Les Demerle is well know to many of us, but for those of you who do not know him he has been a mainstay in the jazz, fusion and big band genres for many years. Les started at an early age and always played with incredible energy, taste and fabulous technique. Les worked with many wonderful players throughout his career, and he did a 12 year stint with none other than Harry James, who cited Les as his favorite drummer. Les is still extremely active and lives on Amelia Island with his wife, vocalist Bonnie Eisele. He is the producer of the Amelia Island Jazz Festival and is always busy with records and engagements. Les stopped by the shop just before Christmas while he and Bonnie were in town. Les and Steve spent a great deal of time talking about their heros such as Buddy Rich and Louie Bellson, and Les demonstrated that his energy and technique have not faded a bit over the years. Check out Les at his website: www.lesdemerlemusic.com
I've had the pleasure of Charlie's company on several occasions. He's a wonderfully pleasant man and a thorough joy to be around. And, his gentlemanly demeanor seems to mask the fact that he can still anchor the world's greatest rock and roll band with superb accuracy, energy and enthusiasm. No small accomplishment for any drummer, never mind a man into his 60s. If you haven't seen the Stones in person do yourself a favor and do not miss the show. Every member of the band displays energy and enthusiasm that people half their age can not muster. We recently saw Charlie and the Stones on 10/11/06 and they performed superbly despite 40 degree temperatures that numbed their hands. I am a traditional jazz player, but then again, Charlie is also deeply rooted in jazz. In any case, despite being a jazz player by profession I can truly appreciate what Charlie does for the Stones each time he sits down to play. He keeps them rocking solidly even today. DO NOT MISS THIS SHOW. It is proof that music keeps you young!!! Charlie is rock and roll's version of Roy Haynes. He just keeps going, and going, and going!!
You owe it to yourself to check out Otis if you haven't done so already. Otis is currently working with Joe Lovano, as he has been since 1999. Otis was here in Chicago with Joe for the Jazz Festival and he stopped by our shop. Otis is a fabulous player with great hands, great ideas, and an excellent sense of musicality. Check him out! Also, check his website at www.obthree.com
Byron is currently performing with great Hammond B3 legend Joey Defranceso and they just finished a week here in Chicago at the Jazz Showcase. Byron stopped by the shop and sampled lots of snares and Spiz cymbals and also saw all of the muesum pieces. Byron's a fantastic player and you should check him out if he comes to your area and also check out his playing on Joey's CDs. Joey's website is www.joeydefrancesco.com
Steve performs with Lynne Ariale's trio and his work is really amazing. Steve has been with her for many years and we recently caught them at the Jazz Showcase here in Chicago. Steve is such a tasteful player, with tremendous musicality and technique to spare. He draws an abundance of colors and sounds from his kit, and you owe it to yourself to hear him in action. He's also a decicated educator, teaching at the Jamie Abersold camps each year and also on his own. Check Steve out at his website www.stevedavisdrums.com or on any of Lynne's great recordings. Find out more about Lynne at www.motema.com
Adam is currently performing with Danilo Perez's trio. Danilo is a fabulous pianist/composer and Adam fit his music like a glove. The trio was here in Chicago at the Jazz Showcase and we caught the show. Adam does an expert job of coaxing the colors and sounds needed to compliment Danilo's creative compositions, and Adam's technical skills are truly impressive. Check your area to see if Danilo is coming through town. If so, do not miss the chance to see the show and experience Adam's wonderful playing.
Clarence is a fabulous player who has performed with the likes of Betty Carter, Wynton Marsalis, Dizzy Gillespie and many more. He has also released several CDs of his own. Check out Clarence at his website. www.clarencepenn.com and be sure to take the opportunity to see him if he comes through your area.