So, on the one hand I'm just trying to continue to come up with new groove ideas in 6/8 so that I'm not constantly playing the same thing on all of his tunes. And on the other hand I'm trying to get a little deeper into African rhythms that I'm not familiar with. If you're a regular reader of this blog then I'm sure you're aware of my disdain for the term "Latin" in all it's vagueness, so believe me when I say that the hypocrisy is not lost on me when I use the equally vague term, "African". But I'm working on it. So here's a groove I've been fooling around with. Apparently the parent rhythm originates in Cameroon, but in this case we're looking at a drum set orchestration by Will Kennedy on the Yellowjackets tune "Capetown". Will calls it "Magabe" or "Mugabe", but a little Googling shows that the real name appears to be "Mangambeu".
The basic groove (as Will plays it) looks like this:
Now, I've notated it the way he counts it in, but I can't help but wonder if it would be more accurate to notate like so:
Again, I'm no expert on this rhythm, but it seems to be characterized by three things:
1. This shuffley hi-hat pattern, which presumably is derived from a bell pattern:
2. The low sound - in this case a bass drum - emphasizing beats 4 and 5
3. A high sound on the upbeats
Here it is in context with three quarters of the Yellowjackets and Will using one of those weird tilted drum racks that I didn't think any drummer ever used.