In this episode, Daniel recounts his recent experience playing with Vince Giordano’s Nighthawks, the most renowned 1920s jazz band in the world. What was involved? No rehearsal, sight reading a book containing over 1500 charts (many at blistering tempos), all on an enormous vintage percussion rig.
What’s covered in this session:
- Daniel shares Vince Giordano’s incredible 42-year career of accomplishments in leading the Nighthawks, including:
- Working with Francis Ford Coppola and Martin Scorsese on projects like The Cotton Club, The Aviator and Boardwalk Empire.
- Numerous appearances on radio and TV programs like A Prairie Home Companion.
- Work with celebrity musicians including Elvis Costello, Liza Minnelli and Norah Jones.
- A documentary about Vince called There’s A Future In The Past.
- Daniel details the unusual instrumentation of the Nighthawks, which includes many vintage instruments no longer used in modern jazz music.
- A run-down of the incredible rig that Daniel played on, which incorporates a vintage 1920s drum set, trap table, chimes, vibraphone, timpani, gong, washboard, temple blocks, choke cymbal and many handheld “traps.”
- Daniel explains how he prepared for the gig, being that there was no rehearsal involved.
- The intricacies of sight-reading Vince’s book (actually 5 books), which comprise over 1500 charts.
- Daniel describes the idiosyncrasies of 1920s drum charts, and why they can be very tricky to read.
- Daniel demonstrates the “choke cymbal” technique that was a key component of 1920 jazz drumming.
- Check out Daniel in action with the Nighthawks.
- Vince Giordano’s official website.
- Trailer for the documentary, There’s A Future In The Past.
- The Nighthawks performing with Norah Jones.
- Interview with Vince Giordano, where he discusses the challenges of keeping alive the music of the 1920s and ’30s.