448 – [Daniel Glass Show]: That Time I Played With The Best Band In The World

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.

Resources/Links/People Mentioned:

2 replies
  1. Kenneth Taylor
    Kenneth Taylor says:

    I’ve played some of those old charts with the ‘weird” numbering. I think it was a convention of the copyist, made it easy for them. Sure doesn’t help drummers understand the chart!

    • Daniel Glass
      Daniel Glass says:

      Great Ken – it truly is a weird and hard to explain phenomenon. Glad someone else appreciates what I went through. 🙂

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