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Take Five With Charlie Harrington

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Meet Charlie Harrington: The consummate Charlie Harrington has been playing drums since the age of five and has played professionally since the age of 15.

He studied with Ray Bauduc for two years and later with Tim Tull and went on to finish First Place in the Slingerland/Louie Bellson National Drum Contest.

Additionally, Charlie is the recipient of the Louis Armstrong Jazz Award. He has also taken master classes with Ed Soph

Ed Soph
Ed Soph
b.1945
, Louie Bellson
Louie Bellson
Louie Bellson
1924 - 2009
drums
, Donny Osborne, Joe Morello
Joe Morello
Joe Morello
1928 - 2011
drums
, and Ed Shaughnessy
Ed Shaughnessy
Ed Shaughnessy
1929 - 2013
drums
.

A child prodigy, Charlie has performed with Woody Herman

Woody Herman
Woody Herman
1913 - 1987
band/orchestra
, Freddie Green
Freddie Green
Freddie Green
1911 - 1987
guitar, acoustic
, Stan Mark, The Jazz Connection, The Cactus Rose Project, James Simmons, David Holcombe and Karen Wylie. His blues playing credits include sharing the stage with Joe "Guitar" Hughes and Stevie Ray Vaughan
Stevie Ray Vaughan
Stevie Ray Vaughan
1954 - 1990
guitar
.

An inventive, highly skilled, and versatile performer, Charlie is comfortable in everything from trio and small group settings to big band ensembles. He's known for sophisticated rhythms, distinctive accompaniment, and powerful solos.

Instrument(s):

Drums.

Teachers and/or influences? My main teachers were Ray Bauduc and Tim Tull. I can't even begin to list all the people I've been influenced by and have checked out. I have many influences but the major ones are Buddy Rich

Buddy Rich
Buddy Rich
1917 - 1987
drums
, Louie Bellson, Joe Morello, Ed Shaughnessy, Butch Miles
Butch Miles
Butch Miles
b.1944
drums
, and Peter Erskine
Peter Erskine
Peter Erskine
b.1954
drums
.

I knew I wanted to be a musician when... I always wanted to be a musician. I was constantly tapping out rhythms on anything I could get my hands on when I was little. I'd sit mesmerized watching dance and variety shows and be in envy of the drummers playing on the shows. It was never an option to seriously consider anything else.

Your sound and approach to music: You need to listen to everyone you're playing with and play for the ensemble and not for yourself. It's not so much about what you play but what you don't play.

It's about the space between the notes. If you imagine yourself as an audience member listening to the music and then play what you'd like to hear as that audience member, you're on the right path. Technique and chops are great but they need to be applied musically and tastefully.

Your dream band:

That's a hard one but I'll give it a try. There are so many people I admire on their respective instruments but my choice for bass is Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen. NHØP's phrasing, sound, and ability to swing was amazing.

Guitar is a tough one also but I'd have to give the nod to Anthony Wilson

Anthony Wilson
Anthony Wilson
b.1968
guitar
. This man is so versatile it's staggering.

On the piano I'll go with Count Basie

Count Basie
Count Basie
1904 - 1984
piano
. His ability to say so much by saying so little still blows me away. Thank God we have so many of his recordings to enjoy.

The first Jazz album I bought was: I can't recall the first album purchased but two of the early ones I do remember are:

Buddy Rich, Stick It;

Al Hirt, The Greatest Horn in the World.

CDs you are listening to now:

Bill Stewart, Think Before You Think (Blue Note);

Cindy Blackman, Works on Canvas (Lava Jazz);

Ray Brown, This is Ray Brown;

Maynard Ferguson, M.F. Horn, Vol. 1.


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