Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Mel Lewis Latin Groove

Here is a latin groove I've heard Mel Lewis play a few times.  This is very much a jazz-latin groove as it doesn't really stick to deep rooted practices of any particular rhythmic tradition.  And that's OK.  I love to nerd out on said rules and find one what makes various types of music tick, but that doesn't mean grooves like the one below are any less valid.  If anything, it's more true to the jazz tradition.  Jazz has always been a music of fusions; melding elements from various cultures to create something new.

Here Mel is playing your standard ride cymbal and hi-hat pattern with straight 8th notes.  The rim and tom voicings remind of an agogo pattern that you'd hear in old Brazilian recordings of singers like Carmen Miranda.  Whatever it is, or isn't, it's a cool and versatile groove worth checking out.

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