Marcus Gilmore Speaks On His Career In Music

marcusgilmoreMarcus Gilmore is a professional drummer in great demand on the NYC scene. He is the grandson of legendary drummer Roy Haynes. I performed alongside Marcus at the legendary Village Vanguard in Manhattan for a four-night residency in November of 2015 supporting alto saxophonist Steve Coleman. Marcus has performed and recorded with cutting edge bandleaders and here he discusses his career and experiences with artists such as Chick Corea, Vijay Iyer, Thundercat, Taylor McFerrin, Gonzalo Rubalcaba, Steve Coleman and many others. In this intimate backstage interview Marcus discusses how he met artists, what it’s like to work with them, and his influences. Marcus tells us how his uncle trumpeter Graham Haynes turned him on to Steve Coleman that brought him to workshops in Midtown Manhattan and meeting the great Rashied Ali (drummer of John Coltrane’s group) who shared a neighboring performance space. Marcus suggests to aspiring drummers to not only check out the drummers, but to listen to other musicians and hear why they are playing what they are playing.

Duple Chant in 11 #1

When approaching odd meter in 11, there are so many beats per measure that this chant breaks it into two parts. There are many ways to divide 11. This is a simple example to approaching the meter. When the numbers get higher, there are more opportunities to break down the numbers. We are looking at this chant with 8 + 3 (or 8 and 3). As always we start with a slow tempo loop, you can clearly hear the division of 8 and 3 as the chant emphasizes beats 1 and 9 on the kick. Once you become relaxed move on to a faster tempo. This chant sounds more even this way than odd.

Five Elements Full Edition Philadelphia 2014

Screenshot 2015-11-01 15.45.26This close to 3 hour mega feature demonstrates the most important and original approaches to rhythm featuring alto saxophonist Steve Coleman and Five Elements. The name of the band has nothing to do with the members or number of members, but everything to do with Earth, Water, Fire, Wind and Ether. 
Four compositions are demonstrated here “Pi”, “LSLLSSL”, “Drop Kick” and “Wheel Of Nature”. This dual cam workshop shows how Steve applies specific rhythms to forms and how the chords, harmonies, and melodies can be layered in many ways. Expansion is demonstrated on much more than odd meter as the music is multi-layered. The way the band experiments, rehearses, and builds are clearly seen here in the rawest form. There are no smoke and mirrors and definitely no shortcuts. Only hard work, repetitive looping, clapping and singing are the basis for understanding all of the music in its simplest form. There is no other music on the planet such as the music and many approaches of band leader Steve Coleman.  

Triple Chant in 9 #1

This chant is like looking at 3’s a different way. Three 3’s equal 9. For example 3 x 3 = 9. This is one of the basic ways of understanding this chant. Of course, counting all triplets spells out the 9, but dividing them in 3’s makes it less strenuous on the mind. Playing triplet chants longer than 6 takes two minds: the one that performs and the one that thinks. Yes, this takes repetition. I kept this chant as simple as possible so you can hear the long 9 phrase punctuated in certain areas for rhythmic division. You can also look at this chant as two parts. Looking at the PDF notice how the first part is from the top (beginning) and ends at the first 8th note snare in the second measure. The second half goes from there to the end. That’s another way of looking at this chant.