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Brian Blade is definitely one of my favorite drummers on the scene today.  If you for some reason haven't been checking him out...you are fired.  Here are some inspiring and relevant quotes from an interview the July 2008 edition of "Modern Drummer"

"I'm always trying to tune in to what the other musicians are sending out, and then reacting to that as quickly as possible.  If I'm thinking when I'm on the bandstand, I know I'm in trouble."


 

In response to a question about how to develop quick reflexes:

"The reflexes develop when trying to totally focus and be in the now rather than thinking ahead-just trying to let music happen.  I can't even say it's from within; it's at the tips of your fingers, and you're constantly trying to grab it and probably never will.  It's like you touch it, and then it pushes away from you again."

Another great question and response:

"MD:  Your solos are always very melodic.  Are you thinking melodically, or leading from what comes before you within the song?

Brian:  Sometimes I work from what has just happened, but not always.  Sometimes I enjoy the absolute contrast of a wash of sound.  In the rhythm of the drums there is a harmonic force in itself.  Just to have a wash of your own groove and harmonic rhythm can be important"

I think the following video is a beautiful example of what he is talking about in this last quote.  Enjoy.



SO GOOD.  Also, I feel like he both continues the vibe of the end of Mehldau's solo, which is in turn related back to the melody of the song, as well as establishes his own "harmonic force". 






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