A Look At Lamond's World

By Danny Gottlieb

Published January 2010

One of the great unsung heroes of jazz drumming was the late Don Lamond. Don was a jazz icon who performed on some classic jazz recordings, including Woody Herman’s live Ebony Concerto concert with Igor Stravinsky, Charlie Parker’s With Strings, and Johnny Smith’s Moonlight In Vermont. He also was featured on many TV shows and classic pop recordings, notably Bobby Darrin’s Somewhere Beyond The Sea.

I was lucky enough to have spent some time with Don before his passing, and in fact an audio interview I did with him is included on an historical project featuring modern recorded drums added to 1940s recordings (Back To The Past, Nicolosi Productions.com). Don actually let me use his favorite cymbal on the recording (which I lugged back and forth on a plane to Milan, never letting it out of my sight!).

One amazing recording featuring Don is the late George Russell’s Jazz In The Space Age. It includes some wild sounds, and has three versions of Don and bassist Milt Hinton playing a crazy vamp, called “Chromatic Universe.” In addition, legendary pianists Paul Bley (and amazingly) Bill Evans solo together, playing freely over the vamp. I don’t know of any other recording that sounds like this! Ex. 1 is the pattern that Don plays with brushes while Paul and Bill go wild. Ex 2 features bass drum variations, and Ex 3 is the rhythm that Milt plays on the bass. Ex 4 is my own variation, featuring a simulation of the cymbal rhythm slowing down. I hope you enjoy listening and playing along with this crazy rhythm track.

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