Jim Miller

Jim’s Contributions

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September 2002    Gearhead

Mymi Drums

Vic Berton (1896-1951) is credited by many as the innovator of the “lo-boy,” a precursor of the hi-hat, with its cymbals mounted horizontally, albeit only a foot or so above the pedal. According to Bill Crow in Jazz Anecdotes, the drummer’s brother remembered...

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June 2002    Gearhead

Yamaha Stage Custom Advantage Drums

I must have a personality problem: as Sammy Cahn once wrote, “I Fall in Love Too Easily.” I’ve reviewed three drum sets for JazzTimes so far and, with only minor reservations, I’ve deeply and sincerely loved them all. But maybe, like the Madeleine/Judy-obsessed...

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November 2001    Gearhead

Pearl Session Custom

I once saw a Pearl kit covered in blue denim: the drum set that matches your pants! Initially showcased near the drum shop’s entrance, it endured a march of shame to the middle and then the rear of the building, ending up down the hall next to the bathroom...

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September 2001    Gearhead

Sonor Jungle Set

When it came time to retire my revered old Sonor Phonic kit to the practice studio some years ago, I started custom-building my own drum sets. You can thump a bare drum shell and hear the tone and pitch that the finished drum will have, and when I first...

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September 2000    Albums

The Complete Blue Note Elvin Jones Sessions
Elvin Jones

When the stylistic development of drum-set playing in the history of jazz is researched, the logical progression from Zutty Singleton, Chick Webb, "Big Sid" Catlett and Jo Jones to Kenny Clarke, Max Roach, Art Blakey and Philly Joe Jones is fairly evident...

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November 1999    Features

Dave Weckl: Groove Perspectives

Drummer Dave Weckl’s first instructional videotape was titled Back to Basics. Following a meteoric trajectory to success in the ’80s, Weckl has fast-forwarded to the challenging responsibilities of leading his own eponymous band. With their second Stretch...

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November 1998    Books

Mister, I Am The Band!: Buddy Rich, His Life and Travels
Doug Meriwether

It’s all here, from his father’s vaudville act and Buddy Rich’s time as “Traps, the Drum Wonder,” to George Auld recommending him for work with Bunny Berigan and Artie Shaw, the Dorsey days and the continuing relationship with Frank Sinatra, through the...

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November 1998    Briefs

Poetry, Prose, Percussion and Song
Charles Williams and Tom Teasley

This dramatic CD combines the multi-percussion talents of Tom Teasley with the sonorous, wonderfully expressive voice of Charles Williams on material ranging from traditional West African and Israeli to Haiku. Two of the more evocative pieces juxtapose Langston...

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December 1997    Movies

In The Tradition
Giovanni Hidalgo

In The Tradition presents Giovanni Hidalgo explaining the basic conga sounds, tuning and typical conga, timbales, bongo and guiro parts for Son Montuno, Bolero, Charanga and Danzon. The emphasis is on thinking like a team, with relaxation and control. The...

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About Jim Miller

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