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.
In this episode, Billy talks about:
The idea of a jazz record being a snapshot of an artist's present condition
How what he loves listening to relates to what he chooses to play
Entertainment vs. expression
Playing with Horace Silver
The influence and mentorship of Al Foster
Teaching at NYU and Julliard