Valse Sinistre Billy Drummond & Freedom of Ideas
- 1Little Melonae04:56
- 2Never Ends07:00
- 3Valse Sinistre06:12
- 6Changes For Trane & Monk03:15
- 7Clara's Room05:50
Info for Valse Sinistre
Acclaimed drummer and composer Billy Drummond will release his new album Valse Sinistre on August 5 via Cellar Music Group. A major release for Drummond, this is his first album as a leader since his 1996 cult hit, Dubai (Criss Cross), which was named the top jazz album of the year by critic Peter Watrous in the New York Times, and was recently chosen as one of the “50 Crucial Drumming Recordings of the Past 100 Years” by Modern Drummer magazine. On Valse Sinistre, the drummer of creative faculty and warmth documents a vibrant iteration of Freedom of Ideas, a fluid ensemble he’s been leading for the past decade. The multigenerational project features Dayna Stephens on saxophones, Micah Thomas on piano and Dezron Douglas on bass. Valse Sinistre is produced by Jeremy Pelt, as part of his ongoing partnership with Cellar Music Group.
While touring the world with some of the music’s most innovative voices, Drummond has been a significant player on the New York City scene over the past three decades. He’s the drummer other drummers check out at Smalls and Mezzrow. His craft and sensitivity enhance a versatile approach to the instrument and a truthful interpretation of the sound. Over the years, the Newport News, Virginia native has collaborated with Carla Bley, Horace Silver, Joe Henderson, Bobby Hutcherson, Buster Williams, Steve Kuhn, JJ Johnson, Sonny Rollins, Charles Tolliver, James Moody, Sheila Jordan, Andrew Hill, Ron Carter, Eddie Gomez, Hank Jones, Freddie Hubbard, Lee Konitz, Stanley Cowell, Chris Potter, Archie Shepp, John Tchicai, Eddie Henderson and Joe Lovano, among other diverse statement makers. Valse Sinistre presents a well-honed, curated repertoire primed for rediscovery.
These eight tracks share slices of Drummond’s life in the city and on the road. Despite the one-off consumption surrounding playlist culture, he curated the Valse Sinistre set for listeners to enjoy in its entirety. “It’s an album. I chose the songs and the order because that’s the way I wanted it to flow.” The artists approach each piece with nuance and grace, casting a new mood on each tune, naturally honoring the compositions and each other. “I always choose people to play with me who have that similarity of eclectic tastes,” says Drummond. “It means I can go anywhere at any given time, and these people will go right along with me.”
"In sum, a very good album—how could it not be with Drummond in charge?—that nevertheless lands a measure or two short of excellent, thanks for the most part to ingredients that are by and large appetizing on their own but when blended make a rather garden-variety stew." All About Jazz)
Billy Drummond, drums
Dezron Douglas, bass
Micah Thomas, piano
Dayna Stephens, saxophones
Born in Newport News, Virginia, where he grew up listening to his father’s extensive jazz record collection, Drummond was leading his own bands from the age of eight, and teaching adults from the age of just 14, before going on to study classical percussion at the Shenandoah Conservatory of Music. In the late 1980s, he was encouraged by Al Foster to move to New York, where he was almost immediately recruited to the young band Out of the Blue (OTB), recording Spiral Staircase for Blue Note Records. When OTB disbanded, Billy joined Horace Silver’s Sextet, simultaneously starting life-long associations with Buster Williams and Bobby Hutcherson, and subsequently joining J J Johnson’s band, followed by a three-year stint touring with Sonny Rollins.
Since then, Drummond has performed and recorded with many of the world’s jazz greats, including Horace Silver, Joe Henderson, Bobby Hutcherson, Buster Williams, Steve Kuhn, JJ Johnson, Sonny Rollins, Charles Tolliver, Nat Adderley, Charles McPherson, Eddie Henderson, James Moody, Sheila Jordan, Andrew Hill, Ron Carter, Carla Bley, Eddie Gomez, Larry Willis, Hank Jones, Freddie Hubbard, Lee Konitz, Stanley Cowell, Archie Shepp, Joe Lovano, Javon Jackson, Chris Potter, Eric Reed, Ralph Moore, Vincent Herring, Franco Ambrosetti (Italy), Karin Krog (Norway), Sadao Wantanabe (Japan), Toots Thielemans (Belgium), Barney Wilen (France), Laurent DeWilde (France), Jan Lundgren (Sweden), and Michel LeGrand (France).
“I consider myself very fortunate to have come up playing with some of the innovators of jazz who, in many instances, helped shape the way this music is and will always be played,” says Drummond. “Priceless experience for a young person learning how to be a musician. They taught me how to be a professional – to know the material, to be on time and, most of all, to play from your heart.”
Acclaimed by Downbeat as “one of the hippest bandleaders now at work,” Billy Drummond’s thrilling, powerful and highly musical playing has also made him one of the most called-for sidemen of his generation. Mentored in the bands of jazz legends Horace Silver, Joe Henderson, Bobby Hutcherson, J J Johnson and Sonny Rollins**, Drummond is now widely acknowledged as one of today’s most versatile drummers, making sideman appearances with a veritable who’s who of jazz greats on over 350 albums. He has made three albums as a leader—including Dubai, a New York Times Number 1 Jazz Album of the Year—and five as a co-leader, including We’ll Be Together Again in Three’s Company, a trio with Javon Jackson and legendary bassist Ron Carter, which made several Top Ten lists of the Year. Modern Drummer magazine recently honored Dubai as one of the 50 Crucial Jazz Drumming Recordings of the Past 100 Years—”distilling to only 50, a century’s worth of drumming on jazz recordings, which by any reasonable guess would comprise tens if not hundreds of thousands of titles.”
This album contains no booklet.