Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Groove Transcription - Will Kennedy, "Capetown"

Pedro Velasco has been keeping me busy with this Machimbombo stuff.  He's really inspired by many different styles of African music (particularly Malian) and is showing up to rehearsals with a lot of interesting 6/8 and 3/4 stuff.

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.