Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...


Take Five With Charlie Harrington

AAJ Staff By

Sign in to view read count
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, Louie Bellson, Donny Osborne, Joe Morello, and Ed Shaughnessy.

A child prodigy, Charlie has performed with Woody Herman, Freddie Green, 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.

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.



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, Louie Bellson, Joe Morello, Ed Shaughnessy, Butch Miles, and Peter Erskine.

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. This man is so versatile it's staggering.

On the piano I'll go with Count Basie. 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.


comments powered by Disqus


Start your shopping here and you'll support All About Jazz in the process. Learn how.

Related Articles

Take Five With...
Take Five with Black Tie Brass
By Ryan McNulty
February 7, 2019
Take Five With...
Take Five with Florian Ross
By Florian Ross
February 6, 2019
Take Five With...
Take Five with Christoph Irniger
By Christoph Irniger
February 5, 2019
Take Five With...
Take Five with Kenney Polson
By Kenney Polson
January 15, 2019
Take Five With...
Take Five with Jacopo Penzo
By Jacopo Penzo
January 10, 2019
Take Five With...
Take Five with David Hall
By David Hall
January 9, 2019
Take Five With...
Take Five with Charu Suri
By Charu Suri
January 4, 2019