David Letterman showcases young drumming powerhouses on second Drum Solo Week
His wisecracks about getting death threats from an Internet jihadist may be getting bigger headlines, but late night host David Letterman caught my attention this week with his reprisal of a way-cool segment featuring some of the music world's hottest drummers, Drum Solo Week.
This time, Letterman has passed up old masters and big names for players mostly known to drummers -- on Monday, onetime prodigy and Jay-Z drummer Tony Royster Jr. (right) offered a blazing solo to the classic big band tune Caravan (the first solo played many years ago on the show by then-newly-hired backing band drummer Anton Fig).
On Tuesday, Porcupine Trees sticksman Gavin Harrison showed off his chop during a rendition of a tune written by another monster drummer, Dave Weckl, called The Chicken.
Tonight, Letterman welcomes Police drummer Stewart Copeland and Thursday he'll bring in Steely Dan/Parliament-Funkedelic/John Scofield drummer Dennis Chambers (both dudes were huge influences on yours truly, a player for 30 years). See the performances from Letterman's first Drum Solo week by clicking here.
Pure heaven for a longtime drummer increasingly sick of the disregard for musicianship that fills so much of pop music these days. I'm hoping this is a small strike against the autotuned vocals and computerize correction too often used to sanitized today's songs.
Check out the performances below, including the original version of The Chicken by Weckl: