Mark Griffith's debut recording gathers the most in demand sidemen in jazz including: Steve Wilson (Chick Corea), David Gilmore (Wayne Shorter) and Kenny Davis (The Tonight Show, Herbie Hancock). The recording was produced by award winning drummer/producer Cecil Brooks III.
“Drumatic” successfully incorporates all of the eras of jazz onto one recording. From the early swing of “Stompin At The Savoy,” to the bebop of “Move,” to the 1960's approaches of “Pee Wee” and “Patterns,” through the modern compositions of great drummers such as Jack DeJohnette, Paul Motian, Ralph Peterson, and Tony Williams. It concludes with a world beat percussion composition featuring many exotic percussion instruments from around the world accompanying Mark's own slash and burn drum set approach. Drumatic is the first recording ever comprised entirely of songs composed by the great drummer-composers of jazz history dating from the 1940's to the present.
Mark Griffith is a busy drummer living in the New York area. He was born and raised in Southern New Jersey a “drumsticks throw” from Philadelphia. He graduated from the prestigious jazz program at William Patterson College in Northern New Jersey, under the tutelage of bassist Rufus Reid. As well as being a popular drummer on the jazz scene, he is also an educator, jazz historian, and writer for many of the top drum magazines including Modern Drummer, Stick It!, and Batteur. He has worked with the Spirit Of Life Ensemble, trumpeters John Swana and Ted Curson, guitarists Eric Johnson, Kevin Eubanks, and Ed Hamilton, and saxophonists Gary Thomas and Bob Ackerman, bassist Gerald
- Move- Written by forgotten drummer composer Denzil Best, featuring Griffith's deft brushwork, and inspired interplay between the two saxophonists.
- Juicy Fruit- Tony Williams’ composition gets a Blakey-ish arrangement highlighting David Gilmore's ultra modern guitar work, and vibe master Bryan Carrott.
- Pee Wee- Another Williams classic spotlighting Steve Wilson’s floating soprano sax, and Gilmore's guitar.
- Circle Dance- Mark rearranges this Paul Motian tune with a multi-layered Afro-Cuban approach, which tenor saxophonist James Stewart attacks with reckless abandon.
- Song of Serenity- Composer Ralph Peterson is one of today's greatest drummer-composers. The quartet of Wilson, Gilmore, Davis, and Griffith angularly bash through a future classic.
- Big Girls- Drummer Victor Lewis is another of today's great drummer-composers. This is one of his most popular compositions. The band slowly builds from a slow simmer to a raging boil.
- Where Or Wayne- The horns take Jack DeJohnette’s great tune in many different directions, while Gilmore, Davis, and Griffith churn beneath.
- Patterns- The band rests freely upon Bryan Carrott’s rolling vibes, which finally give way to a tumbling drum solo from Griffith, on a drastic rearrangement of Joe Chambers’ classic tune.
- Stompin At The Savoy - Chick Webb’s classic gets a swingin” treatment with solos from Wilson, Carrott, Stewart, Davis, and Griffith whose brief “four on the floor” solo salutes the swingin’ forefathers.
- Drumatic- Percussionist Robert Brosh lays down a strong groove with an Irish Frame drum, and African Bells, as Griffith's ominous drum set rumbles and crashes from the distance to the foreground, only to be answered by Mark's work on the Peruvian Cajon.
Special Thanks to: The Creator, for the gift that you gave to me and all of the other musicians of the world; My beautiful wife Lorraine, whose endless strength, support, and love, is in every note that I play; Mom, Dad, and Linda, for their love, support, and patience from day one; ‘The Village” (Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles, Cousins, Neighbors, Church Friends, Teachers, Extended Family) that it takes to raise a child; Paul, and the Humphreys family, The Hedenbergs, The Siebolds, all of my students, the New York Yankees, Joe, Noel, and my musical big brother Bruce Williams. You're all a part of me.
This Project is humbly dedicated to all the musicians who created “The Groove”, but left us too soon, especially: Tony Williams, Jaco Pastorius, Jeff Porcaro, Art Blakey, Miles Davis, Frank Zappa, Wild Bill Davis, Ed Blackwell, Frank Sinatra, Igor Stravinsky, Jimi Hendrix, Lowell George, Larry Young, Mel Lewis, Lee Morgan, Thad Jones, Marvin Gaye, John Bonham, Joe Dukes, Dexter Gordon, Papa and Philly Joe, Klook, A.T., Trane, Bird, Bud, Diz, and Monk, what a band they must have up there.