Nate Morton Drum Cam 11

When I was a younger player…. high school aged, my drum instructor Grant Menefee made it a point to expose me to many styles and genres. He was the person that turned me on to John Scofield, Blue Matter… a record that changed my life. We also studied polyrhythms from Pete Magadini’s books, as well as bossa and samba patterns… additionally, he threw jazz independence at me.

That type of educational influence continued through my time at Berklee College of Music where I studied with Latin drumming guru Ed Uribe. Ed added mambo, songo, baiao, and more to my western adaptation of Afro Cuban and Latin drumming… Here’s the point; I’m not a jazz drummer, I’m not an incredibly polyrhythmic drummer and I’m not a Latin drummer… although Horacio El Negro did recognize me in a hotel lobby once which was an incredible experience to say the least… but I digress… the point I’m trying to make is this… even though I’m not those things to the furthest degree, those rhythms and patterns I learned have always continued to inform my playing regardless the idiom. Even though I’m not a jazz drummer per se, the fact that Ron Savage taught me some essential brush patterns means, when I’ve gotta swoosh around a bit, I can… the fact that Grant and I worked through some Pete Magadini exercises, means, sometimes I can throw in a sideways shift to a related meter… and the fact that Grant Menefee and Ed Uribe exposed me to Latin rhythms means, 8 bars here and there of a Michael Jackson tune gets a side of rice and beans…

Like my previous sensei Grant, when I have students, I like to share information across multiple genres, and it’s not because I want to turn them into Latin drummers, or jazz drummers, or whatever… it’s because I believe they just might find clever ways to incorporate that information, even if they’re playing a pop gig… so.. .with that in mind… Here’s my latest Drum Cam Video…

The tune is Michael Jackson, I Can’t Help It… In part, I wanted to stay true to JR’s legendary studio track, but at the same time, I wanted to add other elements, so I allowed some of my Latin drumming to enter in… I definitely DID NOT reinvent the wheel, i just wanted to incorporate other genres, and that’s kinda always been my idea with sharing Jazz, Latin and polyrhythmic concepts with my students…

The last chorus, I get to go all the way Songo groove… I even set it up with a fill I stole from a Michel Camilo live recording… It’s not that you’re gonna displace the biggest cats in those genres, but maybe you’re in a punk band and no audience member has ever heard the drum fill from BBD’s Poison… if you drop it in, you just might blow their mind! Music is greater than genre…
I hope you enjoy my latest drum cam video! Sorry that for so much I’m in the dark, but I think you’ll get the vibe.

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