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Bebop Spoken There

Jeff Lindberg: "You can have innovative new music and you can play music of the masters. They're not going to cancel each other out" - (DownBeat June 2019).

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2019 Parliamentary Jazz Awards

The voting is open between now and May 31 to enable site visitors to nominate their choices in the various categories of this year's APPJAG awards which can be done here.
BSH was very proud to be nominated and to win the 2018 Media Award and hope we can have your support again this year.

Today Friday May 24

Afternoon

Jazz

Rendezvous Jazz - Monkseaton Arms, Front Street, Monkseaton NE25 8DP. Tel: 0191 251 3928. 1:00pm. Free.

Giles Strong Trio - Bishop Auckland Town Hall, Market Place, Bishop Auckland DL14 7NP. Tel: 03000 269 524. 1:00pm. £5.00.

Evening.

Blues/Soul/Funk

Dave Kelly & Christine Collister - Gala Theatre & Cinema, Millennium Place, Durham DH1 1WA . Tel: 03000 266 600. 8:00pm. £18.00.

The Hookahs - Billy Bootleggers, Nelson St, Newcastle NE1 5AN. 9pm. Free.

Groove-a-matics - Lindisfarne Club, West St., Wallsend NE28 8LG. Tel: 0191 262 4258. 9:00pm.

To the best of our knowledge, details of the above events are correct but may be subject to alteration.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Memories of Martin Drew (Wembley’s most famous drummer) by Adrian Tilbrook

I first met Martin Drew in the late '60s at The Mandrake in Soho. It was the place to head for after your gig finished so you could check out the great Phil Seaman who was the on-off (more off than on!) drummer with resident pianist Joe Burns' Trio.
Martin and I would be invited to sit in by Phil so that he could hold court at the bar. I was working at the Palladium with Val Doonican at the time and Martin was carving out a career as a jazz musician, poles apart as they say. But life has many twists and turns and only a few years later I bumped into Martin at Ronnie Scott's. By now he was the ‘House drummer' and I was playing at the club with the headlining band Back Door. It was during this time that we became good friends and mutual drum anoraks!
Martin would bring in a different cymbal almost every other night and would want to know how it sounded during a particular tune or was it better or worse than the one he had used the previous night! He would also sit watching you play and would give you a hard time if your performance wasn’t up to the previous night's (all in good humour). We would also meet during the day to have marathon drum sessions at the club, really annoying manager Pete King trying to work in the back office. Martin used to give him hell and call him ‘Shylock’.
We would all end up in the Greek restaurant across the road, Jimmy’s, for a £5.00 all you can eat dinner (Martin always got his £5’s worth!).
Over the ensuing years I would often see Martin playing with the Ronnie Scott Quintet and, as ever, he would be playing with great taste and enthusiasm and above all else great musicianship. He was still enthusiastic about the art of drumming and always talking about the new breed of ‘Super’ drummer that emerged during the mid 80s, in particular he was a great fan of US drummer Dave Weckle. Martin even adopted the double bass drum pedal that Weckle used. I always thought this to be an unusual piece of hardware for a straight ahead drummer but Martin, as always, wanted to keep up to speed (literally!) and would call it his secret weapon, “it help the punters to know when the drum solo is finishing” bubada-bubada-bubada-bubada...
Since the tragic news of Martin's death I have been looking at the many video clips of him playing (YouTube) and one thing strikes you about him as a drummer/musician, and that’s his 100% concentration, have a look yourself, he is totally immersed in the music, always listening and responding in a musical and restrained way.
I don’t have to go into the list of world class musicians who have benefitted from Martin's musicality as that information is well documented, but I would like to say that Martin always had a smile and a joke (usually very corny) the latest gossip, a new cymbal for you to hear.
Last time I saw Martin was at the Corner House gig with Mornington Lockett and Laurence Cottle, and as usual he was enthusing about some new young players and how great his new band was and how he was hoping to try out a new range of Sabian cymbals etc, etc, etc....
I will remember with affection spending many a happy hour talking shop and watching him play and that will be my lasting memory of a giant amongst the jazz and drumming community.
Hi Adrian .. Martin Drew here the most famous drummer in Wembley - Ha Ha only joking, any chance of a gig for my amazing new band its ...
Adrian Tilbrook.

2 comments :

Lance said...

A wonderful tribute to a great guy.
thank you Adrian.

Steve Doyle said...

I saw Martin several times at Ronnie Scott's and of course heard him many more times on recordings. I never got to speak to him but always admired his playing. He was the first drummer I heard that played out of the band, sometimes too much but his playing taught and inspired me to at least try and do the same. Apart from Buddy he was also the first drummers name I could remember in the Jazz idiom, and for a kid of around 15 who played rock A la Zeppelin/Purple etc that in its self is quite an achievement because now I really think about it, he must have been one of the most influential people drumming wise in my life as his drumming opened the Jazz door for me.
I can remember at 15, asking my teacher at the time what was this guy doing? where was the two and four snare? I think my teacher had given me something with Martin playing on it along with Big Swing Face. Wow my eyes were opened....Thanks John.

So I like many others I suppose will now revert to that great resource YouTube and renew our relationship with Martin and learn something new again.

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