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Its title track courses through a gentle bolero to a playful through-composed section and rhythmically rambunctious solos.

MD: You created a dramatic promotional video for your new album. Ari: A friend shot our recording sessions and also created a video, a trailer. I just had to feed everyone! It was fun and different. The album is a multitude of stories. Ari: Generally not. These days I can luckily get gigs by reputation. And a lot of venues may not be that open to hearing new things that often. MD: Do you feel you need to present the story behind the new album to club owners and promoters to set your music apart?

Musicians believe their music should be enough to speak for them. It should. MD: A few threads run throughout your new album, including this mind-blowing band and the intricate arrangements and in-depth compositions. Ari: I wrote the music for this group; some songs are more through-arranged and through-composed, but the story of the pauper and the magician ties it all together.

I actually recorded enough for two records during those sessions. The second half is all standards. Ari: Not as a band. I wrote those songs a year before we recorded. As one marching band comes into view you hear the other band approaching. Eventually one band becomes prominent. Then over that you hear quintuplets from the next band, so to speak, coming down the street.

You can hear it either way. So much clarity, and great dynamics. Is that solo based on four-way coordination? But I have a way of playing over rhythm changes, which is what that track is. I enjoy working with four-way coordination. Drummers have learned to play so fast and loud and strong. Rhythm too—we have really just scraped the surface. The bass line is in seventeen, and the band is playing in that time signature for much of the song.

It creates a kind of long loop. That comes from my love of Meshuggah. Ari: Yeah, that gives you a very legato sound. Clarity in general is important to me.

Anything I play I try to play clearly. Playing with the metal ring out of the brush handle can give you clarity. You can also scrape it on the cymbal or use it to actually strike the cymbal or the bell. I do that quite a bit. MD: Did you focus on dynamics to achieve that high level of clarity in your drumming?

Ari: Working on dynamics came from some steady gigs I had during college. I had to play at a soft dynamic for the whole night. Ari: I have a signature line of Bosphorus cymbals, the Lyric series. I spent two days in the Bosphorus factory in Istanbul deciding what I wanted.

I went through a lot of cymbals to find something in the ballpark of what I was hearing. I might find a dozen cymbals that I like. Then it was about changing them. They can do anything you want with a cymbal. Ari: I learned to use specific words to describe the sound I was hearing. Bosphorus can match any sound you want. Bosphorus had ideas and they heard what I was playing; they made something similar to those, and then I made alterations.

I love them and play them all the time. I can use them for electronic or groove or funk and jazz. Ari: Those are my first two records, Jazzheads and Time Travels , the solo drumming albums. Making music by myself has always been an important part of who I am as a musician.

I feel that I have more to offer in that setting than just as a drummer. I can make music alone—it might not be flashy, or cutting edge, but musically I can really say something and make a statement. Usually that comes from playing a song and having the song be very clear and singable. Everyone in New York City is so hip. You can be really musically effective without being hip. Or maybe it is hip.

It gives you the possibility to really connect with people. Connecting emotionally with people is one of the beauties of what I try to do. I always try to do that. A lot of it is contrast as well. I also play a simple linear funk groove and then, taking one limb—my hand on the ride, for instance—I work on all the variations I can play with that, keeping all the other limbs the same.

If you focus on one thing, then you can just change one small element to make it different. When you develop something, changing one element and seeing how it feels can lead to improvement. Practicing one thing can help you more than practicing many things. Ari: I never use traditional grip, though I used to play brushes with traditional grip.

There may be specific things one grip is better for than another, but the differences are very slight. I got burnt out with that process. Take Paul Motian as an example. If you wanted to see Paul, you had to come to New York City. And people did. Let the other musicians get on the plane! Drums: Yamaha Maple Absolute A. Cymbals: Bosphorus Lyric series 1. Will be used according to our Privacy Policy. Skip to content.

Digital Access FAQ. My Account. About MD. MD: When booking work, is a video like that part of the package for promoters? MD: Does the imagery of the title conjure the music? MD: Did you give specific directions? MD: Does your daughter know the cymbals are named after her? Home Alone! MD: Is booking a jazz group tough these days? Related Articles. Jimmy Nicol by Austin Teutsch. Email Address.


Ari Hoenig

As a drummer, Ari Hoenig's success has been unprecedented. Few have risen so quickly and deservedly into the upper ranks of jazz. Growing up in Philadelphia PA, his parent's influence led Ari through a variety of alternative musical experiences. His father is a conductor and classical singer, his mother a violinist and pianist. Accordingly, at 6 years old, Ari began studying the violin and piano.


Born on November 13, in Philadelphia, Ari Hoenig, was exposed at an early age to a variety of musical experiences. His father is a conductor and classical singer, his mother a violinist and pianist. Accordingly, at 4 years of age, Ari began studying the violin and piano. He soon found himself playing for legendary Philadelphia organist Shirley Scott and working regularly in New York City. Today, Ari continues to build on the concepts of these two records by playing largely improvised solo concerts using a regular four piece drum kit and no extraneous percussion.


Ari Hoenig born November 13, is an American jazz drummer, composer, and educator. Hoenig was born in Philadelphia to a vocalist father and violinist mother. He was exposed to classical and other music at an early age. He played both piano and violin, then rock and metal drums as a teen before settling into jazz. In , he produced his first solo album, Time Travels , and his second, The Life of a Day , on which he explored the melodic possibilities of the drum set. In Hoenig signed a contract with Dreyfus , which released his album Inversations with Pilc and Johannes Weidenmueller. He also leads the Ari Hoenig Nonet and Trio.

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