Andrew Drury: The Cool Thing About Improvisation
His Earth Solos are an ongoing series of site-specific drum solos performed and photographed in desert, prairie, mountain, and industrial settings in eight states in the western US. Drury is active as a composer, improviser and side person, having performed with Wadada Leo Smith, Wayne Horvitz, John Tchicai, Glen Moore, Curtis Hasselbring, Wally Shoup, Jack Wright, Mike Bisio, Peggy Lee, Dylan van der Schyff, Brad Shepik and Chris Speed, to name a few. Andrew's current trio features pianist Myra Melford and saxophonist Briggan Krauss. He lives in Brooklyn, New York, with his wife and son.
Selected Discography with comments from Andrew:
Reuben Radding, Fugitive Pieces (Pine Ear, 2006)
AD: This is essentially free improvisation. This isn't jazz by most standards even though we all play jazz in other contexts. I don't play drum set on this recording, just floor tom with percussion. This is the first recording of mine publicly available of this kind of improvisation, more Europe-oriented, free improvisation.
Jason Kao Hwang, Edge (Asian Improv, 2006)
AD: We're playing at the Vision Festival in NYC in June. I love this band and Jason's writing.
Andrew Drury/Jessica Lurie, This Is What It's Like to Be (Self-produced, 2005)
Laura Andel, In::tension" (Rossbin, 2005)
AD: This is closer to New Music than anything else I can think of, with a lot of rock, Japanese text. Three drummers, 3 guitars, vocals w/ electronics, 2 keyboards, cornet.
Various Artists, Just Drums II (Fever Pitch, 2005)
Andrew Drury Sextet, A Momentary Lapse, (Innova, 2003)
AD: When I wrote the music for A Momentary Lapse I wanted to incorporate some ideas I associate with classical musiccertain kinds of harmonies, 2-5 part counterpoint, instrumental textures, ensemble structuresinto my ensemble music. My ensemble music, people say and I pretty much agree, has a circusy energy with a rhythmic approach to melody that originates in my experience as a drummer. I wanted to continue in that direction but more fully realizing the harmonic and ensemble ideas I had.
This music is very composed compared to a lot of music I listen to, but I do like to juxtapose composed passages with very open-ended free improvisation. I love the musicians I work with. I basically provide a springboard and some water and I know if I do my part then they'll make the dives interesting. The actual notes, though they are the primary thing I'm working with and obsess over, are sort of secondary. We had two rehearsals and two days in the studio. Though recorded in New York, this was kind of the culminating expression of my Seattle years in the '90s.
Andrew Drury, Polish Theater Posters (Red Toucan, 1998)
AD: Red Toucan went bankrupt when this was being released. @#$@%! Still, people who've heard it like it. It got some good radio play, and made Steven Loewy's Top Ten for 1998.
Top Photo: Caro
Bottom Photo: Frank Rubolino