Drummer Leaders: Ted Sirota, Tim Kuhl and Nasheet Waits


Sign in to view read count

Ted Sirota

Seize the Time

Naim Jazz


Tim Kuhl




Nasheet Waits


Fresh Sound-New Talent


Three young drummers bring their own distinctive rhythmic cast and musical concept to these projects, all put together from at least elements of working bands. Their approaches range from Ted Sirota's open, rolling propulsion and emphasis on ensemble concept to Tim Kuhl's nods toward jazz-rock and avant-fusion on to Nasheet Waits' freer time sensibility.

Seize the Time is the fifth album from Ted Sirota's Rebel Souls, a Chicago quintet advancing ideas promulgated by the politically-conscious late '50s-early '60s bands of Charles Mingus and Max Roach or Charlie Haden's Liberation Music Orchestra, but embracing such later agit-prop music as British rock band The Clash. In fact, the opening track is a piece from that band, "Clampdown," given rolling momentum by Sirota and bassist Jake Vinsel, a declamatory theme statement from saxophonists Geof Bradfield (tenor) and Greg Ward (alto) contrasted against the rocking guitar of Dave Miller, with the theme taking hymnal overtones after a round of solos. Time signature shifts as rhythmic acceleration and retard are deftly and tightly handled on Mingus' "Free Cell Block F, 'Tis Nazi USA." Handclaps join drums in the romping Caetano Veloso samba celebrating Brazil's slave emancipation day, "13 de Maio." Stephen Foster's "Hard Times (Come Again No More)" is updated with semi-rubato drum rolls and bass clarinet (Bradfield). And Miriam Makeba's "Polo Mze" is offered in two parts, one with a jaunty, timbale-like beat, the other with rock backbeats and polyphonal soloing. Originals from bandmembers run the gamut from the leader's cowbell-fueled "Killa Dilla," employing overdubbed guitar and electric bass, to Vinsel's miniature suite "Little D," which moves through swing and calypso rhythms.

The Brooklyn-based Tim Kuhl Group on King, like Rebel Souls, also features guitar(s), horns (Jon Irabagon, tenor sax, and on some tracks, Rick Parker's trombone) and no piano. Six full-fledged originals by the leader are broken up by three under-a-minute interludes from, in order, electric guitar (Nir Felder), solo sax and bass (Aidan Carroll) with trombone. The main tracks, save for the ballad "Kiss of Death," are heavy on either backbeats or aggressive rhythms partaking of fusion or postbop with a soulful shuffle. The ensemble moments are looser, more rhythm-focused, the solos longer and more rockstar narcissistic. The results are best when the energy level is highest, as on the uptempo mashup "The Opposition" and concluding fast rockbop "Stars."

Equality isn't only the title but also the guiding concept on Nasheet Waits' new album; greatly aiding that notion is that the core of this quartet is a trio with which Waits has been playing for some time: pianist Jason Moran and bassist Tarus Mateen (operating under Moran's leadership as The Bandwagon). Joining them is Kansas City alto saxophonist Logan Richardson. Waits pushes the interactive vibe of Bandwagon even further here, as no one instrument ever dominates for long, all paying much more than lip service to equality. There's a free-floating feel to the time and rhythms, as Waits and Mateen suggest a pulse or polyrhythmic pulses, without ever insisting on a steady beat. From the opening number, Andrew Hill's "Tough Love"—Waits played in the late pianist's band—with its haunting theme voiced by Richardson's surprisingly dry-toned alto to the emphatically collective ruminations of Waits' closer, "Kush," this quartet is in loose, fluid sync. Highlights include Jaki Byard's bop dedication "Mrs. Parker of K.C.," shifting from open time to driving 4/4; the doubling down of beats (including toms) of Moran's "The Summit" and sly Monkish gestures of his "Snake Stance"; the tension-release of Waits' "Hesitation" and vivid bounce and second-line feel of Mateen's "King Hassan," including the calypso vibe of the sax solo. But what's most impressive about this CD is the intricate sophistication of the group interplay.

Tracks and Personnel

Seize the Time

Tracks: Clampdown; 13 de Maio; Free Cell Block F, 'Tis Nazi USA; Hard Times (Come Again No More); Killa Dilla; Tollway; Viva Max!; J.Y.D.; Polo Mze Pt. 1; Polo Mze, Pt. 2; Little D; The Keys to Freedom.

Personnel: Ted Sirota: drums; Geof Bradfield: tenor sax: bass clarinet; Greg Ward: alto sax; Dave Miller: guitar; Jake Vinsel: acoustic and electric bass.


Tracks: King; I; The Defender of Time; Phantasm; II; The Opposition; III; Kiss of Death; Stars.

Personnel: Tim Kuhl: drums; Nir Felder: Ryan Mackstaller: guitars; Jon Irabagon: tenor sax; Aidan Carroll: bass; Rick Parker: trombone.


Tracks: Tough Love; Shine; Hesitation; Mrs. Parker of K.C.' The Summit; Emil Danenberg; Snake Stance; King Hassan; Kush.

Personnel: Nasheet Waits: drums; Logan Richardson: alto sax; Jason Moran: piano; Tarus Mateen: bass.


More Articles

Read Dan Phillips Returns To Chicago Multiple Reviews Dan Phillips Returns To Chicago
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 21, 2017
Read New, Notable and Nearly Missed Multiple Reviews New, Notable and Nearly Missed
by Phil Barnes
Published: January 25, 2017
Read Blues Deluxe: Colin James, Matthew Curry and Johnny Nicholas Multiple Reviews Blues Deluxe: Colin James, Matthew Curry and Johnny Nicholas
by Doug Collette
Published: January 14, 2017
Read Weekertoft Hits Its Stride… Multiple Reviews Weekertoft Hits Its Stride…
by John Eyles
Published: January 7, 2017
Read Ivo Perelman: The Art of the Improv Trio Multiple Reviews Ivo Perelman: The Art of the Improv Trio
by Jim Trageser
Published: January 4, 2017
Read 2016: An Ivo Perelman Marathon Multiple Reviews 2016: An Ivo Perelman Marathon
by Mark Corroto
Published: January 3, 2017
Read "Three saxophonists very different paths since "Propagations"" Multiple Reviews Three saxophonists very different paths since "Propagations"
by John Eyles
Published: November 23, 2016
Read "Paul G. Smyth: Weekertoft downloads" Multiple Reviews Paul G. Smyth: Weekertoft downloads
by John Eyles
Published: September 24, 2016
Read "Christmas Roundup 2016: Aguankó, Jeff Collins, & Vinnie Zummo" Multiple Reviews Christmas Roundup 2016: Aguankó, Jeff Collins, & Vinnie Zummo
by Mark Sullivan
Published: November 21, 2016
Read "John David Souther: Black Rose and Home By Dawn" Multiple Reviews John David Souther: Black Rose and Home By Dawn
by Doug Collette
Published: March 26, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!