Benny Jones is the snare drummer and bandleader of the storied Treme Brass Band. Born and raised in New Orleans, Jones has been around brass band music his entire life. His feel and concept for traditional jazz and second line rhythm has influenced a legion of drummers including Herlin Riley and Stanton Moore, among others.
Jones’ snare work on Treme’s recording of ‘When My Dreamboat Comes Home’ illustrates the phrasing and concepts that have become the standard for snare drummers playing this music. The following analysis is derived from two 32-bar sections, the first being the vocal melody on the in head and the second being the opening trumpet chorus that follows. Studying two choruses will allow for comparison and the development of any trends or patterns in Jones’ playing. Continue reading →
Just a Closer Walk With Thee:
This week is a two-for-one. If you read my blog post on my trip to New Orleans, you know that I had an exciting time while I was there. Among other things, I had the absolute pleasure of getting to hear Leroy Jones at Preservation Hall, and since the Jack Brass Band (band I was on tour with) had played there the night before, I got to meet Leroy and talk to him a little. Mainly, it was just a treat to hear this man play traditional New Orleans music all evening.
Since most people don’t know who Leroy Jones is (which is a damn same), I’ll just give you a short synopsis. Leroy is probably best know for his work with Harry Connick, Jr, but he was also a member of the band that became the famous Dirty Dozen Brass Band. Leroy has been performing all around the world with the Preservation Hall Jazz Band and Harry Connick, and was born and bred in New Orleans. Leroy is as authentic as it gets, and when you hear him play over these simple I IV V I progressions, you wonder if you should ever even try to play trads again. It’s that good.
Somehow Leroy has gone widely unnoticed in the trumpet community, which I am particularly perturbed about. It seems as though if a trumpet player comes out of the woodwork with a less than “standard” trumpet sound, the International Trumpet Guild doesn’t know what to do with him. He fits nicely in his cute little New Orleans box, so that’s where we put him and that’s where he stays. Spoiler alert: You’ve all been missing out. Continue reading →