Letting the Music Play You, with Paul Wertico

New musicality video:

Today on the show we have the honour and the pleasure of sitting down with Paul Wertico. If you’re at all familiar with the all-time great drummers of the world or you’re a jazz fan then you’ll know his name and his work. http://musicalitypodcast.com/186

Paul is a 7-time Grammy Award winner, perhaps best known for his almost 20 years playing with jazz guitarist Pat Metheny where his distinctive “flat ride” cymbal style became a defining part of some of the group’s best known recordings.

Paul is an innovative musician and a devoted educator, including his role as Associate Professor of Jazz Studies at Roosevelt University’s Chicago College of Performing Arts, and as author of a new book entitled “Turn the Beat Around”.

As you’ll hear us say in this interview, Paul is a man frequently associated with the very word “musicality” and so it was such a delight to get to speak with him and unpack what exactly it means for a drummer to be “musical” and exhibit “musicality”.

We talk about:

– How Paul learned the drums and the influential music educator who helped encourage him in developing his own unique identity as a musician.

– What it means to “turn the beat around” and how playing what he calls “front beats” can bring a unique flair to a piece of music.

– And how it’s possible for his group Wertico, Cain and Gray to perform 100% improvised compositions together with no prior discussion, ranging from 30 seconds to several minutes long which have a coherence and structure that mean the listener would never guess they were improvised.

We also talk about practicing with a metronome versus a backing track, what role the drummer plays in different genres and situations, and how he ended up ditching the drums to just play cymbals on a tango record in Italy.

This was a blast and there’s a ton of insights and wisdom here for drummers and musicians of all stripes.

This is Musicality Now, from Musical U.

Watch the episode: http://musicalitypodcast.com/186

Links and Resources

Paul Wertico Online : https://www.paulwertico.com/

Paul Wertico – “Turn the Beat Around: A Drummer’s Guide to Playing “Backbeats” on 1 & 3” : https://www.alfred.com/turn-the-beat-around/p/00-44214/

Cream – “Sunshine Of Your Love” : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zt51rITH3EA

Derek And The Dominos – “Bell Bottom Blues” : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKAYGVIkbok

Chicago – “Women Don’t Want To Love Me” : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VGaghf6nS6Y

If – “Forgotten Roads” : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JFTX4cwxJLI

The Emotions- “A Long Way To Go” : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ZDQqM_eqoA

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Letting the Music Play You, with Paul Wertico