Jack Goodwin sent this link to me recently:  http://youtu.be/-lzkHFIFrMk

It is a 35-minute video of Warne Marsh leading a seminar with young jazz musicians in Norway.  The video very much captures what it was like for me to be with Warne during that time period.

The video also prompted a memory: there is a part where Warne is tapping rhythms with his hands and feet, and this was something I went through with him, he said that Lennie taught it to him.

 The goal was to feel and then perform or ‘play’ polyrhythms with different appendages.  We started with very easy combinations – 2 against 1, 3 against 1, 4 against 1.  The exercises were done with combinations of hands and feet, in this sequence:

·         Right hand-left hand and then switch hands (top)

·         Right foot-left foot and then switch feet (bottom)

·         Right hand-right foot and then switch (side)

·         Left hand-left foot and switch (side)

·         Right hand-left foot and switch (diagonal)

·         Left hand-right foot and switch (diagonal)

·         Both hands-both feet and switch (top/bottom)

·         Right side-left side and switch (side/side)

·         Rh/lf-lh/rf and switch (diagonal/diagonal)

For me the sequence revealed a weakness in coordination with one or two combinations that improved with practice.  The goal was to get comfortable with the sequence and then add 3 against 2, 4 against 3, and 5 against 4.  Warne said an ultimate goal was to be able to tap 2, 3, 4 and 5 simultaneously with two hands and feet, and that Sal Mosca could do it really well.  I asked him if he could do it and he gave a quiet chuckle and said “I did it once.”  Based on that video tape, we should believe him!

After I finished writing my book I later thought that I could have included this material, since I do spell out the singing exercises for learning harmony. 

But give it a try – Warne said that Lennie thought all drummers should be required to do this before playing with him!