A rainy Sunday here and I'm sipping some Peet's french roast and processing a nice day yesterday.
Listening to some CDs that were laid on me by Sylvain Leroux and Malika Zarra. Sylvain and I had a nice hang at his place in the East Village, playing some tambin-sabar duets, drinking tea, talking about mutual respect and love for Africa. Check here for info about him, the tambin (Fula/Malinke flute) and two great CDs by his bands Fula Flute and Source.
Then went and played for one of Babcar Mbaye's classes at Chelsea Studios. Brought my minidisc and recorded it so I could work on some of the baks (breaks). The guys I play the classes with are from the same family as my teacher, Malick Ngom Faye, referred to in previous posts as 19yrold mofo. They're his uncles, older brothers/cousins, etc. You can find them here. So interesting that alot of the baks and rhythms Malick tought me are his generaton's version; the guys who teach these classes are 10-20 years older than Malick. Of the discrepency between their stuff and what the Sing Sing Juniors are playing right now in Medina, they say something to the effect of: "those young'ns play too fast, too slick, they don't focus enough on the original versions, groove deep enough, etc). As far as I'm concerned both versions are off the hook.
After the dance class went down to meet up with my friend Brahim Fribgane, great guy, great percussionist/oud & guitar player. He was playing at Boom in Soho with a killing vocalist Malika Zarra, who has a killing band. Had fun sitting in with them and trying to make their subtly-arranged and deeply-grooving music feel good without knowing the tune. Always great to be inspired by other drummers! Mailka's regular drummer is this dude named Harvey Wirht from Surinam. He played such deeply grooving, creative, tasteful stuff. And all on a tiny NYC-style one cymbal-hihats-snare and kick only kit (one doesn't really need much more than that).