil Slater and Scott Tinkler have some really inspiring ideas about drumming, pulse, phrasing and ensemble playing.
P.S. Check out http://www.kimnara.com.au