Colin Woolway's Teasers

The Traditional Nineteen

At the tender age of fifteen I was mesmerised by an album called The Don Ellis Orchestra, Live At Monterey. The late Don Ellis was a trumpet player, composer and bandleader, and a man fascinated by odd time signatures. The opening track to this live recording is called "332221222". These numbers, apparently, make up a "Traditional Nineteen".

Here are the subdivisions in terms of hi-hat and bass drum:

The Teaser here is that this pattern does swing - take my word for it. Try a jazz feel:

Once you get into it, the rhythm takes on a compelling swaying feel. Try making the "21" subdivisions into one group of three, thus making the pattern 33223222:

Students of mine are aware of my fondness for progressive practice through subdivisions ... maybe this is the reason why ...