October 17, 2016

Playlist Week of 2016-10-15

* Purcell: Fantasias For Viols 1680 (Hesperion XX/Savall) (Alia Vox SACD)
* Balkan Spirit (Hesperion XXI/Savall) (Alia Vox SACD)
* John Coltrane: Offering: Live At Temple University (Impulse! 2CD)
* Bobby Hutcherson: Now! (Blue Note LP)
* Philip Catherine: Nairam (Warner Bros. LP)
* Dan Ar Bras: Douar Nevez (Hexagone LP)
* Kip Hanrahan: Days And Nights Of Blue Luck Inverted (Pangaea CD)
* Kip Hanrahan: Tenderness (American Clave CD)
* David S. Ware Quartet: Corridors and Parallels (AUM Fidelity CD)
* Roy Campbell Quartet: It’s Krunch Time (Thirsty Ear CD)
* DJ Wally: Nothing Stays the Same (Thirsty Ear CD)
* Francis Bebey: African Electronic Music 1975-1982 (Born Bad 2LP)
* Miguel: Wildheart (RCA CD)
* Alceu Valenca: Molhado de Suor (Som Livre/Sol Re Sol LP)
* Arthur Verocai: Arthur Verocai (Warner/Kindred Spirits LP)
* Hawkwind: Space Ritual (United Artists 2LP)
* Bo Hansson: Magician’s Hat (Charisma LP)
* Heldon: II: "Allez-Teia” (Disjuncta LP)
* Heldon: Stand By (Egg LP)
* Richard Pinhas: Rhizosphere (Cobra LP)
* Richard Pinhas: L’Ethique (Pulse LP)
* Goblin: Patrick OST (Cinevox LP)
* Goat: Requiem (Sub Pop 2LP)



By far the weakest link in my Gretsch Catalina Club drum set has always been the kit snare -- which is to be expected, of course -- and I have always relied on other drummers to bring their own when recording in my home studio. In anticipation of some upcoming sessions, I decided it was time to rectify the situation.

As with most things, a high-quality snare drum does not come cheap -- and there is a bewildering variety of styles and construction available, each with their own specific character. Not being a drummer, I asked my nephew his advice and, without hesitation, he said, "Well, if you're only going to have one snare drum, you can't go wrong with a Black Beauty."

The Ludwig Black Beauty is handmade out of a seamless sheet of spun brass and has been heard on countless records over the decades, particularly the larger, 6.5" x 14" model. So I figured, "Why mess around?"

It arrived this week and, with the help of the Tune-Bot, I was able to get it tuned up and sounding absolutely massive. One of the key features of the 6.5" deep drum is it's deep tone and multitude of tuning options, from tight and crisp to warm and ring-y. The resonance and harmonics coming out of this thing are simply out-of-this-world and complements the rich, detailed sound of the K Zildjian cymbals.

A quick recording test shows that, like the cymbals, the Black Beauty was worth every penny. I can't wait for a real drummer to play it!

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